….after nine flights to space November 13th 2021 from SLC-40
After a weather delay yesterday on November 12th SpaceX launched their most famous first stage boosters and 53 Starlink 4-1 satellites into orbit marking the 25th Falcon 9 launch for 2021 at 7:19 AM EDT or 12:19 UTC November 13th 2021.
The launch was very stunning from a visual point of view (shades of Vandenberg California) as thick ground fog covered all of the first stage booster and only the 43 foot 13 meter tall payload fairing and the white tops of four lightning towers were visible above the blanket of fog before liftoff. As Falcon 9 with first stage booster B-1058.9 cleared the fog above SLC-40 it made for a stunning view and great photo opportunities.
B-1058.9 is arguably the most famous of all remaining Falcon 9 first stage boosters because it was the first and only booster to have the famous NASA worm logo on the side when it took DM-2 astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to space and the ISS on the first historic commercial crew test mission for NASA on May 30th 2020.
Since that mission this first stage booster also flew ANASIS2, CRS-21 Resupply to the ISS, Transporter 1 and now five Starlink Missions. The booster was successfully recovered by SpaceX as it landed on the drone ship JRTI Just Read The Instructions over 600 miles down range in the Atlantic Ocean.
On SpaceX.com/launches the new company total is 127 total corporate launches, 87 Total Falcon 9 landings and 69 Re-flown Falcon 9 boosters.
It also marks the 26th launch so far in 2021 from Cape Kennedy between SpaceX Falcon 9 and ULA Atlas V rockets.
Congratulations to every one at SpaceX for a successful Crew 2 landing in the Gulf of Mexico, an inspiring Crew 3 launch to the ISS and now this Starlink mission all in a matter of just the past five days. A truly incredible feat to accomplish.
Article and Photos by Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu and space-news.es