SpaceX Breaks Record with 7th Falcon 9 Launch in Its 100th Mission
SpaceX reaches another reusability record.
At 21:13 PM EST on Tuesday 24 November, the company's two-stage Falcon 9 rocket launched off of Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, marking the 100th Falcon 9 mission, the 23rd SpaceX launch of the year, the 16th Starlink mission launch, and the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage booster's seventh launch.
That's a lot to take in, but that's because SpaceX is reaching for the stars, so to speak.
Tuesday's launch saw 60 Starlink satellites launched up to low-Earth orbit, as part of the company's goal of providing Internet to hard-to-reach areas of the planet.
Approximately nine minutes after liftoff, the rocket's first stage booster landed back down to Earth and onto one of SpaceX's recovery ships, "Of Course I Still Love You," in the Atlantic Ocean, Space.com reports.
This booster has already flown and been reused three times this year, as well as three times last year. On top of that, the fairing covering the payload used in yesterday's launch also assisted in making this one of the company's most reusable flight's ever, as one half has already flown on one mission, and the other half has been on two missions, TechCrunch states.
"For the seventh time, this Falcon has landed," SpaceX engineer Kate Tice said during the live launch broadcast.
It's been a big year for SpaceX, it's busiest so far, as Space.com reports. Carrying out 23 launches, it's set its own record. Previously, its highest number of launches in one year was 21 times.
Last month marked a big milestone for the company, as it launched its 100th flight for its Falcon rocket series, including the Falcon 1 and Falcon Heavy. Now, the Falcon 9 rocket has reached its own centennial milestone.
Yesterday's launch means that over 900 Starlink satellites are now floating in low-Earth orbit, pushing forward SpaceX's dream of providing Internet around the globe.
Watch the Starlink mission launch below: