SpaceX completes its 60th launch of the year

This Wednesday, December 28 SpaceX has completed its 60th launch of the yearand thus achieve the goal she had set herself. By 2021, the company had only performed ” to » 31.

A goal that has been revised upwards by SpaceX

Leading company in the space sector, SpaceX owes most of its success to the reusability of its rocketsand especially its highly reliable Falcon 9 launcher, which has enabled it to drastically reduce launch costs and perform many more.

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After a successful 2021 with 31 launches, the company had initially set a goal of 52 launches in 2022, which it later revised up to 60. It’s now done: SpaceX will complete the 60th launch of the year, including 3 in only 36 hours at least in June, as well as its 60th successful first stage landing for recycling.

In total, the company operated 59 Falcon 9 launches and one Falcon Heavy. If it has gotten us used to records, it’s still a remarkable achievement.

The first Gen2s have started

The last launch of the year was a Starlink mission. Indeed, the company’s Internet satellite network has grown strongly, with traffic increasing 15-fold between January and December. The constellation now has more than 3,300 operational units in orbit.

This 60th mission was special: The Falcon 9 launch vehicle, on its 11th lift in total, carried 54 Starlink Gen2 satellites into orbit. These machines are more impressive than their predecessors and are therefore equipped with tenfold capacity; they will reach a higher orbit. SpaceX has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch them in early December.

Under our new license we are now able to deploy satellites in new orbits that will add even more capacity to the network. Ultimately, this allows us to add more customers and provide faster service, especially in areas that are currently oversubscribed. said Jesse Anderson, a SpaceX production and engineering manager.

What is planned in 2023?

The Starlink Gen2 satellites were originally designed to be launched by Starship, but the company has revised its plans as its rocket is still in the prototype stage. She updated the devices so they could be launched by a Falcon 9.

At the moment we don’t know what SpaceX’s goals are for the year 2023, but we can suspect that in addition to its launches, it will conduct tests on the Starship prototype. As a reminder, the ultra-heavy launch vehicle was selected by NASA as a lander under the Artemis program, which plans to return humans to the surface of the Moon by the end of the decade.

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