**Two-spaceship flotillae:**
2-spaceship |
Schick ships |
2-spaceship draggers |
2-spaceship A-draggers

**Three-spaceship flotillae**:
Basic |
Complex |
Schick-ship |
Pre-block-draggers

**Overweight spaceship flotillae**:
7WSS |
8WSS |
9WSS |
10WSS |
11WSS |
12WSS |
13WSS |
14WSS
**Four-spaceship flotillae**:
Comma-pushers |
Hive-nudgers

All spaceship flotillae here are composed of spaceships that move
at a velocity of *c*/2 orthogonally. A few flotillae of other velocities are
included with
spaceships of those velocities.

For counting purposes here, the number of spaceships in a flotilla includes self-sustaining spaceships (e.g. LWSS, MWSS, HWSS), and unstable components that nevertheless are capable of forward motion on their own (e.g. OWSS, B heptomino, Coe ship, Wainwright ship, sidecar, push-along, half of X66). It does not include components that normally do not move by themselves (e.g. still-lifes, pre-block, comma, A, Schick ship).

These are all the two-spaceship flotillae composed of the three basic
*c*/2 orthogonal spaceships (LWSS,
MWSS, and
HWSS), plus four other related simple
spaceship-like attachments that cannot exist on their own
(i.e. sidecar, Coe ship, push-along, and half of X66).

**NOTE:** The three marked **@** are pseudo-spaceships. Three on the
bottom row do not yet have syntheses. All the others except the two marked
***** can be built from either side, facilitating construction of most
arbitrarily large flotillae.

The Coe ship is an unstable spaceship that can be stabilized by an escort LWSS, producing a period 16 spaceship. When so stabilized, it produces plumes of dying debris, so it is considered a clean puffer train engine. Many puffer trains can be built from it by perturbing these plumes with other spaceships. In fact, when combined with a Schick ship, another clean puffer engine, the two produce a large dirty exhaust plume. It can also be placed between two escort HWSS, creating a period 20 (mod 10) spaceship; in this case, it can also be lengthened by two and operates the same way.

The Schick ship is a period 12 tag-along that can be dragged by two *c*/2
orthogonal spaceships. When so stabilized, it produces plumes of dying debris,
so is considered a clean puffer train engine. Many
puffer trains can be built from it by
perturbing these plumes with other spaceships. In fact, when combined with a
Coe ship, another clean puffer engine, the two
produce a large dirty exhaust plume.

These are all the ways a Schick ship engine can be dragged by a
two-spaceship flotillae. Unfortunately, the escort spaceships must be synthesized
in place, with the engine being simultaneously inserted behind them. It is
extremely difficult to insert anything behind moving spaceships, because they
moves at a speed of *c*/2, so the insertion would need to approach faster than
that - and Life patterns can only maintain average sustained speeds that do not
exceed *c*/2, this is a major problem. The only thing that can approach faster
is a very wide ever-shrinking straight line. While it might be technically
possible for such synthesis methods to be developed, they would likely be
extremely expensive, unwieldy, and usually impractical.

Schick ship behind two LWSS [10] | Schick ship behind HWSS and LWSS [11] | Schick ship behind two MWSS [11] | Schick ship behind two HWSS [14] |

These are some ways that two spaceships can drag another object. Because there are many different escort possibilities for spaceships dragging an A, these are shown separately in the next section.

HWSS and MWSS dragging block [9] | Two HWSS dragging boat [x] |

There are numerous basic three-spaceship flotillae. There are too many to list individually, but they are summarized here. Some of these syntheses, or at least the mechanisms involved, may be added if time and space permit.

There are numerous three-spaceship flotillae based on the three basic spaceships. All of the basic two-spaceship syntheses can be built by adding the second spaceship to a first that already exists, combining the appropriate pieces unaltered from the two component two-spaceship flotilla recipes. This can be done from either side for all configurations.

By combining two of these, all basic three-spaceship flotillae can be built. Furthermore, these methods can be used repeatedly to construct flotillae containing any number of spaceships.

