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GO Quest


GO Quest docked at Port Canaveral, Florida. – Julia Bergeron

GO Quest was a droneship support vessel that was chartered by SpaceX from 2014 until 2023. The vessel carried equipment and crew to support offshore landings on SpaceX droneships.

Between 2014 and September 2021, GO Quest supported every droneship landing attempt in the Atlantic Ocean. The vessel was the first ship to be chartered long-term by SpaceX and was present for the very first experimental Falcon 9 landing attempts. In 2021, GO Quest was repositioned to California to support a resurgence in Pacific Ocean recovery operations. Its role in Florida was taken on by new vessels Bob and Doug.

GO Quest was retired from SpaceX operations in 2023, super-ceded by sister ship GO Beyond, as part of a consolidation of recovery vessels in California. Working with SpaceX for nine years, GO Quest was the longest-tenured vessel ever used by SpaceX to date.

Communications equipment on the deck of GO Quest. – Tom McCool


Although dependant on mission requirements, the SpaceX droneship will typically leave port up to 5 days ahead of launch day. GO Quest would then depart port up to 36 hours later and meet with the droneship at the mission landing zone a few days later.

The stern of GO Quest had 2 flights of stairs and a harness platform. SpaceX droneships are unmanned during the voyage to the landing zone and during landing attempts so the crew from GO Quest must transfer to and from the droneships. To do this, GO Quest backed up to the droneship. Next, recovery teams connect themselves up with harnesses and then swing onto the droneship in a process dubbed ‘crew transfer’. For safety reasons, crew transfer did not occur at night or during rough seas.

Vital Statistics

Owner: Guice Offshore

Operator: Guice Offshore

Year Built: 2004

IMO: 8987876

Length: 52m / 170 ft

Breadth: 11m / 36 ft

Joined SpaceX Fleet: 2014

Retired SpaceX Fleet: 2023

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