SpaceX has changed the way we think about rocket launches with its use of reusable rocket boosters. And if a few days ago, SpaceX has reached an impressive milestone by breaking its record for the number of launches carried out in a calendar year. Its previous record was 31 launches in 2021, but on Friday, January 22, the company launched its 32nd mission of this year, even though it’s only July.
The 32nd launch used a Falcon 9 rocket to carry a batch of 46 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit, where they will join thousands of other Starlink satellites forming a constellation intended to provide global high-speed internet access. Liftoff took place from Vandenberg Space Base in California, after the launch was pushed back a day from the originally scheduled date of Thursday.
Falcon 9 launches 46 Starlink satellites to orbit pic.twitter.com/qysrekTXfo
—SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 22, 2022
The first stage of the mission booster was also successfully recovered. He landed on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, stationed in the Pacific Ocean. SpaceX has made great strides in recovering boosters over the past few years. It used to be common to see boosters wobbling and falling off drone ships in the ocean, but today virtually all boosters are successfully collected.
SpaceX has broken many records this year, such as the record for the number of booster reuses. In March this year, a Falcon 9 booster flew its twelfth mission, setting a new record. But just recently, a booster performed a thirteenth mission, proving that these boosters are even more resistant than initial estimates.
SpaceX’s long-standing goal for booster reuse was for just one to fly ten missions, but it has been far exceeded.
Two launches in the same day
The company intends to continue the rapid pace of its launches, having stated thatit planned to make up to 52 flights this year. This will involve feats such as launching two missions in one day, which is possible since the company launches from the Vandenberg site in California and Cape Canaveral in Florida.
SpaceX is not about to slow down, as another Starlink launch is scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, June 24.