- 1 LWSS on LWSS on LWSS
- 3 MWSS on LWSS on LWSS
- 8 HWSS on LWSS on LWSS
- 6 LWSS on MWSS on LWSS
- 27 MWSS on MWSS on LWSS
- 45 HWSS on MWSS on LWSS
- 36 LWSS on HWSS on LWSS
- 120 MWSS on HWSS on LWSS
- 18 HWSS on HWSS on LWSS
- 6 MWSS on LWSS on MWSS
- 24 HWSS on LWSS on MWSS
- 45 MWSS on MWSS on MWSS
- 135 HWSS on MWSS on MWSS
- 120 MWSS on HWSS on MWSS
- 270 HWSS on HWSS on MWSS
- 36 HWSS on LWSS on HWSS
- 120 HWSS on MWSS on HWSS
- 171 HWSS on HWSS on HWSS

There are several three-component flotillae that include one or more non-self-sufficient components. The two previously one-sided components (Coe ship and sidecar) behave like HWSS and LWSS with respect to adding adjacent spaceships (although not every such adjacent spaceship geometry is viable). All can be synthesized by combining pairs of the above two-spaceship flotillae, except two that involve new geometries involving adding a HWSS to the outside of a sidecar. In both of these cases, while the specific synthesis is new, the actual method for adding the HWSS is the same as that used in the other conventional methods.

- 1 HWSS w/ sidecar on LWSS
- 3 HWSS w/ sidecar on MWSS
- 9 HWSS w/ sidecar on HWSS, two with special syntheses (#9 and #10)
- 8 LWSS on HWSS w/ sidecar
- 15 MWSS on HWSS w/ sidecar
- 18 HWSS on HWSS w/ sidecar
- 1 HWSS w/ two sidecars
- 1 Coe ship on LWSS on LWSS
- 3 Coe ship on LWSS on MWSS
- 8 Coe ship on LWSS on HWSS
- 2 Two Coe ships on LWSS
- 7 LWSS on Coe ship on LWSS
- 10 MWSS on Coe ship on LWSS (#9 has a period of 12 rather than 16)
- 17 HWSS on Coe ship on LWSS
- 1 Sidecar on Coe ship on LWSS
- 1 HWSS w/ sidecar on Coe ship

There are several three-component flotillae that involve the Schick-ship engine tag-along. (The last two are dirty puffers, rather than spaceships.) All can be synthesized by combining pairs of the above two-spaceship flotilla mechanisms.

- 1 LWSS on Schick ship behind LWSS and LWSS
- 3 MWSS on Schick ship behind LWSS and LWSS
- 8 HWSS on Schick ship behind LWSS and LWSS
- 1 LWSS on Schick ship behind LWSS and HWSS
- 3 MWSS on Schick ship behind LWSS and HWSS
- 8 HWSS on Schick ship behind LWSS and HWSS
- 3 LWSS on Schick ship behind MWSS and MWSS
- 9 MWSS on Schick ship behind MWSS and MWSS
- 15 HWSS on Schick ship behind MWSS and MWSS
- 8 LWSS on Schick ship behind HWSS and LWSS
- 15 MWSS on Schick ship behind HWSS and LWSS
- 18 HWSS on Schick ship behind HWSS and LWSS
- 8 LWSS on Schick ship behind HWSS and HWSS
- 15 MWSS on Schick ship behind HWSS and HWSS
- 18 HWSS on Schick ship behind HWSS and HWSS
- 1 Sidecar on Schick ship behind HWSS and LWSS
- 1 Sidecar on Schick ship behind HWSS and HWSS
- 1 Coe ship on Schick ship behind LWSS and LWSS (dirty puffer)
- 1 Coe ship on Schick ship behind LWSS and HWSS (dirty puffer)

All of the above can be built in two stages using the mechanisms shown above in 2-spaceship flotillae, except for the following.

On the top row, the first is a much cheaper synthesis of a three-MWSS flotilla that would otherwise involve an extremely expensive insertion of one of the rear spaceships; the second and third involve new escort geometries involving a HWSS escorting a sidecar, but otherwise using mechanisms used elsewhere; the last three involve adding a trivial HWSS escort to the as-yet-unsynthesized MWSS w/push-along.

