Historic First as 2 Recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 Boosters Stand Vertical at Port Canaveral after 1st to Fly 9 Times Returns: Photos

Historic First as 2 Recovered Falcon 9 Boosters Stand Vertical at Port Canaveral after 1st to Fly 9 Times Returns: Photos
Bird flock soars over history making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) on March 16, 2021 with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

PORT CANAVERAL/KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – In a historic first a dynamic duo of recovered  SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stages stood vertical simultaneously at sunset Tuesday, March 16 in Port Canaveral, Florida making an absolutely amazing sight to behold – after the 1st booster ever to fly to space and safely return nine times sailed into port this evening atop the ocean going droneship upon which it soft landed in the Atlantic just two days after blasting off just before sunrise Sunday, March 14 from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

History making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

About 45 minutes after being towed into the mouth of Port Canaveral the fleet leading 9x recycled booster B1051.9 grasped firmly upright on the OCISLY platform the 15 story tall stage was berthed around 7 p.m. EDT beside the second booster B1058.6 that had arrived just two days ago on Sunday, March 14 after its own 6th flight to space and back just five days ago on March 11 from pad 40 on Cape Canaveral – in a space lovers spectacle that has never happened before and no one knows if it will ever happen again.

Crowds enjoy witnessing history making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

A crowd of excited space enthusiasts and media along with members of the general public were on hand to witness and greet the history making pair of Falcon 9 rockets setting records like never before in short turnaround times like never before.

Nighttime view of history making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral with water reflections on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

And it was a remarkable contrast in beauty – the newly arrived one with all 4 landing legs deployed down, the recently arrived one with all 4 landing legs retracted up just hours before flush with the booster core.

In fact B1058.6 was towed into port Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m. atop the other SpaceX droneship JRTI (Just Read the Instructions) just hours after B1051.9 blasted off from pad 39A at KSC at 6:01 a.m. EDT.

Bird flock soars over history making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

These pair of rather sooty and rather proud veteran venerable boosters B1051.9 and B1058.6 have now flown a spectacular total of 15 times successfully to space and back.

Enjoy our photos of the doubly vertical boosters at Port Canaveral from the Space UpClose team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright.

2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 boosters stand vertical simultaneously 1st time ever in Port Canaveral, FL after sunset arrival 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship on March 16, 2021. 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

The recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 booster B1051.9 established a new record by launching and landing the first time ever for the ninth time after blasting off at pre- sunrise Sunday morning Sunday, March 14, and successfully delivered another tranche of 60 Starlink broadband internet satellites to orbit – marking the 3rd Falcon 9 launch in 10 days from the Florida Space Coast and coming just three hours after switching clocks to daylight savings time on the US East Coast.

Falcon 9 stunning streak with VAB: SpaceX Falcon 9 streaks to orbit on 1st 9th launch at 6:01 a.m. ET, March 14, 2021 on 22nd Starlink mission with 60 internet satellites after predawn blastoff from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Long exposure view captured with fisheye lens – bracketed by NASA KSC VAB at left and Countdown Clock at right with US flag left of streak flames at Launch Complex 39 Press Site with flames reflecting below in Turn Basin channel and some dew on the lens. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

All 3 Falcon 9s each delivered 60 SpaceX Starlink broadband internet satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for a grand total of 180 couch-sized Starlinks to space in barely 10 days’ time from Florida’s busy Spaceport.

This was the 3rd Falcon 9 to liftoff in 10 days in March following two earlier ones on March 4 and March 11- see earlier our stories and photos.

History making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

To date SpaceX has launched eight Falcon 9 rockets in 2021.

Recycling the 1st stage boosters many times has enabled SpaceX to maintain a rapid launch cadence of nearly 3 launches per month last year and even more planned this year.

The flawless liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 B1051.9 into cloud free skies took place right on time at 6:01 a.m. EDT (1001 GMT) Sunday, March 14 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in darkness carrying the next batch of 60 Starlink satellites to low earth orbit during an instantaneous launch window.

The Falcon 9 first stage B1051 supporting this mission previously supported launch of Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission, RADARSAT Constellation Mission, SXM-7, and five Starlink missions most recently on Jan. 20, 2021.

Overall B1051.9 marked the 77th Falcon 9 1st stage landing by sea or land.

Nighttime view of history making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral with water reflections on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) on March 16, 2021 with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The liftoff of recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 B1058.6 into cloud free nighttime skies launch took place right on time at 3:13 a.m. ET soaring on its sixth flight from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in Florida carrying another batch of 60 Starlink satellites to low earth orbit during an instantaneous launch window.

The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster B1058 supporting this mission previously supported launch of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on Demo-2 on its inaugural mission in May 2020, as well as ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and a Starlink mission.

Overall B1058.6 marked the 76th Falcon 9 1st stage landing by sea or land.

Launch and Landing: SpaceX Falcon 9 stunning streak to orbit 3:13 a.m. ET, March 11, 2021 on 21st Starlink mission and 400 mile (640 km) distant 1st stage booster landing burn over the Atlantic Ocean after middle-of-the-night blastoff Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This two image long exposure composite captured with fisheye lens – bracketed by pad 41 at left and pad 37 at right with flames reflecting below Cape Canaveral channel. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The next Starlink launch is NET March 22.

Starlink promises to offer High-speed, low latency broadband internet across the globe starting in rural areas and expanding.

SpaceX is planning for a Starlink constellation in excess of 10,000 satellites.

They initially need about 1,584 satellites to establish service in most of North America with Starlinks orbiting some 341 miles (550 kilometers) above Earth on traveling on paths inclined 53 degrees to the equator.

Starlink is now delivering initial beta service both domestically and internationally, and will continue expansion to near global coverage of the populated world in 2021.

Starlink dish. Credit: SpaceX

Following this latest 22nd batch that brings the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 1,325 internet satellites.  That includes earlier prototypes mostly from the first launch as well as the 10 Starlink sats launched to polar orbit on the last Falcon 9 launch on Transporter-1 mission on Jan. 24. Check out our story and photos

The actual number of Starlink satellites is estimated to be at least 60 less due to some earlier versions being intentionally deorbited due to malfunctions or other reasons

Astronomer Jonathan McDowell keeps a running tally of Starlink at this page

https://planet4589.org/space/stats/megacon/starbad.html

The 500 pound flat panel Starlink satellites are manufactured by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington.

The new mission thus fortifies the Starlink constellation of relay satellites that one day upcoming will offer a competitive alternative to existing broadband services across North America – including the US and Canada

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Starlink, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, Artemis and NASA missions, SpaceX, Commercial Crew Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2, Demo-2, ISS, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, NRO spysats and national security missions 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

Please consider supporting Ken’s work by donating at Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/kenkremer

 

Nighttime view of history making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) on March 16, 2021 with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

Nighttime view of history making 1st time ever sight of 2 recovered SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage boosters standing vertical at Port Canaveral with water reflections on March 16, 2021 – after sunset arrival of 1st 9x flown booster B1051.9 on OCISLY droneship at left (4 legs deployed) on March 16, 2021 with 6x flown booster B1058.6 on ground pedestal at right (4 legs retracted) after craning off JRTI droneship. Each successfully delivered 60 Starlink internet satellites to LEO on March 14 and March 11, 2021 respectively from 22nd and 21st Starlink missions. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Space UpClose team of Jean Wright and Ken Kremer and our 2 lucky launch mascots Astrollina and Nebullina covering the history making 1st time event of 2 Falcon 9 boosters vertical simultaneously at Port Canaveral, FL on March 16, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

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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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