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.
- 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.
- 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?"
- 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:
- SLC = Space Launch Complex