….On Monday Jan. 31st 2022 at 6:11 PM EST or 23:11 UTC After Three Weather Delays And A Range Violation!
SpaceX completed their 4th launch in 2022, the 4th consecutive southern trajectory and the 2nd RTLS at LZ-1 in January. The COSMO SkyMed 2 is the Italian Space Agency second generation SkyMed satellite for the constellation which will provide high resolution all weather global radar imagery for military and civilian purposes built by Thales Alenia Space.
According to SpaceX.com/launches this now marks the 142nd total launch, 104 total landings and 82 re-flown rockets for SpaceX. The RTLS (Return To Landing Site) at LZ-1 on Cape Canaveral Florida soil was heralded by two loud rapid fire sonic booms just before touching down heard all across the space-coast.
Since Thursday January 27th the launch had been scrubbed three time for weather violations with rain, thick clouds and high winds from a strong cold front which even disrupted the pre launch fueling on the pad in Saturdays planned launch attempt. Sunday the fourth scrub attempt was a very strange one with a cruise ship sailing into the restricted zone close to four minutes before launch forcing SpaceX to scrub the launch for safety reasons.
The first stage booster B-1052 completed its third flight and all three landings have been on land at LZ-1 and not a drone ship out in the Atlantic ocean. This rocket booster core has been a side booster on two previous Falcon Heavy launches but was converted to become the main single first stage booster for this mission.
Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team and the Italian Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space on all of the current success today.
Article & Photos by Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu and space-news.es