The head of SpaceX Elon Musk shared a video of a new unmanned merchant vessel in action on his Twitter. In 2022, the autonomous drone ship will become the main rocket landing site on the US East Coast for landing the first stages of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles.

The autonomous vessel was named "A Shortfall of Gravitas" (ASOG), which is a reference to a science fiction series called Culture by Scottish author Iain M. Banks. It will probably replace the OCISLY platform ("Of Course I Still Love You").

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According to the engineers’ plan, these platforms will act as key nodes in the network of points designed for hypersonic travel, announced earlier. For example, with their help, it will be possible to get from Beijing to New York in 30 minutes.

The key difference between ASOG and its fellows JRTI (Just Read the Instructions) and OCISLY is its complete autonomy, which means it is unnecessary to tow it to the landing site.

Earlier, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket sent a cargo with baby squid and water bears to the ISS to study the ability of live organisms to survive in extreme conditions:

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NASA sent 128 baby squid and more than 5,000 tardigrade microorganisms to the International Space Station to study how living organisms are affected by space conditions.