On the the bottom row, the first involves a P8 Wainwright puffer engine between two MWSS, resulting in a clean P8 spaceship; the second is an MWSS added to a standard Coe ship using standard techniques, but the resulting spaceship has a period of 12 rather than 16; the last two involve Coe engines between two HWSS, resulting in clean P20 (mod 10) spaceships.

These do not include the many spaceships and puffers that can be formed by adding an escort spaceship to spark the exhaust plume from a Coe ship or Schick ship (and that can be usually be synthesized using the above methods.)

Spaceships with bodies greater than 6 bits long (HWSS) are naturally unstable because they produce sparks that survive long enough to damage the spaceship. However, such spaceships can exist in flotillae with escort spaceships that suppress such sparks. Such overweight spaceships (OWSS) with bodies from 7 bits (7WSS) to 14 bits long (14WSS) can exist in three-spaceship flotillae. OWSS longer than this themselves require smaller OWSS as escorts, requiring flotillae of 5 or more spaceships.

There are four fairly general mechanisms that can synthesize many of the overweight spaceships.

The first mechanism involves variations of the two-glider-into-boat synthesis
of the MWSS, yielding simple syntheses
of 7WSS, 8WSS, and 9WSS. Most, if not all, LWSS/MWSS/HWSS escorts can be
added on the *right* side (assuming that the frontmost glider that
turns into the spaceship comes from the left); however, escorts on the
*left* side (the one from which two gliders come) must generally be
ahead of or beside the OWSS.

The second mechanism involves colliding four gliders into a long-ship,
yielding a double-headed spaceship, that expands in two directions. 2-3
additional gliders are then used to remove one of the heads once the body has
reached the desired length. This can produce all OWSS engines 7WSS through
14WSS. Most, if not all, escorts can be added on the *left* side; however,
escorts on the *right* side must generally be behind or beside the
OWSS.

The third mechanism involves colliding two gliders into a shillelagh, yielding a double-headed spaceship, that expands in two directions. 2-3 additional gliders are then used to remove one of the heads once the body has reached the desired length. This is much less useful than the previous method, and is not actually used in any complete syntheses.

The fourth mechanism involves colliding two gliders into a forming teardrop to form an HWSS, and one additional glider hits the rear end of the HWSS to lengthen it by 2 into an 8WSS. A similar mechanism can produce a 10WSS.

For the smaller engines (7WSS-9WSS), the first two methods tend to complement each other well, and can produce most configurations.

Unfortunately, due to time limitations, these cannot yet be shown; however, they should be added as time permits.

There are 238 three-spaceship flotillae including seven-bit-long overweight spaceships (7WSS). Also, one or both of the escort ships can replaced by a Coe ship (that can be escorted by 7WSS instead of LWSS). Finally, a Coe ship (and its escort LWSS or 7WSS) can be lengthened by one, making it behave like a 7WSS. All of these can be synthesized. (Also, half of an X66 can be used as an escort, but no synthesis exists for that yet; there are an additional 22 of these.)

- 6 LWSS on 7WSS on LWSS
- 24 MWSS on 7WSS on LWSS
- 27 HWSS on 7WSS on LWSS
- 36 MWSS on 7WSS on MWSS
- 72 HWSS on 7WSS on MWSS
- 45 HWSS on 7WSS on HWSS, one with special synthesis
- 3 LWSS on 7WSS on Coe ship
- 8 MWSS on 7WSS on Coe ship
- 9 HWSS on 7WSS on Coe ship
- 1 Coe ship on 7WSS on Coe ship
- 1 LWSS on long Coe ship on MWSS
- 3 MWSS on long Coe ship on MWSS
- 3 HWSS on long Coe ship on MWSS
- (3 LWSS on 7WSS on half X66, without syntheses)
- (8 MWSS on 7WSS on half X66, without syntheses)
- (9 HWSS on 7WSS on half X66, without syntheses)
- (1 Coe ship on 7WSS on half X66, without synthesis)
- (1 Half X66 on 7WSS on half X66, without synthesis)

There are 190 three-spaceship flotillae including eight-bit-long overweight spaceships (8WSS). All can be synthesized.

