NRC Quest arrives at the Port of LA – Matt Hartman
NRC Quest was a dual-purpose support vessel used for Dragon recovery, fairing recovery, and droneship support on the US West Coast. The vessel was chartered by SpaceX from 2015 until 2023. The vessel was retired from SpaceX operations in 2023 and now operates elsewhere in the maritime industry. NRC Quest was super-ceded by a GO Beyond on the US West Coast during a consolation of SpaceX vessels.
Until 2021, NRC Quest regularly recovered the original Cargo Dragon capsule (Dragon 1) – under the original Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA to the International Space Station – upon splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
NRC Quest also supported Pacific Ocean droneship landings on Just Read the Instructions (JRTI). NRC Quest supported 8 landing attempts, of which 7 were successful. SpaceX repositioned JRTI to Floorida in 2019, leaving the vessel to solely focus on Dragon and fairing recovery operations.
The vessel has also hauled fairings for Ms. Tree to use during offshore helicopter drop tests.
Year Built: 2002
Joined SpaceX Fleet: 2015
Retired SpaceX Fleet: 2023