Falcon 9 booster B1048

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Falcon 9 booster B1048
SAOCOM 1A Mission (44262177535).jpg
B1048 following her second landing
Role First stage of orbital rocket
National origin United States
Type Falcon 9 first-stage booster
Manufacturer SpaceX
Construction number B1048
First flight July 25, 2018 (Iridium-7)
Flights 3
Status In service

Falcon 9 booster B1048 is a reusable orbital-class Block 5 Falcon 9 first-stage booster manufactured by SpaceX. B1048 was the third Falcon 9 Block 5 to fly and the second Block 5 booster to re-fly. It became the second orbital-class booster to fly a third time.

Flight history[edit]

B1048 entered service on July 25, 2018 for the Iridium-7 mission. It was the third Falcon 9 Block 5 to enter service and the first to lift off from the west coast launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Station. The flight marked the 59th flight of the Falcon 9 and the 13th Falcon 9 flight for 2018. The booster lifted off despite the foggy weather and completed the two and-a-half minute burn before separating from the second stage and, despite stormy weather and choppy seas making booster recovery unlikely, the booster landed on the west coast ASDS Just Read the Instructions in the roughest seas for a landing attempt at the time. This marked the 5th landing out of 6 landing attempts on JRTI. Fairing recovery was attempted during the flight but failed due to the weather.[1]

Despite being the third Block 5 to fly, B1048 was refurbished quicker than her older booster, B1047, and became the second Falcon 9 Block 5 to re-fly. B1048 launched the 62nd Falcon 9 mission for the SAOCOM 1A mission from Vandenberg on October 8, 2018. Due to the twilight effect on launches from the west coast, spectacular views were seen from Los Angeles and other Southern California cities.[2] This mission was historic as it was the first Falcon 9 to perform a RTLS landing on the west coast, landing at LZ-4 just minutes after lifting off.[3]

Following landing, B1048 was transported to the east coast and launched the Nusantara Satu mission on February 22, 2019. This marked the second time an orbital-class booster flew three times. The re-entry was the highest re-entry heating to date due to the high energy profile of the mission.[4] This caused the booster to also land further down range than a normal landing. Fairing recovery was planned for the mission but abandoned due to extremely rough weather. Despite the weather making it the hardest landing to date (even rougher than Iridium-7 which B1048 had endured on its maiden flight), B1048 successfully landed on the ASDS Of Course I Still Love You.

B1048 was originally scheduled to fly the in-flight abort test of the Crew Dragon; this would have brought B1048 service to an end after its fourth flight.[5] However, this is believed to have changed and B1048 will continue to operate into the foreseeable future.[citation needed]

Flight # Launch date (UTC) Mission # Payload Pictures Launch pad Landing location Notes
1 July 25, 2018 59 Iridium-7 Iridium-7 Mission (41868222930) VAFB SLC-4E Just Read the Instructions (ASDS) Third flight of the Block 5 booster and roughest landing conditions for a Falcon 9 at the time
2 October 8, 2018 62 SAOCOM 1A SAOCOM 1A Mission (45184770841) VAFB SLC-4E LZ-4 Second reflight of a Block 5 booster
3 February 22, 2019 68 Nusantara Satu
Nusantara Satu Mission - 47173936181 CCAFS LC-40 Of Course I Still Love You (ASDS) Second time a booster is flown three times and the roughest landing condition for a Falcon 9 to date

Upcoming missions[edit]

No future missions have been planned. Any future flights will be listed here when announced.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dodd, Tim (July 25, 2018). "SpaceX's flawless launch of Iridium 7 featuring lots of fog and a missed fairing recovery". Everyday Astronaut. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Malik, Tariq (October 8, 2018). "Spectacular SpaceX Rocket Launch Lights Up the Southern California Night Sky". Space.com. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  3. ^ Graham, William (October 7, 2018). "SpaceX Falcon 9 launches with SAOCOM 1A and nails first West Coast landing". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  4. ^ Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (February 21, 2019). "Highest reentry heating to date. Burning metal sparks from base heat shield visible in landing video. Fourth relight scheduled for April" (Tweet). Retrieved February 22, 2019 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (February 21, 2019). "Crew Dragon high altitude abort test" (Tweet). Retrieved February 22, 2019 – via Twitter.