Autonomous spaceport drone ship

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Autonomous spaceport drone ship
CRS-8 (26239020092).jpg
Of Course I Still Love You carries the first first stage that successfully landed on a drone ship (Falcon 9 Full Thrust, SpaceX CRS-8, 8 April 2016).
Launch site
Short nameASDS
Launch pad(s)4 oceangoing landing platforms (2 active; 1 in production; 1 retired)
Just Read the Instructions (I) landing history
Landings2 (1 success, 2 failures)
First landing10 January 2015
(SpaceX CRS-5)
Last landing14 April 2015
(SpaceX CRS-6)
Of Course I Still Love You landing history
Landings45 (39 successes, 6 failures)
First landing4 March 2016
Last landing3 June 2021
(SpaceX CRS-22)
Just Read the Instructions (II) landing history
Landings17 (16 successes, 1 failure)
First landing17 January 2016 (Jason-3)
Last landing6 June 2021 ( SXM-8)
A Shortfall of Gravitas landing history
StatusUndergoing construction

An autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS) is an ocean-going vessel derived from a deck barge, outfitted with station-keeping engines and a large landing platform and is autonomously controlled when on station for a landing. Construction of such ships was commissioned by aerospace company SpaceX to allow for recovery of launch vehicle first stages at sea for missions which do not carry enough fuel to return to the launch site after boosting spacecraft onto an orbital or interplanetary trajectory.[1][2]

SpaceX has two operational drone ships, Just Read the Instructions (II) (JRTI) and Of Course I Still Love You, (OCISLY) both of which operate in the Atlantic for launches from Cape Canaveral. JRTI operated in the Pacific Ocean for Vandenberg Air Force Base launches from 2016 to 2019 before leaving the Port of Los Angeles in August 2019. As of 12 December 2020, 57 Falcon 9 flights have attempted to land on a drone ship[a], with 48 of them succeeding (84.2%).[citation needed]

The ASDS are a key early operational component in the SpaceX objective to significantly lower the price of space launch services through "full and rapid reusability",[3] and were developed as part of the multi-year reusable rocket development program SpaceX undertook to engineer the technology. Any Falcon flights going to geostationary orbit or exceeding escape velocity require landing at sea, encompassing about half of SpaceX missions as of 2016.[4][needs update]


In 2009, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk articulated ambitions for "creating a paradigm shift in the traditional approach for reusing rocket hardware".[5] In October 2014, SpaceX publicly announced that they had contracted with a Louisiana shipyard to build a floating landing platform for reusable orbital launch vehicles. Early information indicated that the platform would carry an approximately 90 m × 50 m (300 ft × 160 ft) landing pad and would be capable of precision positioning so that the platform could hold its position for launch vehicle landing.[6][7] On 22 November 2014, Musk released a photograph of the "autonomous spaceport drone ship" along with additional details of its construction and size.[5][8]

As of December 2014, the first drone ship used, the McDonough Marine Service's Marmac 300 barge, was based in Jacksonville, Florida, at the northern tip of the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal where SpaceX built a stand to secure the Falcon stage during post-landing operations. The stand consists of four 6,800 kg (15,000 lb), 270 cm (110 in) tall and 244.5 cm (96.3 in) wide pedestal structures bolted to a concrete base. A mobile crane lifted the stage from the ship and placed it on the stand. Tasks such as removing or folding back the landing legs prior to placing the stage in a horizontal position for trucking occurred there.[9]

The ASDS landing location for the first landing test was in the Atlantic approximately 320 km (200 mi) northeast of the launch location at Cape Canaveral, and 266 km (165 mi) southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.[3][10]

SpaceX's Just Read the Instructions, based on the Marmac 300 deck barge, in position for a landing test on Falcon 9 Flight 17 in April 2015.

