Exclusive: Newest SpaceX droneship undergoing deck work

SpaceX’s third droneship has been under construction for the last couple of months now and it is looking very close to being finished. This week, signs of deck work are showing up, which could be a final step before being shipped out.

SpaceX’s A Shortfall of Gravitas is their third droneship being built to take the place of Of Course I Still Love You in Florida. Between SpaceX’s increase in government, commercial, and internal launches, the need for two droneships on the east coast and one on the west coast has lead them to acquire and upgrade Marmac 302.

Marmac 302 is a barge of similar design and shape as the barges that SpaceX’s other droneships are built on. The heavily modified droneship sports a new design compared to what we’ve seen before with a large structure on the rear that seems to have replaced the many shipping containers we’ve seen before.

Newest images of SpaceX’s ASOG

The surrounding structures on the barge looks finished and communication equipment has been installed on top of one of the buildings. While not much has changed as of the last check-in, the addition of tarps around the main deck area seems to show that work has been focused there.

Most likely the work under the deck to support the extra weight of the structures and boosters was completed weeks ago, this work could be for preparing the surface for a coat of paint. The paint is both cosmetic and functional, protecting the steel deck from the corrosive ocean water and in some spots, a radio reflective paint is used to ensure the best chance of the booster landing in the center of the deck.

Launches of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation will pick up after they finished the first shell of satellites a few weeks back. Currently SpaceX is launching several commercial and government payloads for the month of June.

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