A SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster, B1023, arrived at the new exhibit building, Gateway, for permanent display. This booster previously launched the Thaicom 8 satellite and then was converted to a Falcon Heavy side booster for the demo flight.
Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex is a new exhibit building at the visitor complex that will focus on commercial space and the future of space exploration. With an expected opening date of March 2022, the feature display has arrived. B1023 was spotted moving through Kennedy Space Center heading towards the visitor complex.
This journey was not a fast one. The transporter SpaceX uses for moving their boosters around used to be used for the Space Shuttle. Eventually, it made it to the visitor complex.
You may recognize B1023 from the Thaicom 8 mission due to how it landed. A radar glitch lead to a rough landing and the booster took a “stroll” around the droneship. You can see this in SpaceX’s video, “How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster”
Image Credit: Jared Locke for SpaceExplored
After this flight, it was converted to a Falcon Heavy side booster for the Falcon Heavy Demo Flight. This mission launched on February 6th, 2018, and carried Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster into a heliocentric orbit around the Sun between the Earth and Mars. Both of the side boosters returned to Landing Zone 1 and 2 while the center core failed to land on Of Course I Still Love You due to a lack of “starting fluid” (TEA/TEB).
SpaceX went on to retire the Falcon Heavy side booster after this flight.
B1023 is now destined to spend the rest of its life as a display piece at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for all visitors to see.
Booster arrival video by Kennedy Space Center
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