Overweight spaceship

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Revision as of 18:52, 28 October 2019 by Dvgrn (talk | contribs) (add links about OWSS variants and synthesizability -- they're not all just HWSS+1)
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Overweight spaceship
4o$o3bo$o$bo2bo$5bo$bo5bo$o$o6bo$7o4$4o$o3bo$o$bo2bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]]
Pattern type Miscellaneous
Number of cells 15
Bounding box 8×5
Discovered by John Conway
Year of discovery 1970

An overweight spaceship (or OWSS for short) is a would-be spaceship similar to the lightweight spaceship, middleweight spaceship and heavyweight spaceship, but longer. On its own an overweight spaceship is unstable. For example, in the shortest overweight spaceship, the three cells at its top do not die off like the corresponding sparks at the top of the smaller spaceships. Nonetheless, it can be escorted by true spaceships to form a flotilla.

Overweight Spaceship with escort

For OWSS with top spark over 4, minimal escort size difference is 4, as shown.


It is also possible to stabilize the OWSS with more OWSS, which then have to be stabilized by more OWSS/A *WSS. An example is shown below.

Overweight Spaceship supported by more overweight spaceships.

Glider Synthesis

Many lengths of overweight spaceship can be constructed by colliding gliders.[1] Recent syntheses are collected in the xq4 synthesis listing in Catagolue[2]; a number of older recipes can be found in Mark Niemiec's database.[3]

In other rules

The non-totalistic rule FattyLife (B3-n4nt5qr6i/S23) is specifically tailored to support the overweight spaceship with spark length 3, making it a p8 spaceship.


  1. Martin Grant (June 5, 2019). Re: Small Spaceship Syntheses (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  2. "xq4 census". Catagolue. Retrieved on October 28, 2019.
  3. Mark Niemiec. "Overweight spaceship flotillae". Mark Niemiec's database. Retrieved on October 28, 2019.

External links