SpaceX set to break its own Falcon 9 launch record

SpaceX is about to break its own record. The latest Falcon 9 launch last Sunday to flesh out the Starlink satellite constellation already equals last year’s record.

This Sunday, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket into space to deploy 53 Starlink satellites into orbit. The liftoff tied SpaceX’s launch record set last year. It was actually the 31e takeoff of Falcon 9 this year. With the next mission, SpaceX will therefore smash its own record for launches in a calendar year.

Lift-off of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket – Credit: SpaceX

Elon Musk’s aerospace company, which won permission to use Starlink in moving vehicles, is also breaking reuse records. Indeed, last Sunday’s mission was the 13the launch of the first stage of this Falcon 9 rocket. The mission thus equaled the record set last month by the company. The rocket’s first stage landed on the Just Read the Instructions (JRTI) recovery barge in less than 9 minutes after liftoff. As for the 53 satellites, they were deployed into orbit 15 minutes after launch.

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For the past 10 years, SpaceX has launched more Falcon 9 rockets each year (bar one year) than the year before. The year 2022 promises to be even more impressive. SpaceX plans to smash its own record on Thursday with another Starlink mission. A second take-off is also scheduled for Sunday July 24.

At this rate, SpaceX succeeds on average more than one launch per week since the beginning of the year. Elon Musk’s company should therefore exceed 50 take-offs in total by the end of 2022. Besides, SpaceX also has more takeoffs on the counter than China. It had planned 60 launches in 2020, but its rockets have only left Earth 14 times so far.

Finally, SpaceX is also preparing to launch Starship for its first orbital flight. The FAA gave the go-ahead for Starship to take off last month. So it’s only a matter of time before the spacecraft designed to take humans to Mars makes a flight in orbit around Earth.

Source: CNET

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