SpaceX ASDS

An autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS) is an ocean-going vessel derived from a deck barge, outfitted with station-keeping engines and a large landing platform and is autonomously controlled by aerospace company SpaceX to allow for recovery of launch vehicle first stages at sea for missions which do not carry enough fuel to return to the launch site after boosting spacecraft onto an orbital or interplanetary trajectory.

SpaceX has two operational drone ships, Just Read the Instructions (II) (JRTI) and Of Course I Still Love You, (OCISLY) both of which operate in the Atlantic for launches from Cape Canaveral.

The ASDS are a key early operational component in the SpaceX objective to significantly lower the price of space launch services through “full and rapid reusability”, and were developed as part of the multi-year reusable rocket development program SpaceX undertook to engineer the technology.