- 🚀 SpaceX achieves its 62nd orbital launch of the year, launching 21 Starlink satellites.
- 🛰️ This sets a new company record for annual launches, with four months still remaining in the year.
- 🌐 SpaceX leads in mass to orbit primarily due to the frequent Starlink missions.
- 🚀 Elon Musk’s goal is to achieve 100 launches in a year, with vehicle and payload availability being the main constraint.
- 🌍 The 21 Starlink satellites launched last night were inserted into a 43-degree orbital inclination.
- 🚀 SpaceX anticipates up to eight launches in September, including a potential Starship test launch.
- 🚀 The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, marking the 149th successful Falcon recovery in a row.
Last night at 10:47 p.m. ET (02:47 UTC), SpaceX launched 21 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit, breaking their company record of 61 launches in a year.
The 62nd launch comes with four months still remaining in the year and plenty of launches still left on the schedule. SpaceX could approach the low 90s by year’s end. SpaceX is far ahead of any other launch provider when it comes to mass to orbit, mostly due to numerous Starlink launches.
Elon Musk has stated they want to launch 100 in a year, and the only thing that seems to stand in the way of that goal is vehicle and payload availability. SpaceX currently has 17 flight-proven Falcon 9 first-stage rockets in various stages of readiness. A few of those are assigned as Falcon Heavy side boosters.
Along with the 17 Falcon 9 rockets at the ready, there are multiple new Falcon 9s and Falcon Heavy center cores in progress as well, so vehicle availability should not pose a problem for the company.
As for the 21 Starlink satellites launched last night, they separated from the 2nd stage an hour and five minutes after lift-off, and they were inserted into a 43-degree orbital inclination.
This mission kicked off what could be another busy month for SpaceX, having just come off a nine-launch campaign in August. September could see up to eight launches, including the possibility of a Starship test launch. Starship still has work to do, but there are notices for a mid to late-month launch of the massive rocket.
After launching from Launch Complex 39A, Booster 1073 landed on the droneship “Just Read the Instructions,” completing its 10th mission to space and back. It was also the 149th successful Falcon recovery in a row.
The next launch for SpaceX will be another Starlink mission from Florida, currently scheduled for NET September 8th.
With SpaceX breaking their launch record and four more months left in the year, how many do you think they could achieve for 2023? The sky isn’t the limit anymore.