Converted SpaceX Falcon Heavy Side Core Set to Launch Italian Radar Satellite After Dreary Weather Delay: Photos

Converted SpaceX Falcon Heavy Side Core Set to Launch Italian Radar Satellite After Dreary Weather Delay: Photos
SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core rolls along the Kennedy Space Center past the VAB on Dec. 8, 2021 with an upper stage attached on its way to Space Launch Complex-40 (SLD-40). B1052 is now assigned to launch the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER/CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, FL – A twice used Falcon Heavy side core which SpaceX has converted for use as a single stick Falcon 9 first stage core for the first time is now reassigned and set to launch an Italian Earth observing radar satellite as soon as just after sunset Friday, Jan. 28, following this evenings launch scrub due to dismal weather, Thursday, Jan. 27, swirling all over Florida’s Space Coast.

Fridays weather outlook is also iffy at this point but hopefully improves

Launch of the converted recycled Falcon 9 booster rocket and the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 Earth observing radar mission (CSG-2) payload to polar orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida is re-slated for an instantaneous launch window at 6:11 p.m. EST, or 1811 GMT, on Friday, January 28, 2022 – weather permitting.

The scrub was called when dreary weather in the form of drenching rain, thick low level clouds and excessive wind gusts forced a scrub by the SpaceX launch team.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket utilizing 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core rolls along the Kennedy Space Center past the VAB on Dec. 8, 2021 with an upper stage attached on its way to Space Launch Complex-40 (SLD-40). B1052 is now assigned to launch the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

SpaceX confirmed today that the Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this CSG-2 mission previously supported the Falcon Heavy launches of the Arabsat-6A communications satellite and U.S. military STP-2 (Space Test Program-2) rideshare as side cores for those launches conducted in April and June 2019 respectively.

Stunning blastoff of triple barreled SpaceX Falcon Heavy on April 11, 2019 at 6:35 PM ET from Launch Complex-39A at the Kennedy Space Center, FL carrying the Arabsat-6A telecommunications satellite to Earth orbit, on 1st commercial launch of Falcon Heavy. Using side core B1052. From my remote camera placed at pad 39a. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Notably this CSG-2 mission launch marks the first time conversion of a Falcon Heavy side mounted strap-on first stage side core to a lone Falcon 9 first stage core.

The now converted first stage booster core is designated as B1052

We recently witnessed B1052 being rolled on the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on its journey past the VAB and launch pads 39A and B on its way out to pad 40 on Dec. 8, 2021.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket utilizing 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core rolls along the Kennedy Space Center past the VAB on Dec. 8, 2021 with an upper stage attached on its way to Space Launch Complex-40 (SLD-40). B1052 is now assigned to launch the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

At that time last month the upper stage was already attached to the first stage and the top was sheathed in a protective covering – but its launch assignment was unknown.

Its rather rare to see such a first stage  and second stage combo

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket utilizing 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core rolls along the Kennedy Space Center past the VAB on Dec. 8, 2021 with an upper stage attached on its way to Space Launch Complex-40 (SLD-40). B1052 is now assigned to launch the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

Enjoy our photos taken at KSC by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket utilizing 1st stage booster B1052 (see marking) converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core rolls along the Kennedy Space Center past the VAB on Dec. 8, 2021 with an upper stage attached on its way to Space Launch Complex-40 (SLD-40). B1052 is now assigned to launch the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

Ultimately B1052 was parked at SpaceX’s pad 40 awaiting its turn for liftoff on its maiden Falcon 9 mission

When booster B1052 previously flew as a side mounted strap on the Falcon Heavy Arabsat-6A and STP-2 missions it was capped with a nose cone.

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carrying 24 satellites as part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission launches from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday, June 25,2019 in this remote camera shot. Side cores included B1052. The satellites include four NASA technology and science payloads that will study non-toxic spacecraft fuel, deep space navigation, “bubbles” in the electrically-charged layers of Earth’s upper atmosphere, and radiation protection for satellites. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The side boosters generated 1.7 million pounds of thrust out of a total of about 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust and fired for 2 minutes before being jettisoned.

The 15-story-tall twin side cores carried out very daring propulsive soft touchdowns almost simultaneously and side by side at Landing Zones 1 and 2 back on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station some eight minutes after liftoff and about 9 miles south of pad 39A.

Spectacular double landing of SpaceX twin side cores (including B1052) as legs deploy just above ground moments before touchdown about 8 minutes after stunning Falcon Heavy launch on April 11, 2019 at 6:35 PM ET from Launch Complex-39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The Falcon Heavy is currently the most powerful rocket in the world.

See our photos herein of the Falcon Heavy launches and landings of the Arabsat-6A and STP-2 missions from Launch Complex-39A on the Kennedy Space Center and  Landing Zones 1 and 2 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

Enjoy our Falcon Heavy launch and landing gallery with erstwhile B1052 side core taken by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose.

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carrying 24 satellites as part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission streaks to orbit from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 2:30 a.m. EDT in this 10 minute long duration single frame image. Side cores included B1052. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG-2) will launch on a south polar trajectory and be delivered to a sun-synchronous polar orbit to an altitude of about 385 miles (620 km) and an inclination of 97.8 degrees

The path to launch was cleared following a successful hold down static fire test conducted by SpaceX engineers on Sunday, Jan. 23 at precisely 12 Noon – as witnessed by this author.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage booster dedicated to launch the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation radar satellite roared to life at Space Launch Complex 40 during a brief static fire engine test at 12 noon Jan. 23, 2022, ahead of launch targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about SpaceX  Starlink , SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, DART,  Lucy Asteroid mission, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, 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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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket utilizing 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core rolls along the Kennedy Space Center past the VAB on Dec. 8, 2021 with an upper stage attached on its way to Space Launch Complex-40 (SLD-40). B1052 is now assigned to launch the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/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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