On 23 January 2015, during repairs to the ship following the unsuccessful first test, Musk announced that the ship was to be named Just Read the Instructions,[11] with a sister ship planned for West Coast launches to be named Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY).[12] On 29 January 2015, SpaceX released a manipulated photo of the ship with the name illustrating how it would look once painted.[13]

The first Just Read the Instructions was retired in May 2015 after approximately six months of service in the Atlantic Ocean, and its duties were assumed by Of Course I Still Love You.[14] The former ASDS was modified by removing the wing extensions that had extended the barge surface and the equipment (thrusters, cameras, and communications gear) that had been added to refit it as an ASDS; these items were saved for future reuse.[14]

In 2018, SpaceX announced plans for a fourth barge, A Shortfall of Gravitas to support East Coast operations[15] but the droneship has failed to materialize and instead JRTI was moved to the East Coast and began operations in June 2020.[citation needed]

By June 2020, SpaceX had received the ability to utilize "its own private Automatic Identification System (AIS) aids to navigation (ATON) to mark the temporary exclusion areas it uses during rocket launches [from] Cape Canaveral, Florida", the first such use of dynamic restricted area ever approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.[16]

The active ASDS fleet[edit]

In early 2015, SpaceX leased two additional deck barges — Marmac 303 and Marmac 304 — and initiated refit to construct two additional autonomous-operation-capable ASDS ships, built on the hulls of these Marmac barges. These constitute the active ASDS fleet as of 2020.

Of Course I Still Love You[edit]

SpaceX's Of Course I Still Love You, based on the Marmac 304 ocean-going barge

The second ASDS barge, Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY), had been under construction in a Louisiana shipyard since early 2015 using a different hull — Marmac 304 — in order to service launches on the East Coast of the United States. It was built as a replacement for the first Just Read the Instructions and entered operational service for Falcon 9 Flight 19 in late June 2015. As of June 2015, its home port was Port of Jacksonville, Florida,[12][14] but after December 2015, it was transferred 260 km (160 mi) further south, at Port Canaveral.

While the dimensions of the ship are nearly identical to the first ASDS, several enhancements were made including a steel blast wall erected between the aft containers and the landing deck. The ship was in place for a first-stage landing test on the SpaceX CRS-7 mission, which failed on launch on 28 June 2015.[14]

On 8 April 2016, the first stage, which launched the Dragon SpaceX CRS-8 spacecraft, successfully landed for the first time ever on OCISLY, which is also the first ever drone ship landing.[17]

In February 2018, the central core of Falcon Heavy Test Flight exploded near OCISLY, which damaged two of the four thrusters on the drone ship.[18] Two thrusters were removed from the Marmac 303 barge in order to repair OCISLY.[19]

On 30 May 2020, the first stage of the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission landed on OCISLY, with the Crew Demo-2 mission marking both the first launch of American astronauts, from American soil, on an American launch vehicle since the final flight of the Space Shuttle (STS-135) in 2011, and the first launch of astronauts aboard a SpaceX launch vehicle.[20][21] This marked the first time in history that the first stage of a rocket launched a crew into space and then landed itself safely.[citation needed]

Side view of OCISLY docked in March 2017

Just Read The Instructions[edit]

SpaceX first launch vehicle landing barge (Marmac 300), and also its third (Marmac 303), were both named Just Read the Instructions (JRTI). In fact, some of the parts from the original hull/barge were used to build the Marmac 303 ASDS. The original, Marmac 300, was scrapped after the SpaceX CRS-6 landing failure on 14 April 2015.[22]

The second JRTI vessel, using the Marmac 303 barge hull, was built during 2015 in a Louisiana shipyard. When the refit as an ASDS was complete, the barge transited the Panama Canal in June 2015 carrying its wing extensions — the same ones originally built for the first ASDS built, JRTI on Marmac 330) — as cargo on the deck because the ASDS, when complete, would be too wide to pass through the canal.[14][12] The ship underwent a major refit in September 2019 to May 2020, first in Louisiana, and finished at Port Canaveral, including four new and much-larger positioning thrusters.

The home port for the Marmac 303 was initially the Port of Los Angeles (until in August 2019) at the AltaSea marine research and business campus in San Pedro, California's outer harbor.[23] The landing platform and tender vessels began docking there in July 2015 in advance of the main construction of the AltaSea facilities.[24][25]

SpaceX announced that the Marmac 303 would be the second ASDS to be named Just Read the Instructions in January 2016, shortly before its first use as a landing platform for Falcon 9 Flight 21.[26]

