Crew 1 and Falcon 9 B1061.1

Space Coast, FL – Yesterday, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster that sent 4 humans to the ISS, returned. On November 15th, NASA and SpaceX launched the mission Crew 1. The first operational mission in over nine years lifted off from LC-39A, at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA.

Falcon 9 B1061.1 stands tall on LC-39A during sunset
Falcon 9 B1061.1 stands tall on LC-39A during sunset | photo: Jon Van Horne

6 months to call the ISS home

The four astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins (NASA) and  Soichi Noguchi (JAXA) will call the International Space Station home for 6 months. There they will conduct many microgravity science experiments and maintenance during their stay.

The Crew-1 mission is the first of six crewed missions NASA and SpaceX will fly as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. This mission has several firsts, including:

  • The first flight of the NASA-certified commercial system designed for crew transportation, which moves the system from development into regular flights;
  • The first international crew of four to launch on an American commercial spacecraft;
  • The first time the space station’s long duration expedition crew size will increase from six to seven crew members, which will add to the crew time available for research; and
  • The first time the Federal Aviation Administration has licensed a human orbital spaceflight launch.

Falcon 9 B1061.1

The Falcon 9 B1061.1 returned to Port Canaveral, Florida at around 1230 EST. This return however was “slightly” unusual. The rocket was on a slant on top of the drone-ship “Just Read The Instructions” (JRTI).

SpaceX Falcon 9 B1601.1 enters Port Canaveral in Florida
SpaceX Falcon 9 B1601.1 enters Port Canaveral in Florida | photo: Jon Van Horne

This is definitely not your normal return. From what we gathered is that the Falcon 9 had a hard landing on the deck of JRTI. We can only assume there were rough seas as the booster slid over close to the edge before Octagrabber could secure it. The SpaceX Fleet crews were not able to board it and secure it further until the morning after, on November 16th. There are no crew transfers from tug to drone ship at night.

Crystal Gabriel video records the return home of Falcon 9 B1061.1
Crystal Gabriel video records the return home of Falcon 9 B1061.1 | photo: Jon Van Horne

If you are wondering if this bird will fly again… you can put your money on, Yes! Elon Musk states on twitter:

Grid fins, logo and the American flag toward the top of SpaceX's Falcon 9
Grid fins, logo and the American flag toward the top of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 | photo: Jon Van Horne

The crew of the SpaceX Fleet is now back safe and sound along with the Falcon 9 rocket booster B1061.1. Which is currently getting it’s legs retracted and ready for post-spaceflight processing and refitting at SpaceX facilities at Cape Canaveral AFS.

FUN FACT: This booster is slated to be reused for NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission. Along with a reused Crew Dragon Endeavour, targeting March 30, 2021.

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Jon Van Horne
Jon Van Horne

He began his career in media as a multimedia designer and developer in Montreal, Quebec. He developed a passion for media during his job in Photography and Video at a Montreal media content company. Other passions in media, photography/videography and soon going back to school in engineering.