SpaceX’s OCISLY Platform Crosses Panama CanalBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 06/28/2021 - 18:41
SpaceX’s autonomous aerospace port platform "Of Course I Still Love You" (OCISLY) crossed the Panama Canal on its way to the Pacific on June 25. This unmanned platform assists SpaceX’s rockets landing at sea.
OCISLY had assisted in the water landing of the propellant of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, after the latter launched a Dragon capsule into space. Due to the dimensions of the platform, it had to pass through the Neopanamax locks, commented the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). This development has been in operation for five years and opened the door for this type of projects. "Since the first transit through the Neopanamax locks, approximately 13,700 vessels have crossed the Canal, representing 28 percent of the transits in this period. These transits represented 54 percent of the cargo volume and 58 percent of the Canal toll revenue,” reads the official site of the Panama Canal.
Jorge Pitti, General Foreman of Locks Operations, mentioned in the article that all this traffic plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gases and facilitates the transport of more cargo in fewer trips. He highlighted the Canal’s ability to offer uninterrupted service to global commerce even during the pandemic.
A Mexican “Panama Canal”
Mexico has plans to build a similar canal to support transportation and reduce shipping costs: The Transisthmic Corridor. This corridor will a dry canal built in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, joining the Gulf of Mexico with the Pacific. The plan is scheduled to be finished by 2023. The project was started in 2018 to promote the economic development of the region, while respecting its history, culture and traditions, reads the Mexican Government website. "Today, Panama is the most important link in the world for international cargo, but I believe that Tehuantepec could overcome this," said Ana Esther Cecena, Coordinator of the Latin American Observatory of Geopolitics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The project could help Mexico‘s internal trade and support the attraction of more foreign investment.