On 17 January 2016, JRTI was put to first use in an attempt to recover a Falcon 9 first-stage booster from the Jason-3 mission from Vandenberg Space Launch Complex 4.[14] The booster successfully landed on the deck; however, a lockout collet failed to engage on one of the legs causing the first stage to tip over, exploding on impact with the deck.[27] On 14 January 2017, SpaceX launched Falcon 9 Flight 29 from Vandenberg Air Force Base and landed the first stage on the JRTI that was located about 370 km (230 mi) downrange in the Pacific Ocean, making it the first successful landing in the Pacific.[28]

In August 2019, JRTI left the Port of Los Angeles to be towed to the Gulf of Mexico; it transited through the Panama Canal.[29] JRTI arrived in Morgan City, Louisiana in late August 2019 and stayed there until December 2019 then moved to Port Canaveral.[30] JRTI began operations in the Atlantic in June 2020, supporting the first time a Falcon 9 would land after a 5th use.[citation needed]

A Shortfall of Gravitas[edit]

A fourth ASDS, A Shortfall of Gravitas, was announced in February 2018 and was originally planned to enter service in mid-2019.[31][32] In October 2020, Elon Musk re-affirmed plans to build a ship of this name.[33] In January 2021, Marmac 302 was spotted at Bollinger Fourchon site.[34] On 6 April 2021, spotted the Octagrabber presumed to be for A Shortfall of Gravitas at the Cidco Road facility in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It may have originated as an upgraded Octagrabber for Just Read The Instructions.[35] By mid April 2021, Marmac 302 had scaffolding to prepare for construction which was confirmed on 9 May 2021.[36] It is expected to join the East Coast fleet in coming months, sending OCISLY[37] to the West Coast, with the first booster recovery being done for a Falcon heavy side booster B1065 used in USSF-44 mission.[38][34]


Autonomous spaceport drone ship
Name: Just Read the Instructions [13]
Owner: McDonough Marine Service
Operator: SpaceX
In service: November 2014
Out of service: May 2015
Status: Retired
General characteristics as drone ship
Length: 300 ft (91 m) [39]
Beam: 170 ft (52 m)[39]
Depth: 19.8 ft (6.0 m)[40]
Installed power: Generator units
Propulsion: 4 × 300 hp (220 kW) azimuth thrusters with 40 in (1.0 m) nozzles, as of January 2015[41]
Notes: Autonomous or remote-controlled operation modes are available during rocket landing operations[3]
The SpaceX stylized "X" used to mark the center of the landing pad.

The ASDS are autonomous vessels capable of precision positioning, originally stated to be within 3 m (9.8 ft) even under storm conditions,[8] using GPS position information[42] and four diesel-powered azimuth thrusters.[43] In addition to the autonomous operating mode, the ships may also be telerobotically controlled.[3]

The azimuth thrusters are hydraulic propulsion outdrive units with modular diesel-hydraulic-drive power units manufactured by Thrustmaster, a marine equipment manufacturer in Texas.[5] The returning first stage must not only land within the confines of the deck surface but must also deal with ocean swells and GPS errors.[5][44]

SpaceX equips the ships with a variety of sensor and measurement technology to gather data on the booster returns and landing attempts, including commercial off the shelf GoPro cameras.[45]

At the center of the ASDS landing pads is a circle that encloses the SpaceX stylized "X" in an X-marks-the-spot landing point.[46]


The ASDS are named after spaceships that appear in the Culture series of science fiction novels by Iain M. Banks.[47]

Just Read the Instructions (Marmac 300)[edit]

The landing platform of the upper deck of the first barge named Just Read the Instructions was 170 ft × 300 ft (52 m × 91 m) while the span of the Falcon 9 v1.1 landing legs was 60 ft (18 m).[5][44]

Of Course I Still Love You (Marmac 304)[edit]

Of Course I Still Love You was built as a refit of the barge Marmac 304 for landings in the Atlantic Ocean. Its homeport is in Port Canaveral, Florida since December 2015, after being ported for a year at the Port of Jacksonville during most of 2015. Of Course I Still Love You worked successfully as a landing platform after the Falcon 9 rocket brought astronauts to space on the crewed mission Launch America on 30 May 2020.[citation needed]

Just Read the Instructions (Marmac 303)[edit]

