After 31 launches in 2021, SpaceX ended 2022 with a total of 60 missions. Better yet, Elon Musk’s company announces 100 flights in 2023! Ten years earlier, the European space transport players nevertheless made fun of him.
Wednesday, SpaceXSpaceX carried out its sixtieth launch of the year, as announced at the beginning of the year. In total, the company carried out fifty-nine Falcon 9 launches and one Falcon HeavyFalcon Heavy. Conversely, ArianespaceArianespace, a few years ago a leader in the launch of commercial satellite markets, carried out only five missions. There are three flights ofAriadne 5Ariadne 5including the launch of the first third-generation Meteosat satellite, a Soyuz flight (before its ban) and a Vega-C flight, which ended in failure.
This last flight was made with the launch of a mission star linkstar link using a rocketrocket Falcon 9 from the SLC-40 launch pad in Cape CanaveralCape Canaveral, in Florida. This was the eleventh use and recovery of the Falcon 9 first stage, which had previously been employed in the launches of the GPS-III 04 and 05 satellites, the Inspiration4 and Ax-1 tourist missions, as well as the Nilesat 301 satellite and six Starlink missions.
In 2023, the companyElon MuskElon Musk is aiming for a record year with no less than 100 launches, mainly Falcon 9s, a few Falcon Heavys and demonstration flights of the Starship. With 9 flights in 2016, 18 in 2017, 21 in 2018, 13 in 2019 and 24 in 2020, SpaceX launch rates are increasing crescendo.
From sweet dreamer… to leader in commercial launches
What a long way since the beginning of February 2002 when Elon Musk decided to build his own rocket, reusable moreover, and founded SpaceX in the spring of 2002 to make it happen and make his Martian dreams come true! Twenty years later, the arrival of SpaceX – the first representative of the ” new space – has shaken up the commercial market and its success has also given credibility to this ” new space which today is revolutionizing access to space and soon the use oforbitorbit bass and exploration.
SpaceX’s technological and economic gamble has therefore been successful. The latter is based on mass production on the same site, with extreme vertical integration with few or no subcontractors, the reuse of the main stage and the use of a single engine.
These successes, these very high launch rates and future promises are also the best responses to the criticisms of European space transport players who, even less than 10 years ago, openly mocked Elon Musk and did not hesitate to take him for a sweet dreamer (to be polite!).