Falcon 9 first stage hoisted from barge

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The competition heats up: The recovered first stage from last week’s Falcon 9 launch has been hoisted from the barge where it landed and is being prepared for testing prior to reuse.

The crane maneuvered the first stage on to a cradle, where ground crews were expected to complete procedures to “safe” the rocket — a process which includes draining the vehicle of its toxic igniter fluid, disarming of its pyrotechnic destruct system, and removal of propellants and high-pressure gases. Some of the safing procedures were accomplished at sea before the rocket booster, which also includes the “interstage” adapter to connect with the Falcon 9’s upper stage, arrived back on Florida’s Space Coast.

The rocket’s four landing legs will be removed or retracted, and then the booster will be rotated horizontal and loaded on a trailer for transport to a nearby SpaceX facility for inspections and a series of “static fire” engine tests.

The link has some good pictures of the operation and the stage.


One comment

  • Edward

    Thank you, Robert, for posting these types of articles. These (somewhat obscure) articles are one of the reasons I like coming to your site.

    The news media is good at telling us about the rockets landing on barges, but they aren’t so interested in the exciting engineering behind the accomplishment.

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