Just Read the Instructions, the second barge with that name, was built as a refit of the barge Marmac 303 in 2015 for landings in the Pacific Ocean. Its homeport was in the Port of Los Angeles, California from 2015 to 2019[48] but in August 2019 it was moved to the Gulf of Mexico.[29] In December 2019 it was moved to Cape Canaveral.[citation needed]

A Shortfall of Gravitas (Marmac 302) under construction[edit]

The fourth ASDS, named A Shortfall of Gravitas,[49] was proposed in February 2018 and again in October 2020 to help East Coast launch cadence.[33] In May 2021, conversion of Marmac 302 into ASoG began and is expected to move to the East Coast for operation in coming months.[50]


A tug is used to bring the ASDS to its oceanic position, and a support ship stands by some distance away from the crewless ASDS. The vessels initially used on the East Coast were Elsbeth III (tug) and GO Quest (support).[51] Following landing, technicians and engineers typically board the landing platform, and secure the rocket's landing legs to lock the vehicle in place for transport back to port.[3] The first stage is secured to the deck of the drone ship with steel hold downs welded on to the feet of the landing legs.[52] In June 2017, OCISLY started being deployed with a robot that drives under the rocket and grabs onto the hold-down clamps located on the outside of the Falcon 9's structure after landing.[53] Fans call the robot "Optimus Prime" or "Roomba", the latter of which has been turned into a backronym for "Remotely Operated Orientation and Mass Balance Adjustment".

Vessel missions[edit]

The first flight test was 10 January 2015 [54] when SpaceX conducted a controlled-descent flight test to land the first-stage of Falcon 9 Flight 14 on a solid surface after it was used to loft a contracted payload toward Earth orbit.[6][7] SpaceX projected prior to the first landing attempt that the likelihood of successfully landing on the platform would be 50% or less.[5][7] The landings went from being landing tests towards being routine parts of missions.

