NRC Quest

NRC Quest is the Cargo Dragon recovery vessel. Operating out of the Port of Los Angeles, NRC Quest regularly recovers Dragon upon the conclusion of CRS missions to the International Space Station.

In the past, the vessel also supported West Coast droneship landings on Just Read the Instructions. NRC Quest supported 8 landing attempts, of which 7 were successful. By August 2019, SpaceX chose to move Just Read the Instructions to Florida to support a high launch cadence. This left NRC Quest will only Dragon recovery duties.

Upon the conclusion of the first CRS contract - CRS-20 - Dragon will move to splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean to be recovered by other ships. This will leave NRC Quest without a role and her future is not yet clear.


The vessel has also hauled fairings for GO Ms. Tree to use during offshore helicopter drop tests.

Vital Statistics

Operator: NRC

Year Built: 2002

IMO: 9271195

Length: 48m

Width: 11m

Joined SpaceX Fleet: 2015


Learn more about Dragon Recovery

Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations. SpaceX has been flying and then recovering the spacecraft since 2010.

SpaceX is to start recovering a crew version of the capsule using a ship named GO Searcher that is specially outfitted for the job. The cargo variant is recovered by NRC Quest.  is not affiliated with SpaceX or any vessel provider.

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