- 6 LWSS on 8WSS on LWSS
- 21 MWSS on 8WSS on LWSS
- 27 HWSS on 8WSS on LWSS
- 28 MWSS on 8WSS on MWSS
- 63 HWSS on 8WSS on MWSS
- 45 HWSS on 8WSS on HWSS

There are 153 three-spaceship flotillae including nine-bit-long overweight spaceships (9WSS). All but one of these can be synthesized.

- 6 LWSS on 9WSS on LWSS
- 21 MWSS on 9WSS on LWSS
- 21 HWSS on 9WSS on LWSS
- 28 MWSS on 9WSS on MWSS
- 49 HWSS on 9WSS on MWSS
- 28 HWSS on 9WSS on HWSS, one with no known synthesis

There are 105 three-spaceship flotillae including ten-bit-long overweight spaceships (10WSS). At present, around half of these can be synthesized.

- 3 LWSS on 10WSS on LWSS, all synthesized
- 10 MWSS on 10WSS on LWSS, 8 synthesized so far
- 14 HWSS on 10WSS on LWSS, 8 synthesized so far
- 15 MWSS on 10WSS on MWSS, 8 synthesized so far
- 35 HWSS on 10WSS on MWSS, 15 synthesized so far
- 28 HWSS on 10WSS on HWSS, 6 synthesized so far

There are 45 three-spaceship flotillae including eleven-bit-long overweight spaceships (11WSS). At present, around a quarter of these can be synthesized. (Also, half of an X66 can be used as an escort, but no synthesis exists for that yet; there are an additional 10 of these.)

- 1 LWSS on 11WSS on LWSS, not yet synthesized
- 3 MWSS on 11WSS on LWSS, 1 synthesized so far
- 5 HWSS on 11WSS on LWSS, 1 synthesized so far
- 6 MWSS on 11WSS on MWSS, 1 synthesized so far
- 15 HWSS on 11WSS on MWSS, 4 synthesized so far
- 15 HWSS on 11WSS on HWSS, 4 synthesized so far
- (1 LWSS on 11WSS on half X66, without synthesis)
- (3 MWSS on 11WSS on half X66, without syntheses)
- (5 HWSS on 11WSS on half X66, without syntheses)
- (1 Half X66 on 11WSS on half X66, without synthesis)

There are 15 three-spaceship flotillae including twelve-bit-long overweight spaceships (12WSS). At present, none of these can be synthesized.

- 1 LWSS on 12WSS on LWSS
- 1 MWSS on 12WSS on LWSS
- 3 HWSS on 12WSS on LWSS
- 1 MWSS on 12WSS on MWSS
- 3 HWSS on 12WSS on MWSS
- 6 HWSS on 12WSS on HWSS

There are three three-spaceship flotillae including thirteen-bit-long overweight spaceships (13WSS). At present, none of these can be synthesized. (Also, half of an X66 can be used as an escort, but no synthesis exists for that yet either; there are an additional 3 of these.)

- 1 MWSS on 13WSS on MWSS
- 1 HWSS on 13WSS on MWSS
- 1 HWSS on 13WSS on HWSS
- (1 MWSS on 13WSS on half X66)
- (1 HWSS on 13WSS on half X66)
- (1 Half X66 on 13WSS on half X66)

There is one three-spaceship flotilla including a fourteen-bit-long overweight spaceship (14WSS). At present, this cannot be synthesized.

- 1 HWSS on 14WSS on HWSS

This is one example of a four-spaceship flotilla. Because they both have multiple escort configurations, comma-pushers and hive-nudgers are described in the following sections.

Ecologist [12] |

The Ecologist is a stabilization of Gosper's P20 B heptomino puffer that adds one escort MWSS that turns it into a clean smokeless spaceship.

None of these can currently be synthesized.

**Other types:**
still-lifes,
pseudo-still-lifes,
oscillators,
pseudo-oscillators,
oscillators by period,
pseudo-oscillators by period,
guns,
multi-colored Life,
basic spaceships and pseudo-spaceships,
exotic spaceships,
spaceships flotillae,
puffers,
constellations,
methuselahs,
not quite stable objects.

**See also:** Life objects sorted by:
counts,
frequency of occurrence,
cost in gliders,
name,
size in bits,
or type.

Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2013, 2014 by Mark. D. Niemiec.
All rights reserved.

This page was last updated on
*2015-02-19*.