No. Date Mission ASDS landing mission description Landing result Image
1 10 January 2015 SpaceX CRS-5 SpaceX attempted a landing during SpaceX CRS-5 on Just Read the Instructions on 10 January 2015. Many of the test objectives were achieved, including precision control of the rocket's descent to land on the platform at a specific point in the North Atlantic Ocean and a large amount of test data was obtained from the first use of grid fin control surfaces used for more precise reentry positioning. However, the landing was a hard landing.[55] The SpaceX webcast indicated that the boostback burn and reentry burns for the descending first-stage occurred, and that the descending rocket then went "below the horizon," as expected, which eliminated the live telemetry signal. Shortly thereafter, SpaceX released information that the launch vehicle did get to the drone spaceport ship as planned, but "landed hard ... Ship itself is fine. Some of the support equipment on the deck will need to be replaced".[55][56] Failure
2 11 February 2015 DSCOVR Just Read the Instructions was towed to sea for the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite launch on 11 February 2015 but, it was not used for a landing attempt. Ocean conditions of 7 m (23 ft)-high waves interfered with the ASDS recovery duties for the landing, so the ship returned to port and no landing test occurred. SpaceX executed a soft landing in the sea to continue data gathering for future landing attempts. The soft landing was successful, Elon Musk tweeted that it landed with a lateral accuracy of 10 m (33 ft) away from the target and in a vertical position.[57] No attempt
3 14 April 2015 SpaceX CRS-6 On 14 April 2015, SpaceX made a second attempt during SpaceX CRS-6 to land a Falcon first-stage on the Marmac 300 drone ship Just Read the Instructions. News from Elon Musk suggested that it made a hard landing.[58] He later clarified that it appeared to have made a vertical landing on the ship, but then toppled over due to excessive remaining lateral momentum.[59] Failure
CRS-6 first stage booster landing attempt on ASDS
4 28 June 2015 SpaceX CRS-7 In order to prepare for SpaceX CRS-7 on 28 June 2015, the then new ASDS, Of Course I Still Love You, was towed out to sea to prepare for a third landing test. This was its first operational assignment.[14] However, the Falcon launch vehicle disintegrated before first stage shutdown so the mission never progressed to the point where the controlled-descent test could happen.[60] No attempt
5 17 January 2016 Jason-3 In January 2016, SpaceX indicated that there would be an attempt to land on the then new ASDS, reusing the name Just Read the Instructions (JRTI), located on the West Coast following the launch of Falcon 9 Flight 21 scheduled for 17 January 2016.[61] JRTI was located about 320 km (200 mi) downrange from the launch site in the Pacific Ocean. Musk reported that the first stage did successfully soft-land on the ship, but a lockout latch on one of the landing legs failed to latch and the first stage fell over, causing a breach of the propellant tanks and a deflagration on impact with the drone ship.[62][63][64][65][66] Failure
First stage of Falcon 9 Flight 21 descending to the ASDS
6 4 March 2016 SES-9 During a launch of a heavy communications satellite on Falcon 9 Flight 22 on 4 March 2016, SpaceX performed an experimental descent and landing attempt with very low propellant margins. For the first time, and in order to reduce the propellant required, SpaceX attempted the landing burn with three engines. SpaceX had indicated that the test was unlikely to result in a successful landing and recovery. In the event, one engine flamed out early, and the first stage hit Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY)'s deck surface with considerable velocity, destroying the first stage and causing damage to the drone ship's deck.[67] By 21 March 2016, the deck of the drone ship was nearly repaired.[68] Failure
7 8 April 2016 SpaceX CRS-8 The Falcon 9 first-stage performed a successful landing on OCISLY in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida at T+9 minutes and 10 seconds after liftoff of SpaceX CRS-8,[69] the first-ever successful landing of a first stage on an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship.[70] The first stage was successfully affixed to the barge for the maritime transport portion of the journey back to port, and successfully completed its journey, entering Port Canaveral early in the morning on 12 April 2016.[70] Success
The first time that the first stage of a Falcon 9 landed on a drone ship.
8 6 May 2016 JCSat-14 SpaceX landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 on OCISLY during the JCSat-14 mission on 6 May 2016, its second time successfully landing on a drone ship at sea, and its first time recovering a booster from a high-velocity (GTO) mission.[71] Success
JCSAT-14 first stage landing (27044931232).jpg
9 27 May 2016 Thaicom 8 SpaceX landed the first stage of a Falcon 9 on OCISLY during the Thaicom 8 mission, its third time successfully landing on a drone ship at sea.[72] Success
THAICOM 8 first-stage landing (26812758364).jpg
10 15 June 2016 ABS-3A / Eutelsat 115 West B SpaceX failed to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 on OCISLY during the Asia Broadcast Satellite / Eutelsat mission.[73] Elon Musk tweeted that one of the three engines had low thrust, and when the rocket was just off the deck, the engines ran out of oxidizer.[74] Failure
11 14 August 2016 JCSAT-16 Falcon 9's 28th flight propelled the Japanese JCSAT-16 communications satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit on 14 August 2016. The first stage re-entered the atmosphere and during the night landed vertically on OCISLY, positioned in the Atlantic Ocean nearly 400 miles from the Florida coastline; unlike previous successful landings, this landing-burn only used one engine, not three.[75] Success
JCSAT-16 landing (28453337463).jpg
12 14 January 2017 Iridium NEXT-1 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on the Pacific Ocean ASDS JRTI during the Iridium NEXT-1 mission.[76][77] This marked the first successful landing on JRTI and the first landing in the Pacific Ocean.[48][78] Success
