SpaceX Shatters Records with 62nd Launch in 2023

In a remarkable demonstration of prowess, SpaceX has once again affirmed its position at the pinnacle of the aerospace industry.

by Faruk Imamovic
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SpaceX Shatters Records with 62nd Launch in 2023
© Getty Images News/Handout

In a remarkable demonstration of prowess, SpaceX has once again affirmed its position at the pinnacle of the aerospace industry. On Monday, September 4, the company added another feather to its already heavily adorned cap by setting a new record for the most orbital launches within a year.

Setting the Pace in Space

Launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX sent 21 Starlink satellites into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. This marks their 62nd orbital flight of 2023, surpassing their own record set just last year in 2022.

But the company’s accomplishments didn’t stop there. The Falcon 9’s first stage, after successfully assisting the launch, returned to Earth 8.5 minutes post-launch, making a seamless landing on the drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" anchored in the Atlantic.

This was no one-off occurrence either; this very rocket has now made ten trips to space and back, an impressive testament to SpaceX’s focus on reusability. The upper stage of the rocket took a bit longer, delivering the Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) approximately 65 minutes after ignition.

These satellites are part of Elon Musk's ambitious plan to provide global internet coverage.

A Banner Day for SpaceX

The same day’s events didn’t just revolve around rockets and satellites. In another significant achievement, SpaceX’s Crew-6 astronauts safely returned to the International Space Station (ISS) after being in orbit since March.

Their Endeavor capsule touched down in waters off the Florida coast, concluding another successful mission. SpaceX, shared some illuminating statistics on the company's dominion in space delivery. SpaceX delivered roughly 80% of all Earth payload mass to orbit.

Comparatively, China contributed around 10%, with the rest of the world sharing the remaining 10% of the space payload. With an eye to the future, Musk is not one to rest on his laurels. He has projected even loftier aspirations for SpaceX, aiming for 10 Falcon flights per month by year's end and an increase to 12 monthly flights come 2024.

To put things into perspective, since its inception, SpaceX's tally stands at an awe-inspiring 261 launches, 223 successful landings, and a whopping 195 re-flights.

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