The shiny new droneship SpaceX built in Louisiana has done its first mission this weekend. A Shortfall of Gravitas (ASOG) returned to Port Canaveral with its first booster on top.
SpaceX launched their CRS-23 mission early Sunday morning with their Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage, after lifting the second stage and dragon above most of the atmosphere, did a short boost back burn. This burn changes the horizontal velocities making the booster begin flying back towards its launch site, although this time only enough velocity to return to ASOG.
SpaceX has been doing these boost back burns even with droneship landings a few times now. This is presumably so the droneships don’t have to be towed out as far to sea, but SpaceX hasn’t stated officially yet. Having this burn in the mix at night adds to some fun effects of the plums of the first and second-stage engines.
The booster landed successfully on ASOG for this droneship’s first time on a mission. There, the new octograbber (hopefully still rocking its mustache) latched on to the booster and held on booster for ASOG’s return home.
Early Tuesday morning, just a few hours after SpaceX’s Doug support ship arrived, tug Finn Falgout arrived in Port Canaveral with ASOG in tow for its first booster return. B1061-4 is currently back in port waiting to be lifted off ASOG’s deck and placed on a truck back to SpaceX’s refurbishment facility before a future launch.
ASOG was built and partially tested in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. After it was finished SpaceX towed the newly converted barge to Florida to replace Of Course I Still Love You which was moved to Port Long Beach, California.
The biggest difference between ASOG and the rest of the fleet is its design, housing most of the equipment needed on the stern. As well as angled deck extensions.
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