Falcon 9 Booster 1029.1 Landing.jpg
13 30 March 2017 SES-10 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the SES-10 launch. This was the first successful launch and landing of a previously flown orbital booster. Success
SES-10 Mission - Falcon 9 First Stage Landing (32996438264).jpg
14 23 June 2017 BulgariaSat-1 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the BulgariaSat-1 launch. This was the second successful launch and landing of a previously flown orbital booster. This was also the first booster to have landed on both active drone ships. While the landing was considered a success, the booster was "slammed sideways" and suffered a 'hard landing' which resulted in 'most of the emergency crush core being used'. Success
The Return of BulgariaSat1 by SpaceX (34808558763).jpg
15 25 June 2017 Iridium NEXT-2 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on JRTI during the Iridium launch. Success
16 24 August 2017 FORMOSAT-5 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on JRTI during the FORMOSAT-5 launch. Success
Formosat-5 Mission (36073878143).jpg
17 9 October 2017 Iridium NEXT-3 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on JRTI during the Iridium launch. Success
18 11 October 2017 SES-11 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the SES-11 launch. Success
19 30 October 2017 Koreasat 5A The Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the Koreasat 5A mission. Success
20 6 February 2018 Falcon Heavy Test Flight On 6 February 2018, the central core from the Falcon Heavy Test Flight attempted a landing on OCISLY. There was not enough TEA-TEB igniter remaining and only the centermost of the three engines required ignited during the landing burn. The core hit the water near the drone ship at over 300 mph and was destroyed. The explosion of the central core upon impact also damaged two of the thrusters on the drone ship. The side boosters successfully landed at Landing Zones 1 and 2. The loss of the central core did not impact SpaceX operations since it was from an older generation of the Falcon 9 not intended to be reused.[18] Failure
21 6 March 2018 Hispasat 30W-6 On 6 March 2018, a Falcon 9 Full Thrust carrying the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite for Hispasat of Spain was originally supposed to attempt a landing, as the first stage was programmed to do the landing. However, due to sea conditions considered to be unfavorable, the drone ship was left at the port. The first stage did its pre-programmed maneuvers, but did not attempt to land.[79] No attempt
22 18 April 2018 TESS The Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the TESS mission and was the 13th successful drone ship-based recovery.[80] Success
23 11 May 2018 Bangabandhu-1 The Falcon 9 Block 5 first stage landed on OCISLY during the Bangabandhu-1 mission and was the first flight of a Block 5 booster and upper stage. It was the overall 25th successful recovery of a booster. Success
24 22 July 2018 Telstar 19V The Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the Telstar 19V mission. Success
25 25 July 2018 Iridium 7 The Falcon 9 first stage landed on JRTI during the Iridium 7 mission. Success
26 7 August 2018 Merah Putih Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the Merah Putih mission. Success
27 15 November 2018 Es'hail-2 Falcon 9 first stage landed on OCISLY during the Es'hail-2 mission. Success
Es'hail-2 Mission (32248947038).jpg
28 3 December 2018 SSO-A Falcon 9 block 5 first stage landed on JRTI during the Spaceflight SSO-A mission and was the first time that a booster landed 3 times. Success
Spaceflight SSO-A Mission (46227271292).jpg
29 11 January 2019 Iridium 8 Falcon 9 block 5 first stage B1049 landed on JRTI during the Iridium 8 mission. Success
30 22 February 2019 Nusantara Satu/Beresheet/ S5 Falcon 9 block 5 first stage B1048 landed on OCISLY during the Nusantara Satu, Beresheet & S5 mission. Success
Nusantara Satu Mission (47130341432).jpg
31 2 March 2019 SpX-DM1 Falcon 9 block 5 first stage B1051.1[81] landed on OCISLY during the SpX-DM1 (SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1). Success
Crew Demo-1 Mission (46386035545).jpg
32 11 April 2019 Arabsat-6A Falcon Heavy block 5 first stage's center booster B1055.1 landed on OCISLY. This was the first successful landing of a center booster used in a Falcon Heavy rocket. The side boosters also landed on their respective ground pads.[82] However, the recovery team was unable to secure the center booster onto the drone ship due to rough seas and the core was lost at sea.[83] Success
The booster before tipping over during transport
33 4 May 2019 SpaceX CRS-17 Falcon 9 first stage B1056.1 landed on OCISLY during the SpaceX CRS-17 mission. The landing was originally scheduled for Landing Zone 1, but was switched after an explosion in a test of a Crew Dragon capsule at LZ1.[84] The launch of CRS-17 was delayed due to generator issues on the drone ship.[85] Success
34 24 May 2019 Starlink L0 Falcon 9 first stage B1049.3 landed on OCISLY during the Starlink mission to launch 60 satellites.[86] Success
35 25 June 2019 Space Test Program Flight 2 Falcon Heavy center core from the STP-2 mission failed to land on the OCISLY due to lack of control from a failure with the thrust vectoring control in the center engine; the side cores landed successfully on ground pads.[87] Failure
36 11 November 2019 Starlink L1 Falcon 9 first stage B1048.4 landed on OCISLY during the second large batch Starlink mission to launch 60 satellites. This was the first time that a Falcon 9 booster made a fourth flight and landing.[88] Success
37 5 December 2019 SpaceX CRS-19 Falcon 9 first stage B1059.1 successfully landed on OCISLY following the launch of the SpaceX CRS-19 commercial resupply mission. It was the first flight and landing for this booster.[89] Success
38 16 December 2019 JSAT-18 Falcon 9 first stage B1056.3 successfully landed on OCISLY following the launch of the Kacific-1/JCSAT-18 communications satellite. It was the third flight and landing for this booster.[90] Success
