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It's unlikely the drone ship would be lost. The rocket is coming in nearly empty. The explosions we've seen in the past are really just the remnants of fuel briefly burning, it's not all that powerful. The rocket itself is light compared to the ship. It's a little bit like someone throwing a soda can at your head. It'll hurt, but it won't break your skull. Some of the support equipment on the deck might take damage (there are fun pictures of the ship after previous attempts with various items dented and scorched) but the ship itself should be fine.



> The explosions we've seen in the past are really just the remnants of fuel briefly burning

And rapid de-pressurisation.


Ah, OK. For some reason I had the mental image of a bunch of inexpensive ships which would surely sink if they got hit at high velocity. It's pretty incredible, given how large the rockets are, that the ship dwarfs them, but recalling earlier landing videos you are correct.


Just to put some numbers on it, this barge is the MARMAC 304, modified by SpaceX. According to this page:

http://www.mcdonoughmarine.com/recent-news.html

That ship has a cargo capacity of over 13,000 tons. I believe an empty Falcon 9 first stage is around 20 tons. Totally different scales.


I read that entire barge blog. Its interesting.


Do they 'refurbish' the barge ? It's the .. 4th time ?


> It's a little bit like someone throwing a soda can at your head.

A mostly empty can. And it should be moving slowly when it hits.




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