SpaceX NASA Crew-3 Landed Falcon 9 Booster Returns to Port Canaveral for Rare Night Arrival: Photos

SpaceX Crew-3 Landed Falcon 9 Booster Returns to Port Canaveral for Rare Night Arrival: Photos
Spectators watch as SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by steaming support ship Doug (left) maneuvering for berthing at cargo pier. Liebherr crane for processing and moving Falcon 9 stands at far right – all reflecting in nighttime port waters. The Falcon 9 launched the NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

PORT CANAVERAL/KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –  The ‘flight-proven’ SpaceX Falcon 9 booster that successfully launched the NASA ESA quartet of Crew-3 multinational astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on a spectacular Wednesday evening Nov. 10 liftoff and landed eight minutes later on a company droneship, returned to Port Canaveral, Florida four days later Sunday evening, Nov. 14,  for a rare and positively stunning nighttime arrival.

SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by steaming support ship Doug (left) – all reflecting in nighttime port waters. Falcon 9 launched the NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The SpaceX Falcon 9 arrival comes on the heels just 36 hours after the arrival of the NASA SpaceX Crew-2 Crew Dragon spacecraft into Port Saturday morning, Nov. 13, which in turn arrived just 1 hour before launch of SpaceX’s Starlink 4-1 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station pad 40 – demonstrating nonstop relentless SpaceX Space exploration action all week long !!

SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by steaming support ship Doug (left) maneuvering for berthing at cargo pier – all reflecting in nighttime port waters. The Falcon 9 launched the NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

A small but dedicated crowd of lucky spectators, space fans, and space media were thrilled and delighted to witness and cheer on the absolutely magnificent arrival of the recycled Falcon 9 first stage booster designated B1067 into Port Canaveral Sunday evening following the propulsive guided landing upright on the droneship ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ (ASOG).

UpClose view landing legs and Merlin 1st stage engines as SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The 15 story tall Falcon 9 B1067.2 booster standing fully erect with all four landing legs deployed was towed into the mouth of Port Canaveral by Jetty Park Pier at about 8 p.m. ET by the relatively new SpaceX support ‘Doug’ – atop another Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon.

‘Doug’ is named to honor veteran NASA Astronaut Doug Hurley who flew to space on the history making Demo-2 mission last year in May 2020 – finally resuming US human spaceflight from US soil after a way too long hiatus following the forced shutdown of NASA’s Space Shuttle program after the final mission STS-135 in July 2011.

SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed past pleasure boats by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Soon Doug, Falcon 9 and ASOG were sailing past docked pleasure boats by around 815 p.m. Sunday night.

Be sure to check out our Falcon 9 B1067 ASOG and Doug arrival photos from Nov. 14 from the Space UpClose team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright.

We watched ‘Doug’ tow the Falcon 9 on ASOG from several vantage points along the Port Canaveral channel Sunday evening

Also check out our Crew-2 Crew Dragon arrival photos from 1 day earlier.

UpClose view of scorched SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft sailing into Port Canaveral, Florida on deck of GO Navigator recovery ship on Nov. 13, 2021 – which hoisted it from the Gulf of Mexico waters near Pensacola after safe splashdown of NASA Crew-2 mission and four astronauts on Nov. 8, 2021 upon returning to Earth from six month stay at the International Space Station (ISS). Notice human for scale, outline of slanted nose cone top and abort thrusters bottom. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

The 156 foot tall first stage B1067 plus 6 feet for all four deployed landing legs had successfully soft-landed on the ASOG (ASOG) drone ship as planned some eight and a half minutes after liftoff off the coast of the Carolinas – making 86 successfully booster landings overall

The Falcon 9 flew on a northeasterly trajectory from pad 39A.

After stage separation at two minutes and six seconds the booster flipped around and refired its engines twice for a entry and landing burns to make a precision guided landing by re-liting the center Marlin engine for a propulsive touchdown on the ocean going ASOG platform.

 

Doug and Falcon 9 arrived for berthing at SpaceX’s normal spot at North Cargo Pier 6 by about 8:45 pm. ET Sunday evening and then complete the evenings work docking at port around 9 p.m.

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Along the way we captured wide and zoomed nighttime views of the spectacular scenery with Falcon 9 booster, landing legs, engines, Doug and ASOG.

SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed past pleasure boats by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Although showing sign of sootiness this booster is still relatively clean after flying to space and back for only its second mission.

Doug was utilized for the first time for booster return operations.

Falcon 9 booster processing activities resumed Monday morning, Nov. 15 with the crane crew leading the efforts.

