With 32 launches as of July 26, 2022, SpaceX has already broken its annual record. July 22, SpaceX successfully launched its 32nd Falcon 9 mission of the year. That’s enough to beat its own record for orbital launches in a single year. However, we are only in July…
52 launches in 2022 for SpaceX?
Over the past ten years, SpaceX has gradually increased the launch cadence each year except for a drop in 2019. In 2021, the company completed 31 launches, an all-time high, which incidentally made the era of SpaceX the most prolific American space company, by far. At the start of 2022, SpaceX set itself an ambitious goal: launch 52 rockets during the year. This figure was revealed by NASA in January, with a warning that SpaceX should still strive to maintain a maximum level of security during the various missions.
Sandy Magnus, a former NASA astronaut and member of NASA’s Aerospace Security Advisory Group, had said that “NASA and SpaceX will have to be vigilant during the year 2022 so as not to be victims of their success”. With so many launches, the chances of making small mistakes increase. For now, SpaceX stays the course both on the number of launches and on safety. In this first part of 2022, SpaceX has respected its schedule, with 100% success. What is not so common in the field of space.
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Reuse of Falcon 9 rockets is a game changer
If this schedule is so busy, it is because in the majority of launches, SpaceX is both the company that operates the launch and the one that commands it. Elon Musk’s company is using these launches to flesh out the Starlink constellation in space. Batches of 53 satellites are regularly launched into low Earth orbit. The last flight, that of July 22, 2022, for example allowed to launch 46 additional Starlink satellites. The company currently has about 2,600 Starlink satellites in orbit. Now that SpaceX has broken its record, the company continues to move forward at breakneck speed.
With its various partnerships with NASA, SpaceX also sends Dragon capsules to the ISS. Some transport goods and others astronauts. The company also carries out missions of the type ” Carry “, in which several small satellites are grouped together and deployed in a single mission. All this, in addition to SpaceX commercial customers and launches for the Department of Defense. Almost all of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets launched this year. The company continues to master perfectly the landing and reuse of its rockets.