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New Rocket-Landing Ship Coming To Florida’s Coast

SpaceX's autonomous spaceport drone ship. Photo: SpaceX

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SpaceX will get another ship to help land rocket boosters off Florida’s Space Coast.

SpaceX lands the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket so that it can be reused on future missions…lowering the cost of access to space.

For some missions, SpaceX lands the booster on a drone ship that looks like a barge and tows the booster back into Port Canaveral.

As SpaceX’s launches more rockets, it will need more ships. Founder Elon Musk said a new ship named ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ will arrive in Florida next summer.

SpaceX has one operational ship on the east coast, named ‘Of Course I Still Love You.’ Another rocket-landing ship called ‘Just Read The Instructions’ supports recovery efforts off of California’s coast. The company is also working on ways to recover the rocket’s nosecone using a ship with a large net to catch the falling pieces.

Musk named the ships to pay tribute to science fiction writer Iain M. Banks and the “Culture” series of books.


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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »

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