Mission Impossible? SpaceX couldn't fulfill Musk's whim for record-breaking Falcon 9 launches

Mission Impossible? SpaceX couldn't fulfill Musk's whim for record-breaking Falcon 9 launches

December 24, 21:26 Share:

Falcon 9 launches in 2023 were record-breaking (Photo: SpaceX)

As the end of the year approaches, it has already become clear that SpaceX has not been able to achieve the goal set by Elon Musk of 100 launches of Falcon family rockets in a year.

On December 18, SpaceX carried out its last successful Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Station in Florida, USA.. During this mission, the company managed to launch 23 Starlink v2 mini satellites into orbit. This launch took place after an 11-day break ( the longest this year) and became the 88th Falcon 9 launch in 2023. It was also the 254th consecutive successful flight of this extraordinary rocket.

In total, this year the company carried out 92 launches — 88 Falcon 9 and 4 Falcon Heavy.. This is 50% more than in 2022, and three times more than in 2021. However, this is not enough to achieve the ambitious goal set by Elon Musk.

“I’m planning up to 100 flights next year,” the billionaire said in X ( Twitter) last August.

Even at the beginning of the site, SpaceX Vice President Kiko Donchev argued that achieving this goal would be difficult.

“100 is a lot, but it will require great execution, a relentless focus on safety and reliability, and a little luck with the weather!” he wrote in X.

At the same time, another Vice President of SpaceX, Bill Gerstenmaier, speaking before the US Senate in October, said that the company aims to carry out another one and a half times more launches in 2024 — 144 per year or 12 per month.

As SpaceNews notes, this year SpaceX accounted for nearly half of the 209 orbital launch attempts in 2023, 200 of which were successful.. In addition, SpaceX is the leader among American companies in terms of the number of launches.

NV Techno wrote that the second most active US company, Rocket Lab, this month launched its Electron micro- and nanosatellite launch vehicle. This was the 10th mission this year and the 42nd in the company's history. The break between launches lasted for three long months.

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