SpaceX To Launch Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships


SpaceX has announced its decision to send Just Read The Instructions (JRTI) autonomous spaceport drone ships (ASDS) from the Port of Los Angeles to an undisclosed location in the US, according to news outlet Teslarati.

The most likely destination are either Port Canaveral, Florida or Port of Brownsville, Texas.

Teslarati estimates that the JRTI journey could take no less than three weeks from start to finish.

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ASDS are ocean-going vessels derived from a deck barge, equipped with station-keeping engines and a large landing platform controlled by an autonomous robot. SpaceX intends to use these vessels to allow for recovery of rocket first-stages at sea.

SpaceX currently has two operational drone ships. In February 2018, Elon Musk noted that a third drone ship was under construction.

SpaceX expanded in 2018 its operations at the port of Los Angeles, leasing 19 acres of land to build a rocket manufacturing facility.

The area at the port of Los Angeles was chosen by SpaceX due to the need for a property with sufficient water access, as the rockets they intend to build are far too large for normal transport via rail.

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