Elon Musk took to Twitter again this time to share one antenna video of SpaceX’s latest autonomous drone ship called A Shortfall of Gravitas (ASOG). Early Friday morning, ASOG started its first sea trial just outside Port Fourchon.
Autonomous SpaceX droneship,
A lack of Gravita’s pic.twitter.com/hNZ5U7nxUg
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2021
The ship is named after the renowned science fiction series Culture by Iain Banks and joins Just Read The Instructions (JRTI) and Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) to recover rockets at sea. A shortage of Gravitas will support Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy missions launched from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Now you may be wondering why SpaceX needed a third drone ship. The company has an ambitious launch plan that could lead to bottlenecks for recovery.
Restoring boosters takes time
For most high-energy launches such as the Falcon Heavy and GovSat-1
All this means that the drone ships may not be immediately available for the next launch, and a third ship is needed. Now, with three ships, SpaceX can launch more spaceships as desired.
Both exhaust velocity (Isp) and mass ratio drive the rocket equation. Propulsion / mass also means a lot for the Oberth effect. Delta upper step Isp is good, but not mass ratio and thrust.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 12, 2018
In the end, the release of the third ship simply means that SpaceX continues to invest in its reusable rockets, which is good because it makes aircraft cheaper and more sustainable and moves space missions forward.