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Elon Musk shows SpaceX’s latest autonomous drone cabinet ASOG

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.

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

, drone ships must travel several hundred miles east of Florida. The journey takes at least 6 to 7 days, if not more. In addition, once in port after a recovery, SpaceX requires 24-72 hours to remove the landed rocket booster from the ships.

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.

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.

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