During the Sukkot holiday, SpaceX again broke its record, after carrying out its 70th launch since the beginning of the Gregorian year. We used ChatGPT to elaborate a bit on the many achievements of Elon Musk's space company this year.
On the night of the holiday, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, carrying 22 more satellites for its Starlink satellite internet constellation, which is now approaching 5,000 of the 12,000 approved and 30,000 it has requested to place in low orbit. It was its 70th launch this year overall, and the second for a mission in Earth orbit. That's an average of a launch every 4 days – and all of them, without exception, have been successful.
Another achievement in this mission was the successful landing of the main part of the missile on a ship at sea 8.5 minutes after launch. For this particular missile, this is the 10th landing, and the company now has at least 3 different missiles that have successfully survived double-digit launches.
In landings, compared to launches, SpaceX had slightly less success: although the number of missiles that landed safely is 70 – the same number as launches – the reason for this is that not every launch involves a single missile: launches to more distant missions, such as to the space station, moon or other planets, are carried out by rocket arrays that usually include 3 connected missiles. In such launches, the company lands two of the three missiles, while the third, and largest, crashes in the ocean (the amount of fuel burned by the large missile, Falcon Heavy, does not currently allow it to make a 'soft' landing). In one of these launches, that of the Starship spacecraft, the entire array exploded in mid-air after launch, so that neither the rocket nor the spacecraft landed safely.
Another thorn in this data, calculated by Space Explored, is SpaceX's slim chance of reaching its goal of 100 launches at the current rate. To reach this peak, the average rate of launches needs to drop from one to 3.96 days to one every 3.65 days, an increase that the company is unlikely to be able to achieve in the remaining months, as it is harder to find days with good launch conditions in the fall and winter.
Wrong? We'll fix it! If you find a mistake in the article, please share with us