Poor Weather Postpones Back-to-Back SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches from Florida on Jan 30 and 31: Photos

Poor Weather Postpones Back-to-Back SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches from Florida: Photos
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, FL – Poor weather has again postponed back-to-back SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from Florida’s Spaceport forcing another retargeting of its 4th Falcon 9 rocket of this month to Sunday evening, Jan. 30 just past sunset of the COSMO-SkyMed radar remote sensing satellite (CSG-2) mission for the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and its fifth Falcon 9 due to carry another batch of Starlink internets satellites a day later to Monday afternoon, Jan. 31

Dismal weather and excessive winds for the COSMO-SkyMed Earth observing CSG-2 satellite mission had already forced a pair of scrubs twice on Thursday and Friday evenings as the countdown and propellant loading was about to begin Thursday and just minutes before scheduled liftoff on Friday at 6:11 p.m. ET from pad 40 with the recycled Falcon 9 rocket already loaded and venting LOX.

Although clear blue skies at last greeted us at last Saturday morning, howling and excessively strong gusty winds reaching about 40 mph continued all day throughout central Florida hurling debris and shaking lamp and street light poles in the Space Coast region forced an early launch postponement by Saturday afternoon – because it also negatively impacted SpaceX prelaunch operations by technicians at pad 40, the company announced via twitter.

Thus both the COSMO-SkyMed and Starlink Falcon 9 liftoffs from pads 40 and 39A respectively were delayed by 24 hours

 

If all goes well these pair of liftoffs on Jan 30 and Jan 31 will continue an absolutely blistering launch pace this year that could very well exceed the record setting 31 liftoffs achieved by SpaceX in 2021.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

But it all still depends on the weather – which has at last significantly improved to 90% GO, leaving behind the thick overcast clouds and rain swirling over Florida’s Space Coast last week.

However it will be chilly at launch time as a cold front moved in Saturday with temperatures only reaching the mid-40s F.

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 2311 GMT, on Sunday, January 30, 2022 – weather permitting.

The dual launch postponements came a few hours after we media visited pad 40 to reset our remote cameras for COSMO-SkyMed.

Sunset has also moved a few minutes later and is now at 6:01 p.m. EST on Sunday – just 10 minutes before the 6:11 instantaneous liftoff time.

You can watch all the action via a SpaceX live webcast that will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff – starting around 5:55 p.m.:

spacex.com/launches

Both payload fairing halves are also recycled from earlier missions- as can be seen by their sooty coatings on my photos.

Nose cone UpClose. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

One fairing half supporting this mission previously supported Transporter-1, Transporter-2, and one Starlink mission.

The other half previously supported SAOCOM 1B, Transporter-2, and one Starlink mission.

Blastoff of the 229 foot tall (70 meters) SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink 4-7 mission is now scheduled for 2:17 p.m. or 5:34 p.m. EST Monday, Jan. 31 (1917 or 2234 GMT), from Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida during an instantaneous launch window.

The COSMO-SkyMed radar remote sensing satellite is sponsored by the Italian government, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Italian Ministry of Defense and will serve civilian, government, institutional and military needs.

COSMO-SkyMed was built by prime contractor Thales-Alenia

Quite notably 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 to this launch of CGS-2.

The now converted first stage booster core is designated as B1052.

The ‘52’ markings are clearly visible on my photos

52 booster marking UpClose. The 52 markings are visible just below the grid fins used for booster return landings. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

SpaceX confirmed 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.

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.

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

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. 30, 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.

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. 30, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

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

Enjoy our photos taken at pad 40 and KSC by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. 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.

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. From my remote camera placed at pad 39a. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

COSMO-SkyMed will launch to low Earth orbit flying southwards on a south polar trajectory from Florida’s Spaceport on Sunday evening.

LOX venting prior to Jan. 28 weather scrub. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) retargeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

Furthermore, beyond flying on a rare southerly trajectory it also features a daring and dramatic propulsive RTLS soft land landing of the first stage Falcon 9 booster back at the Cape just minutes after sunset with screaming sonic booms too some eight minutes later – for the 2nd time this month!

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. 30, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

My Falcon 9 at pad 40 photos featured as Image of the Day at Alive Universe on Jan. 30:

https://aliveuniverse.today/immagine-del-giorno/6317-che-sia-la-volta-buona

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.
………….
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 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 28, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

Nose cone UpClose. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

 

Nose cone UpClose. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for launch of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation Earth observation radar satellite (CSG-2) targeting Jan. 30, 2022 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Falcon 9 is 1st stage booster B1052 converted from twice launching as a Falcon Heavy side core. Credit: Ken Kremer/spaceupclose.com

x

 

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.