For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
PORT CANAVERAL, FL – After delays due to weather and the weekend the SpaceX crane crew got to work Tuesday retracting the landing legs on the recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from the spectacular GPS III navsat satellite launch for the US Space Force that had returned to Port Canaveral atop the JRTI droneship for a glorious 4th of July welcome to Florida’s Space Coast.
However ongoing dismal weather throughout the week simultaneously hindered progress of the leg raising for this GPS used 1st stage as well as scrubbed the planned Falcon 9 launch of the next batch of SpaceX Starlink broadband internet satellites on Wednesday, July 8.
The retraction work finally commenced Tuesday after the crews were able to attach the hoisting cap to the top of the 156 foot tall first stage B1060.1 standing tall atop the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ or JRTI droneship.
By the end of the day Tuesday the crane technicians were able to successfully retract two landing legs – right and rear – before torrential downpours and thunder strikes forced a halt until it overlapped with the planned Starlink launch day Wednesday.
The 16 story tall booster got a thorough cleansing from the drenching rains
The crew had actually retracted a third leg on the left side Tuesday afternoon but it fell unexpectedly shortly after it had been raised flush against the side of the core.
Luckily no one was injured and the team gathered on deck to evaluate the fallout.
Next morning work resumed and the remaining 2 legs were successfully raised.
The booster was then lowered horizontal onto the wheeled transporter – just prior to the noontime scrub of the 10th Starlink on July 8 as horrendous weather again afflicted the Cape and Port and put a halt to most work.
Enjoy our Space UpClose photos of the leg retraction while vertical and ongoing work on the horizontal booster under endless dreary weather all week long at Port Canaveral as well as our photo gallery of the arrival and docking of the surprisingly nearly clean Falcon 9 booster B1060.1 at the droneships normal northside berthing port at North Cargo Pier 6 on July 4.
The spectacular liftoff of the Lockheed Martin-built GPS III Space Vehicle 03 navigation satellite mission on a new 23 story tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took place at last at 4:10 p.m. (2010 GMT) Tuesday June 30 from seaside Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL.
Enjoy our earlier Space UpClose GPS launch gallery by Ken Kremer and Jean Wright – also featured at Spaceflight Now. Check back as the gallery grows.
The GPS III-SV03 satellite provides the “gold standard” in position, navigation, and timing services and is the third on behalf of the U.S. Space Force launch and the second NSSL (National Security Space Launch) mission to be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9.
Watch my commentary about the SpaceX Starlink launch at WKMG CBS 6 Orlando TV News on July 10:
Watch my commentary about the SpaceX Starlink/GPS launches at WFTV ABC 9 Orlando TV News on Jun 25
Watch my live post interview about SpaceX launches, Artemis, ULA WDR for Mars 2020, Mars 2020 rover and more at the American Space Museum ‘Stay Curious’ daily weekday show on June 22, 2020
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about GPS, Mars 2020, Commercial Crew and Artemis for live reporting of upcoming and recent NASA, ULA and SpaceX launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Ken has created hundreds of widely published Mars rover mosaics and lectures also about NASA’s Mars rovers
Ken’s upcoming outreach events:
Jul 10, 7 PM: Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville, FL. “SpaceX GPS, Starlink and Demo-2 and NASA/ ULA Atlas V Mars 2020 rover and more launches.” Free. In hotel lobby. Photos for sale
Water reflecting view: SpaceX recovered Falcon 9 1st stage B1060.1 gets a truly cleansing bath from the late afternoon torrential deluge of rain and thunder on July 7, 2020 with 2 landing legs retracted atop JRTI droneship at Port Canaveral, FL. – from GPSIIISV03 launch. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Crane crew at work July 8, 2020 late afternoon on recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 booster B1060.1 capped 1st stage lowered horizontal onto transporter at Port Canaveral, FL – from GPSIIISV03 launch on Jun 30, 2020. During brief break from thunderstorms. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com