Since September 4, the 61 orbital launches carried out last year by the Californian operator are ancient history. And the counter keeps ticking…
Record broken in 8 months
Last year, SpaceX had carried out no less than 61 orbital launches in twelve months – 60 with launchers Falcon 9, and 1 with the Falcon Heavy.
The Californian operator’s record was equaled this year on September 2, then was surpassed two days later.
The first mission, implemented from the military base of Vandenbergin California, placed 13 satellites in low orbit Tracking Layer Slice 0 (military communications and missile tracking), on behalf of the United States Space Development Agency – SDA).
The second mission, launched from Kennedy Space Centerin Florida, was dedicated to the deployment in low orbit of 21 new satellites of the “home” constellation Starlink (group 6-12) for the global internet.
To mark its 61st achievement of 2023, SpaceX posted on X (ex-Twitter) a photographic montage showing in the background the take-off of the launcher, and in the foreground the return of its first stage to dry land.
Four days of break
SpaceX therefore displays 62 achievements between January 3 and September 4 – 59 with the Falcon 9, and 3 with the Falcon Heavy.
All missions with the Falcon 9 were followed by successful stage recovery, and 57 out of 59 used “proven” stages.
It should be noted that 61% of Falcon 9 missions (36 out of 59) were used to continue the deployment of the Starlink constellation (compared to 34 out of 60 in 2022).
And already, the space companyElon Musk preparing the next one for September 8 (a new Starlink mission, from the base of Cape Canaveralin Florida).