Lightweight spaceship

The lightweight spaceship (commonly abbreviated to LWSS) or (rarely) small fish[1] is the smallest orthogonal spaceship, and the second most common spaceship after the glider. It moves at speed c/2 and has period 4 (and is therefore often referred to as 2c/4). It was found by John Conway in 1970.

Lightweight spaceship
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Pattern type Spaceship
Family XWSS
Number of cells 9
Bounding box 5×4
Frequency class 11.2
Direction Orthogonal
Period 4
Mod 2
Speed c/2
Speed (unsimplified) 2c/4
Heat 11
Discovered by John Conway
Year of discovery 1970


Random soups investigated by Achim Flammenkamp emitted one LWSS for approximately every 615 gliders.[2] The LWSS is also the eighteenth most common object on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue.[3]


In April 1992, David Bell found a tagalong for two lightweight spaceships (or two middleweight spaceships or two heavyweight spaceships). It can be extended indefinitely by attaching it to the back of itself. Interestingly, a hivenudger with symmetric rear (that is, both rear spaceships being of same "weight") can pull this tagalong.

Tagalong for two lightweight spaceships
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Catagolue: here
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See also


  1. "Small fish". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver. Retrieved on June 10, 2009.
  2. "Spontaneous appeared Spaceships out of Random Dust". Achim Flammenkamp (December 9, 1995). Retrieved on August 18, 2011.
  3. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 24, 2016.
  • 9P4H2V0.1 at Heinrich Koenig's Game of Life Object Catalogs
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