ASOG The 3rd Generation SpaceX Drone Ship Arrives

July 15th, around mid day at Port Canaveral

ASOG or “A Shortfall Of Gravitas” has arrived today in Port Canaveral to begin its career as a SpaceX booster catching drone ship. Derived from a line in the Ian M. Banks Book “Look to the Windward. This keeps in CEO & found of SpaceX Elon Musk’s affinity for naming his creations and boats after science fiction stories and movies that I think it’s safe to assume he loves. The other two drone ships, “Of Course I Still Love You”, and “Just Read The Instructions” get their names from the book “A Player Of Games” written by none other than, that’s right, Ian M. Banks. His boats appear to be based of of books while his Rockets and capsules based off of movies. The Falcon 9 rocket which is the workhorse of the SpaceX launch fleet got its name from the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo’s prized space ship in Star Wars, and the fact that it has nine Merlin 1D engines onboard. The Dragon capsules get their name from the movie “Pete’s Dragon”. In the movie, the protagonist is not believed about his having a dragon, Elon Related when he was met with disbelief at the idea of reusing rocket capsules and parts while flying to and from space.

ASOG finally berthed at Port Canaveral. Photo by: Kyle Montgomery – NHS

You’ve probably put together now that this is the third ASDS (Autonomous Drone Ship) for the company but what we are seeing for the first time now is a drone ship that is actually autonomous. Unlike it’s two predecessors it requires zero assistance getting to and from the landing zones, which are often over 600km out into the Atlantic Ocean. OCISLY, and JRTI require a tugboat to tow the ships into position and back. ASOG will be replacing the work load of the first drone ship, “Of Course I Still Love You” with the Atlantic fleet as June 10th 2021 OCISLY was shipped to California where it will start catching Falcon 9’s that will resume launching from Vandenburg Space Force Base in the near future. Over the last few months ASOG, also the Marmac 302 barge had been undergoing construction in Port Fourchon, the southern most seaport in Louisiana.

Kyle Montgomery (NHS)

It began its journey to Florida July 9th, when Elon Musk tweeted out the first footage of the new drone ship. It underwent a quick sea trial then began its journey to Port Canaveral on Florida’s East coast and the current home of the SpaceX Atlantic fleet. Currently the next Falcon 9 launch listed is the CRS-23 mission in August, though hopefully we won’t have to wait that long for the ship to receive its first booster landing and operations will resume earlier than that.

Matt Cutshall (NHS)