Elon Musk Names SpaceX Drone Ships in Honor of Iain M. Banks

While he’s working on getting humans into space, SpaceX CEO/CTO Elon Musk hasn’t forgotten the greats who propelled us out of the stratosphere through fiction long before him. Today, Musk tweeted that he’s named two of his spaceport drone ships in the most fitting way: after ships from science fiction writer Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels.

SpaceX’s autonomous spaceport drone ships are custom-built ocean platforms designed to accommodate the landing of booster rockets after they have sent spacecraft into orbit. The company is still in the testing phase, but decided to christen their first completed ship of its kind:

Lest the other drone ships feel left out, Musk added:

Just Read the Instructions and Of Course I Still Love You are two of the sentient, planet-sized Culture starships which first appear in Banks’ The Player of Games. Just as the Minds inhabiting each Culture ship choose their names with care, you have to imagine that Musk did the same here.

Banks already lives on through an asteroid, but it’s heartening to see the reach of his work on our current forays into space.

Cover art from The Player of Games


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