A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launches with the Psyche spacecraft from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on October 13, 2023.
Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images
Elon Musk's SpaceX has shattered its previous annual record for orbital rocket launches, completing 96 successful missions in 2023 at a staggering average launch rate every four days.
This year, SpaceX achieved 91 Falcon 9 launches and five more Falcon Heavy launches, surpassing its previous annual record of 61 orbital launches in 2022. For context, SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket more times this year than in the entire first decade after 2022. First appearance of the missile.
Along the way this year, SpaceX has landed its 250th orbital rocket, in addition to launching and landing one rocket 19 times, continuing to push the limits of rocket reusability. SpaceX this week also set a new company record for the shortest time between orbital launches, just under three hours, marking the shortest time between launches in Florida since NASA's Gemini 11 mission in 1966.
Furthermore, SpaceX's launch count for this year does not include the two Starship test flights, which were not carrying commercial payloads destined for orbit.
John Edwards, SpaceX's vice president of Falcon launch vehicles, wrote in a social media post that just a few years ago, Musk proposed a “100 launch goal as a thought experiment.”
“Here we are. I'm so proud to be working with the best team on the planet, and so excited to see what we accomplish next year,” Edwards said. books.
SpaceX officials said the company aims to launch up to 144 Falcon missions in 2024, as it continues to deploy satellites for the Starlink system that represents a large portion of its $180 billion valuation.
Don't miss these stories from CNBC PRO:
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”