‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ returns with its first Falcon 9 catch
SpaceX drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas made its way into Port Canaveral, Florida, after catching its first Falcon 9 stage just a couple days ago.
Just before 8 a.m. EDT (12:00 UTC) Aug. 31, the drone ship entered the port and began making its way to a wharf on the north side of the channel where on-shore cranes are set to lift the 155-foot (47-meter) tall booster off of the rocket-catching barge and onto a mount for inspections, as well as to fold up its four landing legs.
This was the first Falcon 9 stage to be caught by A Shortfall of Gravitas since its arrival on July 15, 2021. The autonomous ship returned Falcon 9 core B1061-4 (now B1061-5 following its successful recovery) after the booster landed on the floating sea vessel just under 8 minutes after liftoff early in the early-morning hours of Sunday.
At 3:14 a.m. EDT (7:14 UTC) Aug. 29, a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Its mission was to send the CRS-23 Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station.
The Florida’s Space Coast is home to two of SpaceX’s drone ships, Just Read the Instructions and now A Shortfall of Gravitas.
Earlier this summer, drone ship Of Course I Still Love You was relocated from Port Canaveral on Space Coast and shipped to the Port of Long Beach in Los Angeles to support California launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base.
As the newest member of the SpaceX drone ship fleet, A Shortfall of Gravitas does not need a tug to get underway to the Atlantic Ocean, it was built for sea travel. However, it still requires tugs for operations inside Port Canaveral. After the drone ship leaves port, the vessel finds its prescribed location to wait for the return of a Falcon 9 first stage.
Once landed on its deck, the Falcon 9 stage was secured by a robot called Octograbber for its return to port for refurbishment and eventual placement in SpaceX’s upcoming launch manifest.
Another new SpaceX recovery fleet ship, Doug, recently arrived at Port Canaveral after making its way from Port Fourchon, just ahead of Hurricane Ida’s devastating landfall.
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.