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SpaceX drone ship arrives in California

Capitalism in space: One of SpaceX’s two drone ships used by its Falcon 9 first stages for ocean landings has arrived in California in preparation for frequent Starlink launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

The journey began on the East Coast two weeks ago and included passage through the Panama Canal. Once the drone ship gets offloaded, it will be based at Pier T, where it be part of recovery operations for the Starlink landings that potentially could occur in late July or early August.

These California launches will allow SpaceX to increase the global coverage of its Starlink constellation. It will also allow the company to begin frequent launches from both coasts.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Sayo

    Most of the reason, SpaceX moved both drone ships to the Florida seemed to be a lack of demand for polar orbits. It sounds like most of the demand here is coming from Spacex itself. I think its cool Spacex figure out how to do Southern Polar orbits from Florida, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests to me there are a many new flights needed to launch from the west coast other than those belonging to spacex.

    On the subject of drone ships there has been talk for years on and off about a 3rd drone ship coming online. But I haven’t hear anything about that in the last few months. My reading is one of the issue Spacex is running into is the time in and time out to sea is about week each way. So the best your going to do is a launch a week(which is still really good) or two close together then two week turn around.

    Thanks for all you do Bob

  • mkent

    I haven’t seen anything that suggests to me there are a many new flights needed to launch from the west coast other than those belonging to spacex.

    DART, Worldview Legion 1, SARah 1, SARah 2/3, NROL-85, NROL-87, Space Norway, SWOT, SPHEREx, SDA Tranche 0 flights 1 & 2, future Transporter launches

    On the subject of drone ships there has been talk for years on and off about a 3rd drone ship coming online. But I haven’t hear anything about that in the last few months.

    A Shortfall of Gravitas is expected to begin sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico within weeks.

  • geoffc

    ASOG (A Shortfall of Gravitas) has been spotted in Louisiana shipyard. It just recently had its wing extensions added, its OctoGrabber installed.
    Design is refined. All the hardware is on one end of the deck instead of both. Looks like it has a Starlink dish. The thrusters are yet another even bigger size it would seem.
    (JRTI got bigger thrusters than OCISLY, and now ASOG even more so).

    As noted it is expected to begin sea trials and then move to Florida once complete in the near future.

    This forum on is pretty good on the ASDS barges.

  • Col Beausabre

    OK, somebody is ignorant here. “Gravitas” is not “gravity”, it is “dignity”, “seriousness”

    “Gravitas (Classical Latin: [ˈɡrawɪt̪aːs̠]) was one of the ancient Roman virtues that denoted “seriousness”. It is also translated variously as weight, dignity, and importance and connotes restraint and moral rigor. It also conveys a sense of responsibility and commitment to the task.

    Along with pietas (regard for discipline and authority), severitas, gloria, simplicitas (lucidity), integritas, dignitas, and virtus, gravitas was particularly appreciated as an ideal characteristic in leaders. Gravitas and virtus are considered more canonical virtues than the others.”

    So SpaceX is characterized by a lack of seriousness and dignity because they don’t care about the quality of their work?

  • A. Nonymous

    No, SpaceX is simply naming its drone ships after the somewhat-whimsical names of starships in a certain series of books. In fact, most of SpaceX’s various creations have been named after fictional spaceships, memes, and other pop-culture references.

  • Bill F

    With all due respect I think Lex Luthor should not use Col Beausabre as an alias

  • Col Beausabre

    Insert Evil Laugh

  • Sayo

    Thanks for the update mkent =)

  • BigFire

    SpaceX named their droneship after General Service Vehicle from Ian M. Bank’s Culture novels. “A Shortfall of Gravitas” is named after about 3 novels of GSV of the Gravitas. The other 2 drone ships are “Of Course I Still Love You” and “Just Read the Instruction”..

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