Dual Success For SpaceX

SpaceX successfully launches it's 8th Commercial Resupply Mission (CRS-8) to the International Space Station and lands Falcon 9's first stage on a drone ship for the first time.

  1. Half an hour prior to launch, Elon Musk tweeted this image of the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You waiting in the Atlantic to serve as a landing platform for the Falcon 9's first stage.
  2. Space X owns and operates a second drone ship for offshore landings, Just Read the Instructions. Both names pay homage to the sci-fi novel The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks.

    Here's a bit of dialogue from the book:

    "These friends of yours are ships."
    "Yes," Chamlis said. "Both of them."
    "What are they called?"
    "The Of Course I Still Love You and the Just Read the Instructions."
    "They’re not warships?"
    "With names like that?"
  3. The minutes leading up to a launch time are tense and exciting, and sometimes they seem to crawl by. Or perhaps it just seems that way when watching the countdown clock, knowing a mission abort could be called at any second. On Twitter, this can lead to some interesting pre-launch banter and conversations:
  4. SLC = Space Launch Complex
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