First teased by Elon Musk back in February of 2018, the droneship A Short Fall of Gravitas has now successfully returned its first booster to Port Canaveral. After a successfully launch of Cargo Dragon to the International Space Station, Booster B1061 successfully made a landing onto ASOG off the cost in the Atlantic ocean.
With ASOG SpaceX now has three operational droneships, two on the east coast and one on the west coast. Having two east coast droneships allows SpaceX to launch rockets at a faster rate, being able to launch another rocket before the first has even returned to port. Two droneships also mean another very cool thing, dual falcon heavy side core landings at sea. It takes a lot of fuel for the side boosters to get back to land and by landing them at sea there is more fuel left for the payload allowing SpaceX to launch heavier satellites and to more fuel intense orbits. This isn’t the first time the east coast has had two droneships, previously both OCISLY and JRTI were both on the east coast, but OCISLY was transferred to the west coast in anticipation of ASOG’s arrival. During that time SpaceX was churning out starlink satellites in addition to other launches and made good use of both droneships.
ASOG’s Long Construction
ASOG’s saga began back in 2018 when Elon Musk first said a third droneship was under construction, then we waited with no mention of ASOG for twenty months when Elon Musk tweeted just “A Short Fall of Gravitas”. Then silence for another year before Elon simply said “New SpaceX droneship will be called ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas'”, once again just teasing us.
Then in mid 2021 ASOG was spotted in Louisiana and we had our first confirmation that ASOG was in fact real. By July 2021 its construction was complete and ASOG made the journey to its new home, Port Canaveral where it waited patiently for its chance to catch a booster
This isn’t B1061’s first rodeo, B1061 has previously landed on SpaceX’s other two droneships, OCISLY and JRTI; So with ASOG it has now landed on everyone of SpaceX’s operational droneships.