SpaceX maritime platform crosses Panama Canal en route to Pacific
Panama City, Jun 25 (EFE).- The maritime platform “Of course I still love you” of American company SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, crossed Friday the Panama Canal en route to the Pacific, the administration of the interoceanic route reported.
“Today, the autonomous aerospace port platform ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ (Ocisly) of @SpaceX transited through the Panama Canal on its way to the Pacific,” the Panama Canal Authority said through Twitter.
“Without the need for a crew, this platform is used to land @SpaceX rockets in the sea after completing their orbital trajectories,” it said.
On Apr. 23, the platform received in Atlantic waters the propellant of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which took off that day to take a manned Dragon capsule into space.
The said that due to its size, the platform “passed through the neopanamax locks” of the expansion of the interoceanic route, “aboard a semi-submersible transport vessel known as Mighty Servant 1.”
The expansion of the Panama Canal, inaugurated in June 2016 at a cost of at least $ 5.6 billion, allows the passage of ships with up to three times the capacity of those that cross the centennial lanes of the interoceanic highway.
Canal authorities reported on Jun. 15 that it had raised the length from bow to stern of the ships that can cross the extension from 367.28 meters to 370.33 meters.
It is not the first time aerospace implements have passed through the Panama Canal. In April 2016 it was done by a NASA external fuel tank the size of a 15-story building, originating from New Orleans (Atlantic Ocean) and bound for Los Angeles (Pacific Ocean).
The 30,000 kilogram tank was mounted on the Gulfmaster I barge and towed by the tugboat Shannon Dann. It was heading to Los Angeles to be exhibited at the California Science Center alongside Endeavor, the fifth space shuttle built by NASA and first launched into space in 1992.
The Panama Canal, through which 6 percent of world trade passes, connects more than 140 maritime routes and 1,700 ports in 160 countries. EFE