Pictured with giant Liebherr hoisting crane SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The SpaceX crane crews worked on readying the landing legs for raising by attaching the booster & legs hoisting cap first and then working on the mobile octagrabber device holding the booster upright until release.

 

Right side landing leg raised by crane crew on SpaceX Falcon9 booster B1067 on Nov. 15, 2021 that landed atop ASOG droneship after launch on Nov. 10 – after PortCanaveral arrival at north cargo pier. Doug support ship docked at left in wide view. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The right-side landing leg was raised first by the crane crew team on Monday, Nov. 15 at about 4 p.m. ET

Check out our follow up story and photos for complete details about the landing leg raising and processing at Port Canaveral.

 

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission lifted off at 9:03 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 10 (0203 GMT on Nov. 11), on a 22-story tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket integrated with the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance commercial crew astronaut ferry ship to the orbiting ISS microgravity  research laboratory from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon Endurance streaks to orbit on NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station after liftoff at 9:03 p.m. from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021 – in this long duration exposure single image taken with fisheye lens. Multinational crew aboard Crew Dragon are SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts Raja Chari, commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; along with Matthias Maurer, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and mission specialist. Falcon 9 darted in and out of thick clouds before disappearing quickly behind them. Bracketed by VAB (l) & Countdown Clock + water reflecting US/Crew3 flags flagpole (r). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The four multinational German and American astronauts on the NASA, ESA Crew-3 mission safely and successfully docked to the International Space Station (ISS) Thursday evening, Nov. 11 gliding into port aboard SpaceX’s commercial Crew Dragon Endeavour spaceship on its inaugural flight – kicking off a half year science mission at the orbiting microgravity research outpost as members of the newly enlarged Expedition 66.

Crew-3 docked at 6:32 p.m. EST (2332 GMT) Thursday, Nov. 11, over 30 minutes ahead of schedule – and less than 24 hours after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer from Germany opened the hatch of their Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance at 8:25 p.m.

Liftoff of multinational German and American astronauts flying on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission had been delayed by minor medical issues and poor offshore weather to Nov. 10, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The quartet participated in a media event after arriving at KSC on Oct. 26, 2021. From left is ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Mission Specialist Matthias Maurer of Germany, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, pilot, Spacecraft Commander Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The Crew-3 astronauts are the third crew to fly a full-duration six-month long science mission to the orbiting laboratory on a SpaceX Crew Dragon, the fourth to the station and the 5th human spaceflight overall on a SpaceX Crew Dragon over the past 18 months.

Ken’s post launch comments about Crew-3 were featured on local ABC, NBC and Fox TV News outlets in Orlando on Nov. 10 & 11:

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/crew-3-set-dock-iss-ahead-schedule/WTWJDQPWPVCKZIRHW6Y7QMNCOY/

https://www.wesh.com/article/crew-3-launch-wednesday/38212223

Ken’s prelaunch comments about the Crew-2 & Crew-3 missions were featured on local CBS, NBC and Fox TV News outlets in Orlando

Nov. 8 & 9 broadcasts on WESH 2 NBC and Fox 35:

https://www.wesh.com/article/crew-2-splashdown-monday/38192367

https://www.fox35orlando.com/video/999350

 

Nov. 5 broadcast on WKMG CBS 6 Orlando TV News:

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/11/05/spacex-nasa-weigh-astronaut-rotation-schedule-as-bad-weather-continues-launch-delay/

Ken’s photos of the static fire test were featured on WKMG CBS 6 Orlando TV News

CBS 6 Orlando WKMG features static fire test photos for NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission taken at 1 a.m. Oct. 28, 2021, ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission launch Nov 10, 2021 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Ken is onsite at KSC for the Crew-3 mission launch campaign

Ken Kremer of Space UpClose onsite at KSC covering the Crew-2 and Crew-3 missions

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, Lucy Asteroid mission, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, SpaceX  Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, 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 purchasing his photos and/or donating at Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/kenkremer

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by steaming support ship Doug (l). Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the ISS from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

UpClose view landing legs and Merlin 1st stage engines as SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

UpClose view landing legs and Merlin 1st stage engines as SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 recovered 1st stage booster B1067 arrived into Port Canaveral, FL on Sunday evening, Nov. 14, 2021 landed atop the ASOG droneship towed by support ship Doug. Falcon 9 launched NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 10, 2021. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com
UpClose look at NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon poised for liftoff at 9:03 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to the International Space Station. Crew 3 astronauts comprise ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer of Germany, and NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Spacecraft Commander, Tom Marshburn, pilot, and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. Upper stage adorned with NASA worm and meatball logos. 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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