Saturday, November 28, 2020

I Prefer a Different Name

SpaceX booster 1049, designated as B1049-7 to denote having flown seven times,returned to Port Canaveral today to come ashore for its journey to the booster refurbishment facility and then back to another flight.  NASA Spaceflight has a camera set up at the port now to catch the return of all boosters and fairings that come back.  They're calling it SpaceX's sootiest booster yet, and that's the name I propose changing.  That video is an hour and a half video, by the way.  It's unedited, just the camera stream as it happened, but you can skip around in it and look at anything you'd like.  You should look around the video for a recovered faring on a truck - around 1:11:00.  I was startled by the size perspective.  

This screen capture was right before the moment where Lando Calrissian and Han Solo stumble out of the base of the booster, obviously hung over and each blaming the other for getting caught.  NASA Spaceflight calls it SpaceX's sootiest booster, but that's not really soot.  The black is scorch marks from its trips.  The straight lines are cleaned areas to allow inspection of weld lines - part of the inspection between flights.  It's just a used spaceship.

Since it's not really soot, I think I'd call it the Millennium Falcon, probably the best-known used spaceship.  A nation of Star Wars freaks would be in awe.

The rumor out of Lab Padre is the launch to 15 km is still scheduled for Monday, but the Temporary Flight Restriction notice (TFR) has not gone through, and the weather isn't looking good for Monday either.  I checked the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center since we're getting our strongest cold front of the season Monday and I thought perhaps they're getting it too.  That would be unusual, and it doesn't seem to be the case.  Tuesday and Wednesday have road closures scheduled as back up to Monday.  I'll be checking in on the channel to see if the overview changes or the schedule gets confirmed. 

EDIT 11/29 @ 10:00 PM EST:  Lab Padre is saying the 15km flight is No Earlier Than 12/2.  Monday, 11/30 will be a static firing test. 


  1. I am surprised that SpaceX isn't cleaning and painting the boosters between launches. Every other company would.

    Once again, SpaceX is doing the unthinkable. Launching a dirty ship. Because. Who cares? It's either going to work or not, aesthetics aside, so, well, turn and burn, baby, turn and burn.

    Looking forward to seeing the blueing and other heat effects on Starship and Super Heavy.

    And with the rate SpaceX is progressing, we'll know what they look at least 4-5 years before 'New Glen' takes it's first test hop...

    1. Cleaning? Sure. Painting? Remember when the shuttle external tank was white? They saved 600 lbs by not painting it. The Falcon is much smaller so they wouldn't save that much, but it still weighs more than nothing. I don't know how much margin that would take off.

  2. Yep, wash it down, inspect it, patch any areas or ablative that needs repair, and launch that sucker again! I never, in a gazillion years, would have ever though you could apply the term "Currently In Revenue Service" to a space booster.

    Let alone one that flies back by itself, and executes a perfect landing on it's tail.

    I'm gobsmacked by it......

    1. Let alone one that flies back by itself, and executes a perfect landing on it's tail.

      I saw a meme that said something like, "SpaceX makes a rocket that can find its way to a barge in the middle of the ocean and land on its bullseye, but people can't park a car in a marked space."

    2. If it wasn't for all the craziness going on right now, it would be a fun time to be a kid again, so I could live long enough to see a Mars base....

  3. My inside source says Wednesday for the flight. He's flying to Boca Chica tomorrow.