SpaceX Falcon 9 return delay, has Ended

Space Coast, FL – After an additional 24 hour wait, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster has returned. The tug boat Hawk made an extended journey with ASDS Of Course I Still Love You. The return of this rocket booster was from SpaceX’s latest launch of Starlink v1.0 L17. Lift off happened from LC-39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 4, 2021 at 0324 EST (0824 UTC).

SpaceX Falcon 9 B1049.8 waits approval off the Coast of Florida
Falcon 9 B1049.8 waits approval to enter Port Canaveral, Florida, USA | Photo: Jon Van Horne

SpaceX Falcon 9 B1049.8

This SpaceX rocket booster is now their second eight times launched and landed. It’s definitely scorchy as you will be able to see in following photos. Falcon 9 B1051.8 is the only other SpaceX Falcon 9 that is matched. The SpaceX Fleet recovered the booster in the morning hours on March 4, 2021. They soon made their way back to Port Canaveral.

Tug Hawk in a waiting pattern just outside Port Canaveral
Tug Hawk in a waiting pattern just outside Port Canaveral from Jetty Park Pier | Photo: Jon Van Horne

Upon their journey, currently unknown when, the main tow line came off and was dragged underwater the rest of the way. This return was a little longer than usual but not overly extended like some prior returns. Tugboat Hawk arrived off shore with the Falcon 9 on top of OCISLY on March 8th. However, the main towline prevented approval upon entering into Port Canaveral. This had to be communicated and approved with Port authorities and others, including the Coastguard. So, a lot of red tape to get the Falcon 9 back to SpaceX docks.

OCISLY Primary and Secondary tow chains
Primary and Secondary tow chains hang below OCISLY | Photo: Jon Van Horne

As communication was in and out throughout the day, other boats came in and out of the Port. The delay lasted until around 1215 EST (1715 UTC) on March 9th when approval of entry was granted.

SpaceX Falcon 9 back home waiting for transportation
SpaceX Falcon 9 back home waiting for transportation | Photo: Jon Van Horne

Falcon 9 Returned

Finally, the rocket booster and the SpaceX Fleet made it home safely and securely. The secondary tow line was checked a few times, prior to entry. This was to ensure everything would be safe for the home sweet home arrival.

Stay posted with us as SpaceX now has two Falcon 9s that will make a historical ninth launch and potential landing. Which Falcon 9 do you think will be the first to be reused nine times? Let us know in the comment section below.

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