SpaceX could complete up to 52 flights in 2022. That would be the equivalent of one flight per week. Never seen.
52 missions in 2022. This is the objective that SpaceX has set itself for the current year with regard to the number of launches. If the American company succeeds, it would be a record. The group would surpass, by far, the previous mark established in 2021. Last year, the company managed to take on 31 flights. The target for 2022 is an increase in flights of more than 67%.
SpaceX launches more rockets every year
Above all, this would mean that SpaceX would manage to complete one flight per week on average, which is a frantic pace and never seen in the aerospace sector. The company would mobilize its two main launch bases for this, one in Cape Canaveral in Florida, the other in Vandenberg in California – there is another base in Texas, but which is mainly used for testing.
Since the beginning of its activities, SpaceX has hardly stopped breaking its records for the number of annual flights. If they did not exceed ten until 2017 (there were for example 3 in 2013 and 9 in 2016), the rhythm has intensified since: 18 in 2017, 21 in 2018, 26 in 2020 and 31 in 2021. Only 2019 saw a low, with only 13 missions.
SpaceX’s claimed goal for 2022 was mentioned during an exchange with NASA devoted to aerospace security, picked up by The Verge on January 27. “ There’s an ambitious 52-launch manifesto for SpaceX during the year. And it’s an incredible rhythm said Sandy Magnus, former astronaut and panel member.
This very significant increase in flights obviously testifies to the tremendous industrial success of the Falcon 9, which is a rocket whose first stage can return automatically after its mission and can be reused dozens of times. Other components of the launcher can also be reused, in particular the fairing pieces.
The details of these 52 launches are not given, but they will concern SpaceX’s private partners, the American government, the army, NASA, its Starlink subsidiary which provides an Internet access service by space, astronauts traveling to the International Space Station, possible tourist flights and space carpools.
The vast majority of missions will be conducted by the Falcon 9, but we should see the Falcon Heavy serve occasionally in 2022 (we are talking about half a dozen flights). The Falcon Heavy consists in fact of beefing up a Falcon 9 rocket by adding two Falcon 9 first stages to it. In addition, it is also in 2022 that we will see the orbital flight of the Starship, to prepare for its future real missions.