Tag Archives: SpaceX

What are “Just Read the Instructions” & “Of Course I Still Love You”?

10 February 2015, Space Burning Question

The Space Burning Question is a weekly segment (every Tuesday) On Hamman Time, 5fm.

Questions and answers provided by @jonoweltman from the Foundation for Space Development:
Web: developspacesa.org
Facebook: facebook.com/developspacesa
Twitter: @developspacesa

LISTEN LIVE: Hamman Time, 10 Feb The Burning Question: Straight from the Foundation for Space Development South Africa, Nick tries to find out what “Just read the instructions” and “Of course I still love you” means when we’re talking about space? Luckily their CEO, Jonathan Weltman, has the answer.


Question: What are “Just Read the Instructions” & “Of Course I Still Love You.”?

Answer: South African born Elon Musk, Billionaire Founder & CEO of SpaceX, has named their two robotic landing platform (or Drone) boats after science fiction spacecraft created by the late Scottish sci-fi legend Iain M. Banks.


SpaceX Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship "Just Read the Instructions"
SpaceX Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship “Just Read the Instructions”

More detail:

Elon Musk:

1. Born in Pretoria

2. Matriculated at Pretoria Boys High

3. Co-founded Paypal & Tesla Motors

4. Founded SpaceX which is the only company to now have contracts with NASA for BOTH cargo & crew delivery to the ISS.

Iain Banks:

1. Died 2013

2. ‘Just Read the Instructions’ and ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ are two of the sentient, planet-sized Culture starships which first appear in Banks’ ‘The Player of Games’. Just as the Minds inhabiting each Culture ship choose their names with care, you have to imagine that Musk did the same here.

Drone Ships:

1. Remote control barges

2. Attempting to land the first stage of rockets upright onto the barges. Saves costs and thus reduces the price of going to Space, which, as discussed last week, is a major imperative.

3. Developed specially engineered “paddles” for descent control.

4. First attempt ran out of fuel seconds before landing and crashed to which Musk said “Close, but no cigar” on Twitter when posting the video.

5. Second attempt delayed from yesterday to tomorrow, fingers crossed!

SpaceX CRS5 Mission – the definition of success!

Today the SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched the Dragon re-supply capsule to the International Space Station.


The launch and separation went perfectly but, as though that was not difficult enough, the team at SpaceX took on an awesome extra element to the mission. To land the Falcon 9 Rocket on a barge, “autonomous spaceport drone ship” as the SpaceX CEO Elon Musk calls it, at sea so that it could be re-used. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly this part of the Mission failed.

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.35.27 PM

No, the rocket did not miss the barge, it in fact hit its target. It landed too hard (Hard Landing) as opposed to the controlled Soft Landing that was being attempted. Hitting the barge is liking hitting a Smartie with a slingshot from a kilometer away. In our opinion that, in itself was a huge success.

Well done SPACEX!