SpaceX breaks Falcon 9 flight record

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SpaceX successfully launched and landed a Falcon 9 for the 20th time on Friday, April 12th, marking a new milestone for flight-proven rockets.

The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which broke its own turn-around record with just 2 days, 19 hours, and 42 minutes between launches. According to a post on X from Space Launch Delta 45, the previous record was 3 days, 17 hours, and 24 minutes.

The ability of SpaceX to turn the launch pads around this quickly is what will help them achieve their 144 launches in one-year goal, which they are currently on pace to meet.

When SpaceX began taking the first steps towards flight-proven rockets, many in the industry claimed it was unfeasible and too expensive. Fast-forward a few years, and SpaceX is leading the worldwide launch industry in mission cadence and payload mass sent to orbit.

Established companies that once frowned upon the concept are now developing rockets that are intended to land or return a portion of their first stages to fly again another day and are way behind in implementing this capability.

The Falcon 9 that broke this record was Booster 1062 which last flew 28 days ago. B1062 has now safely launched 8 humans to orbit, 2 GPS satellites, 2 telecommunications satellites, a batch of OneWeb internet satellites, and 13 Starlink missions. The maiden launch of B1062 took place in November 2020 and has now been flying for well over 3 years as SpaceX continues to push the boundaries on its rockets.

B1062 likely won’t be the record holder much longer as there are 2 other Falcons currently waiting for their next missions that have both flown 19 times already.

B1062’s mission was Starlink Group 6-49, which, like other Group 6 missions, was sent to a 43-degree orbital inclination. B1062 made its 20th landing on the droneship ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas, ‘ which was stationed just East of the Bahamas.

SpaceX has already returned B1062 to Port Canaveral and will begin its post-flight processing and, most likely, preparation for its 21st flight in the weeks ahead.

How many flights do you think SpaceX will attempt with their rockets? Could we see up to 30 or possibly more?

Questions or comments? Shoot me an email at rangle@teslarati.com, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

SpaceX breaks Falcon 9 flight record





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