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Shannon (GO Navigator)

Shannon with a Dragon training mockup - Tom McCool

Shannon (Previously named GO Navigator) is a Dragon recovery ship used by SpaceX. The vessel, alongside sister ship Megan, recovers Dragon at the end of a mission or during certain abort scenarios. Shannon joined the recovery fleet in August 2018.

Shannon was renamed from GO Navigator in February 2022. It’s suspected that SpaceX has purchased the ship from the previous owner/operate Guice Offshore. The name is in honor of NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, the first female astronaut that SpaceX flew.

Shannon was slowly upgraded to match Megan throughout 2018 and 2019. The vessel is equipped with a medical treatment facility and helipad for emergency situations. When splashdown occurs offshore near Cape Canaveral, astronauts will be recovered and travel back to Port Canaveral on board the recovery ship. In the event of a medical emergency or a splashdown elsewhere, a helicopter will land and transport the astronauts back to land.

Vital Statistics

Owner: SpaceX (Previously Guice Offshore)

Operator: Guice Offshore

Year Built: 2010

IMO: 9566887

Length: 52m

Width: 11m

Joined SpaceX Fleet: 2018

Full Specification Sheet.

To recover Dragon, the stern of Shannon has a large crane. Recovery teams in small fast-approach boats connect lines between Shannon and Dragon and then the capsule is carefully lifted from the water. Astronauts would then egress from the capsule once it is secured on the deck of Shannon . NASA requires SpaceX to egress astronauts from Dragon within 60 minutes of splashdown.

Shannon has conducted many hours of training to prepare for the role of recovering Dragon and astronauts. The vessel had a supporting role during the first flight of Crew Dragon and the Dragon In-Flight Abort Test. The vessel recovered Dragon for the first time during the Crew Demo-2 mission, August 2020.

Shannon arrives at Port Canaveral - Kyle Montgomery

Between April and May 2019, Shannon was temporarily re-assigned to fairing recovery operations for the ArabSat-6A, Starlink 0.9, STP-2, and AMOS-17 missions. The ship was fitted with inflatables and sent downrange to haul fairing halves from the water. The ship was successful and delivered a fairing half back to Port Canaveral during each mission.

Fairing half recovered by Shannon- SpaceX

Shannon successfully recovered astronauts for the first time upon the conclusion of the Crew Demo-2 mission, August 2, 2020.

The Dragon Endeavor capsule was lifted from the water and NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were egressed from the capsule and taken to the vessel’s medical facility for checks. Shortly after, they were flown back to land by a helicopter that landed on Shannon .  

Dragon Endeavor lifted aboard Shannon with Bob and Doug - NASA Kennedy
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley is helped out of Dragon - NASA Kennedy

Missions

MissionRole
CRS-23Cargo Dragon Recovery
Crew-2Crew Dragon Recovery
CRS-23Backup Cargo Dragon Recovery
Inspiration4Backup Crew Dragon Recovery
SXM-8Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L28Fairing Recovery
Crew-1Crew Dragon Recovery
Starlink V1 L21Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L20Fairing Recovery
Starlink V1 L17Fairing Recovery
CRS-21Cargo Dragon Recovery
Crew Demo-2Crew Dragon Recovery
In-Flight-Abort TestCrew Dragon Recovery
Starlink V1 L1Fairing Recovery
AMOS-17Fairing Recovery
STP-2Fairing Recovery
Starlink V0.9Fairing Recovery
Crew Demo-1Crew Dragon Recovery
ArabSat-6AFairing Recovery