SpaceX Drone Ship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ Arrived to Port Canaveral With Falcon 9 Booster

By  //  July 5, 2020

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The booster landed on the Port-based drone ship

SpaceX drone ship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ arrived Saturday morning at the Port with a Falcon 9 first-stage booster on board. (Port Canaveral image)

BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – SpaceX drone ship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ arrived Saturday morning at the Port with a Falcon 9 first-stage booster on board.

The booster landed on the Port-based drone ship out in the Atlantic minutes after launching a GPS satellite into orbit on June 30.

Just Read the Instructions (JRTI) is an autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS). JRTI is a modified barge outfitted with a large landing platform, station-keeping thrusters, and other equipment to allow SpaceX to land boosters at sea on high-velocity missions that don’t carry enough fuel to allow for a return-to-launch-site landing.

Just Read the Instructions was originally based in California to support missions out of Vandenburg. The drone ship was moved to Florida in late 2019 to support the large number of launches booked to launch out of Cape Canaveral in 2020.

Just Read the Instructions is the second SpaceX drone ship to use the name. The original SpaceX drone ship, used for 2 experimental landings on the east coast used the same name but was retired and replaced by Of Course I Still Love You. The name was then given to the new drone ship destined for the west coast.

JRTI was built in a Louisiana shipyard, alongside the east coast drone ship Of Course I Still Love You. To reach its new home in Los Angeles the ship had to pass through the Panama Canal.

The drone ship was too wide to fit through so the extra wing extensions, designed to provide a larger landing pad, had to be placed on deck to be installed on arrival in LA.

Spacexfleet.com contributed to this report

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