SpaceX just launched another batch of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit in the early hours of Thursday (December 7). The batch of 23 Starlink spacecraft stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket for orbital mission. The liftoff took off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 12:07 a.m. EST (0507 GMT).
This is SpaceX’s 90th orbital mission of 2023. This implies that the private space agency has successfully launched 90 orbital missions this year alone. During this 90th launch, the rocket’s first stage returned to Earth, making a vertical landing at about 8.5 minutes after launch.
The rocket booster landed on the SpaceX droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. The 23 Starlink satellites were about to be deployed from the Falcon 9’s upper stage into low Earth orbit at exactly 65 minutes after liftoff.
How SpaceX’s Orbital Mission Launches are Becoming Better Every Year
If you could travel back in time to tell Elon Musk that his space company will ever attempt the 90th launch per year into orbit, he would surely doubt you. However, SpaceX just successfully launched its 90th orbital launch for 2023 earlier today.
This is a clear sign that SpaceX is becoming better every year. The company’s previous annual launch mark was set to 61 launches per year in 2022. However, the company has extended its flight cadence record in 2023. In fact, SpaceX officials say that they are targeting 144 launches in 2024.
Of course, we should expect the space company to make more launch attempts than this when the time finally comes. With the effort made so far by SpaceX, we should expect the company to reach greater heights in exploring outer space before 2030. Currently, the aerospace company is improving the features of its Starship megarocket for the forthcoming test flight.
As always, we should expect SpaceX to succeed with the next test flight of the Starship and officially get ready for the next phase of using the most powerful spaceship of our time in outer space.