December 28th at 4:40 AM EST SpaceX launched their 60th Falcon 9 of the year achieving a goal set for the company nine months ago on March 28th.
Telsarati has a good piece by their SpaceX correspondent Eric Ralph, and he has a good summary paragraph.
By every possible measure, 2022 has been a groundbreaking year for SpaceX even when considering the vast list of achievements it’s racked up over the last half-decade. It owns and operates the largest satellite constellation in history by an order of magnitude. Its Starlink satellite internet service has secured more than a million subscribers less than two years after entering beta. It operates the only routinely reusable orbital-class rockets and orbital spacecraft currently in service. Its Falcon 9 workhorse has launched more in one year than any other single rocket in history. It’s regularly launching at a pace that hasn’t been sustained by any one country – let alone a single company – in 40 years. It’s managing that near-historic cadence while simultaneously recovering and reusing boosters and fairings that represent some 70% of the value of almost every rocket it launches.
Booster B1062 flew on its 11th mission, landing successfully on drone ship ASOG (A Shortfall Of Gravitas) in nasty looking weather around 400 miles downrange a bit under nine minutes after liftoff. Seconds before the landing, Falcon 9’s expendable upper stage reached orbit, shut down its Merlin Vacuum engine, released the 52 satellite payload, and began slowly spinning itself end over end to start the process of burning up on re-entry.
Elon Musk has put out the goal of 100 launches for next year, essentially two per week.
With three pads and what appear to always be inevitable weather-related delays, it seems a fourth pad might be required to meet the 100 launch requirement. On the other hand, if any company could do it, it sure seems like the world leader would be the one to bet on.
Oh, and #61 is still on schedule for Dec. 30 at 0658UTC from Vandenberg.
Hopefully 4 or 5 of those orbital launches will be Starships.ReplyDelete
Hear hear! The PEA is delaying the FAA giving SpaceX the launch license until the PEA's conditions are satisfied. Another fine example of why the hell the Gooberment needs to stay away from most technical things.Delete
Envirowhackism at it's worst.
I'll shut up now, sorry.
Making space travel routine - this was the future I was promised . . .ReplyDelete
Jumping from an average of five launches a month to just over eight per month is over 1 1/2 times as many. It will be impressive if Space-X can pull it off. Barring a large unforeseen event, my money is on Space-X succeeding.ReplyDelete
AAAAAAND last night (Pacific Coast time) they let number 61 loose. Totally successful, as usual.ReplyDelete
They make it look sooooooooooo easy!!