39 7 January 2020 Starlink L2 Falcon 9 first stage B1049.4 successfully landed on OCISLY following the launch of Starlink L2, which was third large batch of Starlink satellites.[91] Success
40 29 January 2020 Starlink L3 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.3 successfully landed third time on OCISLY following the launch of Starlink L3, which was fourth batch of 60 Starlink satellites launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.[92] Success
41 17 February 2020 Starlink L4 Falcon 9 first stage B1056.4 made a water landing following the launch of Starlink L4, which was the fifth batch of 60 Starlink satellites. The first stage booster failed to land on the drone ship making it the first landing failure of flight proven booster.[93] The booster diverted from the droneship as wind data loaded into booster was different from the actual winds.[94] Failure
42 18 March 2020 Starlink L5 Falcon 9 first stage B1048.5 failed to land on OCISLY after an engine anomaly during launch. After a launch abort at T-0s due to out of family data during an engine power check on 15 March 2020,[95] the launch was postponed until 18 March 2020. At T+2:22, an engine shutdown occurred, the second one to ever have happened on a Falcon 9 flight since CRS-1. It performed the entry burn nominally but then at T+7:30 the downlink feed cut out. It is presumed that the booster either broke up in the atmosphere or crashed into the ocean. It was later confirmed by Elon Musk on Twitter that a small amount of isopropyl alcohol was trapped in a sensor dead leg and was ignited during flight.[96] Failure
43 22 April 2020 Starlink L6 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.4 successfully landed on OCISLY. It was the 4th flight and landing for this booster. [97] Success
44 30 May 2020 Crew Dragon Demo-2 Falcon 9 first stage B1058.1 successfully landed on OCISLY following the launch of Crew Dragon Demo-2. This was SpaceX's first crewed mission and the first Falcon 9 first stage to launch humans into orbit and successfully return to Earth.[98] Success
45 3 June 2020 Starlink L7 Falcon 9 first stage B1049.5 successfully landed on JRTI following the launch of Starlink L7. This marks only the second time a Falcon core has been able to fly five times.[99] Success
46 13 June 2020 Starlink L8 Falcon 9 first stage B1059.3 successfully landed on OCISLY. It was the 3rd flight and landing for this booster.[100] Success
47 30 June 2020 GPS III SV03 Falcon 9 first stage B1060.1 successfully landed on JRTI.[101] Success
48 20 July 2020 ANASIS-II Falcon 9 first stage B1058.2, already used in the Crew Dragon Demo 2 mission, successfully landed on JRTI.[102] Success
49 7 August 2020 Starlink L9 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.5 successfully landed on OCISLY. This marks the third time a Falcon booster has been able to fly five times.[103] Success
50 18 August 2020 Starlink L10 Falcon 9 first stage B1049.6 successfully landed on OCISLY. This is the first time that a Falcon booster has been able to fly six times.[104] Success
51 3 September 2020 Starlink L11 Falcon 9 first stage B1060.2 successfully landed on OCISLY.[105] Success
52 6 October 2020 Starlink L12 Falcon 9 first stage B1058.3 successfully landed on OCISLY.[106] Success
53 18 October 2020 Starlink L13 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.6 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
54 24 October 2020 Starlink L14 Falcon 9 first stage B1060.3 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
55 5 November 2020 GPS III SV04 Falcon 9 first stage B1062.1 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
56 15 November 2020 SpaceX Crew-1 Falcon 9 first stage B1061.1 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
57 25 November 2020 Starlink L15 Falcon 9 first stage B1049.7 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
58 6 December 2020 SpaceX CRS-21 Falcon 9 first stage B1058.4 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
59 13 December 2020 SXM 7 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.7 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
60 6 January 2021 Türksat 5A Falcon 9 first stage B1060.4 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
61 20 January 2021 Starlink L16 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.8 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
62 24 January 2021 Transporter-1 Falcon 9 first stage B1058.5 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
63 4 February 2021 Starlink L18 Falcon 9 first stage B1060.5 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
64 16 February 2021 Starlink L19 Falcon 9 first stage B1059.6 failed to land on OCISLY due to a heating problem near the engines' heatshield.[107] Failure
65 4 March 2021 Starlink L17 Falcon 9 first stage B1049.8 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
66 11 March 2021 Starlink L20 Falcon 9 first stage B1058.6 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
67 14 March 2021 Starlink L21 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.9 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
68 24 March 2021 Starlink L22 Falcon 9 first stage B1060.6 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
69 7 April 2021 Starlink L23 Falcon 9 first stage B1058.7 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
70 23 April 2021 SpaceX Crew-2 Falcon 9 first stage B1061.2 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
71 29 April 2021 Starlink L24 Falcon 9 first stage B1060.7 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
72 4 May 2021 Starlink L25 Falcon 9 first stage B1049.9 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
73 9 May 2021 Starlink L27 Falcon 9 first stage B1051.10 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
74 15 May 2021 Starlink L26 Falcon 9 first stage B1058.8 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
75 26 May 2021 Starlink L28 Falcon 9 first stage B1063.2 successfully landed on JRTI. Success
76 3 June 2021 SpaceX CRS-22 Falcon 9 first stage B1067.1 successfully landed on OCISLY. Success
77 6 June 2021 SXM 8 Falcon 9 first stage B1061.2 successfully landed on JRTI. Success

