After 31 launches in 2021, SpaceX ended 2022 with a total of 60 missions. Even better, Elon Musk’s company announces 100 flights by 2023! Ten years earlier, the European space transport actors laughed at him anyway.
Wednesday, SpaceXSpaceX completed its 60th launch of the year, as announced at the start of the year. In total, the company completed fifty-nine Falcon 9 launches and one Falcon HeavyFalcon Heavy. Vise versa, ArianespaceArianespace, a few years ago the leader in the launch of commercial satellite markets, carried out only five missions. There are three flights ofAriadne 5Ariadne 5including the launch of the first third-generation Meteosat satellite, a Soyuz flight (before its ban) and a Vega-C flight which ended in failure.
This last flight was made with the launch of a mission star linkstar link using a rocketrocket Falcon 9 from the SLC-40 launch pad in Cape CanaveralCape Canaveral, in Florida. This was the eleventh use and recovery of the Falcon 9 first stage, which had previously been used in the launches of the GPS-III 04 and 05 satellites, the Inspiration4 and Ax-1 tourist missions, as well as the Nilesat 301 satellite and six Starlink missions.
In 2023, the company hasElon MuskElon Musk aiming for a record year of no fewer than 100 launches, primarily Falcon 9s, a few Falcon Heavys and demonstration flights of the Starship. With 9 flights in 2016, 18 in 2017, 21 in 2018, 13 in 2019 and 24 in 2020, the SpaceX launch rate is crescendoing.
From sweet dreamer… to leader in commercial launches
How long it has been since the beginning of February 2002, when Elon Musk decided to build his own rocket, which could also be reused, and founded SpaceX in the spring of 2002 to realize it and make his Martian dreams come true! Twenty years later, the arrival of SpaceX – the first representative of ” new space – has shaken up the commercial market and its success has also given credibility to this ” new space which today is revolutionizing access to space and soon its useorbitorbit bass and exploration.
SpaceX’s technological and financial venture has therefore been a success. The latter is based on co-location mass production, with extreme vertical integration with few or no subcontractors, re-use of the main stage and use of a single engine.
These successes, these very high launch speeds and future promises are also the best answers to criticism from European space transport actors, who even less than 10 years ago openly mocked Elon Musk and did not hesitate to take him as a sweet dreamer (to be polite!) .