The Kennedy Space Center is Finally Getting its own SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster to Display

The Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX, Falcon 9, Booster, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
After more than a decade of hosting launches of SpaceX’s workhorse rocket, the Space Coast is finally getting a Falcon 9 booster to call its own. Image: Florida Today – Return to The Florida Pilot

Starting next year, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests will be able to explore the nine Merlin main engines, re-entry scorch marks, grid fins used for in-flight steering, and massive landing legs attached to the 156-foot booster built in California. All that hardware helped launch two missions: the Thaicom 8 communications satellite in 2016 and the three-core Falcon Heavy’s premiere in 2018.

Unlike historic rockets in the complex’s “Rocket Garden” like early Atlas and Mercury-Redstone, however, Falcon 9 will get special treatment: it will be mounted horizontally in a new attraction called “Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex.” It was transported from SpaceX’s spaceport facilities to the Visitor Complex on Tuesday. Read more at Florida Today

On February 18, 2018, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex placed on temporary display the starboard booster from the first Falcon Heavy test flight.  The booster lay horizontal on the Cometto transporter, which was originally the Orbiter Transporter System (OTS) used for the Space Shuttle program.  The OTS was purchased by SpaceX and converted for use in transporting Falcon 9 boosters.  The display was in front of the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. – Space Policy and Politics
Streamed live on Feb 6, 2018. Following its first test launch, Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. With the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)—a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel–Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9. 

Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.
SpaceX
The Kennedy Space Center, SpaceX, Falcon 9, Booster, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018 from Pad 39A at 3:45pm. Mandatory Credit: Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK – click image or click here for hi-resolution image.
Recorded 02/06/2018:  “You can hear the excitement in our voices.  After SpaceX Falcon Heavy’s first launch, this was our view of twin boosters coming in for a successful landing.  This was the first time multiple boosters had ever returned simultaneously.  Such an awesome sight! Recorded from State Rt 528, facing north, about 1.5 miles west of Port Canaveral, FL.” – Emmerich Video Productions LLC

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