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Does not include launches that failed before landing attempt, such as CRS-7
  1. ^ @elonmusk (12 January 2016). "Aiming to launch this weekend and (hopefully) land on our droneship. Ship landings needed for high velocity missions" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ @elonmusk (17 January 2016). "If speed at stage separation > ~6000 km/hr. With a ship, no need to zero out lateral velocity, so can stage at up to ~9000 km/h" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b c d e Harwood, William (16 December 2014). "SpaceX readies rocket for station launch, barge landing". CBS News. Retrieved 23 December 2014. A 300-foot-long barge will be used as an off-shore landing platform during launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Friday. The primary goal of the flight is to deliver critical supplies and equipment to the space station, but SpaceX hopes to land the rocket's first-stage on the barge for possible refurbishment and reuse – a key milestone in the company's push to reduce launch costs.
  4. ^ SpaceX Dragon Headed to the ISS. 8 April 2016 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Bergin, Chris (24 November 2014). "SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship ready for action". Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b Foust, Jeff (25 October 2014). "Next Falcon 9 Launch Could See First-stage Platform Landing". SpaceNews. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Bullis, Kevin (26 October 2014). "SpaceX Plans to Start Reusing Rockets Next Year". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  8. ^ a b @elonmusk (22 November 2014). "Autonomous spaceport drone ship. Thrusters repurposed from deep sea oil rigs hold position within 3m even in a storm" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 25 November 2014 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ "DRAFT Environmental Assessment for the Space Exploration Technologies Vertical Landing of the Falcon Vehicle and Construction at Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Florida" (PDF). U.S. Air Force. October 2014. p. 17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ Clark, Stephen (16 December 2014). "Photos: SpaceX's autonomous spaceport drone ship". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  11. ^ @elonmusk (23 January 2015). "Repairs almost done on the spaceport drone ship and have given it the name "Just Read the Instructions"" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ a b c @elonmusk (23 January 2015). "West Coast droneship under construction will be named "Of Course I Still Love You"" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ a b @elonmusk (29 January 2015). "Painting the name on the droneship ..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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  45. ^ .Shotwell, Gwynne (3 February 2016). Gwynne Shotwell comments at Commercial Space Transportation Conference. Commercial Spaceflight. Event occurs at 2:43:15–3:10:05. Retrieved 4 February 2016. Those are GoPro cameras by the way, unbelievable technology. We fly many of them. ... Our third attempt to land on a drone ship ... this past January ... we did stick the landing, we stuck it and then we unstuck it. ... I love these videos. I think these videos are great! You learn so much from this activity. ... for all of you curmudgeons who say that was a failure, you're totally wrong. We landed. We broke a leg. We learned a little bit. And we're going to land again. ... this is the previous version of the rocket. The landing legs weren't quite as robust ... from a previous design era.
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External links[edit]