SpaceX plans 52 launches in 2022, a new record

In a virtual meeting hosted by NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), the committee that assesses and advises the space agency’s safety performance, it was revealed that SpaceX plans to operate fifty -two launches in 2022. This would be a new record for the company, which has just set a new one in 2021 with thirty-one launches.

NASA first

There’s an ambitious 52-launch manifesto for SpaceX during the year. And it’s an incredible rhythm “said Sandy Magnus, former NASA astronaut and member of the committee. Most of the launches operated by SpaceX are for its own constellation of Starlink satellites, which aims to bring high-speed Internet to the most remote regions of the world. Elon Musk’s firm has already launched thousands of devices, and thousands more have yet to leave Earth.

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Additionally, SpaceX works closely with NASA and currently transports American astronauts to the International Space Station through its Crew Dragon capsule; several trips are already planned this year. Moreover, ASAP considers that SpaceX’s partnership with the American Space Agency must come before anything else: ” Both NASA and SpaceX will need to ensure that the proper attention and priority is given to NASA missions, and that the right resources are brought to bear to keep that pace to a safe extent. continued Sandy Magnus.

The space company also carries out launches for other entities, namely the Space Force or New Space firms for which it sends satellites into orbit. If SpaceX manages to maintain such a high rate of launches, it is thanks to the reusability of its rockets. For example, one of the three launches that the firm has made since the beginning of the year was carried out by a Falcon 9 which was used for the tenth time. With recyclable launchers, SpaceX is able to not only increase the rate of its launches, but also bring down their price. Thus, a launch goes from about 60 to 90 million dollars to less than 30 million with a recyclable rocket, explains CNBC.

A Falcon 9 launcher landing after completing its mission.

A Falcon 9 launcher landing after completing its mission. Photo: Official SpaceX Photos

A goal not sure to be reached

On the other hand, ASAP did not specify whether the Starship and Super Heavy tests were included in the fifty-two launches planned for 2022. Indeed, SpaceX is currently working on this vessel as well as its ultra heavy launcher with the ambition , in the long term, to make it an interplanetary transport system. However, the program is experiencing some difficulties and has fallen behind; in particular with a first orbital test which has still not taken place and yet initially planned for July 2021. As a reminder, Starship was chosen as the lander for NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to bring humans back to the Moon .

SpaceX’s objective for this year 2022 demonstrates the great ambitions of the company, which has had a string of contracts and has enjoyed many successes in recent years. However, achieving this remains a very complicated task, as launches can be postponed for many reasons, namely weather, technical, etc. In 2021, Elon Musk had announced forty-eight launches to finally achieve thirty-one… But if all goes as planned, the company should break its own record by the end of the year.

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