Recovered SpaceX Booster from GPS Launch Returns to Port Canaveral for Glorious 4th of July Welcome: Photos

Boosters and Bathers reflect in Atlantic Ocean waters as recovered/landed SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage B1060.1 towed past Jetty Park pier at 830 AM ET arrives back at Port Canaveral on a glorious 4th of July Saturday morning. From GPS III Space Vehicle 03 navigation satellite launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

PORT CANAVERAL, FL – It was a busy morning of comings and goings for the SpaceX Naval Fleet on our nations birthday – as the recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from the spectacular GPS III navsat satellite launch for the US Space Force 3.5 days ago returned to Port Canaveral this morning atop the JRTI droneship for a glorious 4th of July welcome to Florida’s Space Coast, all as the firms other droneship OCISLY departed minutes earlier for the upcomimg July 8th launch of the rescheduled Starlink internet mission.

Two SpaceX droneships passed by one another for the first time at the mouth of Port Canaveral channel at Jetty Park Pier this beautiful Saturday Space Coast morning – although at a distance and not side by side as we had hoped.

1x launched/landed Falcon 9 1st stage booster atop the JRTI droneship is towed by tug Lauren Foss and SpaceX fleet past Jetty Park Pier into Port Canaveral channel at 8 a.m. ET on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Overall this dance of two droneships represents another concrete sign of the rapid uptick in SpaceX launches enabled by having two droneships available – OCISLY and JRTI – for 1st stage booster landings that can be swapped out quickly and thereby allow rocket launches and landings just days apart.

With crashing Atlantic Ocean foreground waves Falcon 9 1st stage booster atop the JRTI droneship is towed by tug Lauren Foss and SpaceX fleet into Port Canaveral channel at 8 a.m. ET on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The veteran East Coast droneship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ or OCISLY departed first towed out of Port past Jetty Park Pier by tugboat Finn Falgout at 7 a.m. ET today, Saturday, July 4th, as the newby East Coast droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ or JRTI waited patiently off shore of the beach in the Atlantic Ocean accompanied by the SpaceX naval fleet.

JRTI and 1x launched/landed booster B1060.1 al last began her approach to Jetty Park after 8 a.m. ET towed by tugboat Lauren Foss and welcomed by a small crowd of my media colleagues and beach goers who were mostly clueless about the momentous events – but appreciative when we informed them.

The 16 story tall booster standing firmly upright on OCISLY sailed swiftly past the Pier and reached the berthing Port as usual some 45 minutes after arrival.

Panoramic, water reflecting view of SpaceX Falcon B1060.1 atop JRTI droneship arriving into Port Canaveral towed by tugboat Lauren Foss into Port Canaveral channel at 9 a.m. ET on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Onlookers watch SpaceX Falcon B1060.1 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing at Port Canaveral north cargo pier beside SpaceX fairing catcher ships on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Enjoy our Space UpClose 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.

UpClose elevated look at new and upgraded octagrabber and 4 landing legs grasping B1060.1 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing at Port Canaveral on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Check back as the gallery grows.

In fact the now 1st time ‘flight-proven’ 1st stage was remarkably white and free of soot – standing in stark contrast to the recent parade of heavily blackened and surreally sooty 3, 4 and 5 times reused and port returned boosters this past year.

An added treat making for a very picturesque scene was the presence of both SpaceX unique fairing catching boats in Port – GO Ms Tree and GO Ms Chief – and beside which JRTI berthed at North Cargo Pier 6.

SpaceX Falcon B1060.1 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing at Port Canaveral north cargo pier beside SpaceX fairing catcher ships on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

See our photos.

Both fairing boats arrived in the middle of the night two days ago July 2 loaded with booty – having scooped both payload fairing halves from the corrosive Atlantic Ocean waters. Their condition is unknown – whether intact or not.

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.

An eruption of Fire & Fury as SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars off Space Launch Complex-40 at 4:10 p.m. ET June 30, 2020 for successful delivery of Lockheed Martin built GPS III Space Vehicle 03 navigation satellite to medium Earth orbit for US Space Force from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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.

UpClose elevated look at new and upgraded octagrabber and 4 landing legs grasping B1060.1 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing at Port Canaveral on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The SpaceX booster processing and crane crews are now taking the 4th of July weekend off before resuming booster hoisting and leg retraction operations AT Port Canaveral on Monday, July 6.

 

 

Falcon 9 1st stage booster atop the JRTI droneship is towed by tug Lauren Foss and SpaceX fleet past Jetty Park Pier into Port Canaveral channel early on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Water reflecting view of Falcon 9 1st stage booster atop the JRTI droneship is towed by tug Lauren Foss and SpaceX fleet into Port Canaveral channel early on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
OCISLY droneship towed out of Port Canaveral, FL on July 4, 2020 for tenth Starlink mission. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Watch my commentary about the SpaceX Starlink/GPS launches at WFTV ABC 9 Orlando TV News on Jun 25

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/brevard-county/spacex-launch-another-round-starlink-satellites-friday/4WKS5J4QDBA7TJ2E4SPI5UJQRI/

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

Space Journalist Dr. Ken Kremer joins "Stay Curious"

Update on Artemis to the Moon with space journalist/photographer Dr. Ken Kremer to help you "Stay Curious."

Posted by American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame on Monday, 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.
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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 7, 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

2 Pelicans, 2 Fairing Boats with 8 Arms, 4 Landing Legs & 1 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage towed by tugboat Lauren Foss with lots of black smoke into Port Canaveral. Such incredible/uncommon sights of ‘science-fictionesque’ landed 1st stage B1060.1 return on a splendid 4th of July 2020 morning. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Recovered Falcon 9 1st stage with 4 landings legs and octagabber visible atop JRTI droneship reflects in beach sand and Atlantic Ocean waters July 4, 2020 as towed by tug Lauren Foss and SpaceX fleet into Port Canaveral channel at 8 a.m. ET on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

SpaceX Falcon B1060.1 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing at Port Canaveral north cargo pier beside SpaceX fairing catcher ships on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Head on view of SpaceX Falcon 9 B1060.1 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing beside both SpaceX fairing catcher ships at Port Canaveral north cargo pier on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

 

 

Head on view of SpaceX Falcon 9 B1060.1 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing beside both SpaceX fairing catcher ships at Port Canaveral north cargo pier on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Falcon 9 1st stage booster atop the JRTI droneship is towed by tug Lauren Foss and SpaceX fleet past Jetty Park Pier into Port Canaveral channel early on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

 

SpaceX Falcon B1060.1 1st stage atop JRTI droneship after berthing beside both SpaceX fairing catcher ships at Port Canaveral north cargo pier on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
OCISLY droneship towed by tug Finn Falgout departs Port Canaveral and Jerry Park pier at 7 a.m. ET 4th of July 2020 for upcoming Starlink launch to make way for arrival of JRTI droneship with GPS landed 1st stage booster. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Recovered Falcon 9 1st stage with 4 landings legs and octabgrabber visible atop JRTI droneship reflects in beach sand and Atlantic Ocean waters July 4, 2020 as towed by tug Lauren Foss and SpaceX fleet past Jetty Park Pier into Port Canaveral channel at 8 a.m. ET on July 4, 2020. From GPS III SV03 navsat launch June 30, 2020. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

 

Up Close view of nose cone and mission logo atop SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket prior to launch of GPS III SV03 mission on June 30, 2020 for the US Space Force on Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. 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.

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