Elon Musk's SpaceX plans for record year of launches at rate of one per week

3 months ago

A Falcon 9 rocket launches the GPS III SV05 outer connected a ngo for the U.S. Space Force connected June 17, 2021.


Elon Musk's SpaceX broke its ain yearly orbital motorboat grounds past year, and it's looking to prime up the blistering gait further successful 2022 to an mean complaint of 1 per week.

During a gathering of a cardinal NASA bureau oversight committee connected Thursday, sheet subordinate Sandra Magnus revealed that the backstage institution is targeting "an ambitious 52 motorboat manifest" for 2022.

"That's an unthinkable pace," Magnus, an astronaut and erstwhile enforcement manager of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said during the gathering of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP).

SpaceX successfully completed 31 launches successful 2021, which bushed its erstwhile grounds of 26 launches successful 2020. For context, SpaceX represented astir a 5th of the world's palmy orbital rocket launches past year – with the institution astir keeping gait with China.

The institution is already connected a play mean gait to statesman the year, with 3 palmy Falcon 9 launches truthful acold and 2 much expected earlier the extremity of the month. In summation to its Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX besides has respective Falcon Heavy rockets scheduled for liftoff successful 2022.

Magnus did not specify whether SpaceX's 52 scheduled launches includes trial flights of its Starship prototype rockets. Neither ASAP nor SpaceX responded to CNBC's requests for clarification.

A Falcon 9 rocket booster lands aft launching the company's Transporter-2 rideshare ngo connected June 30, 2021.


A cardinal portion of SpaceX's accelerated motorboat complaint has been its quality to partially reuse its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles, by landing its rocket boosters and recovering each fractional of the nosecone aft launches.

In summation to outgo savings – the company's enactment has said reusing rockets tin bring launches down to beneath $30 cardinal each, from a emblematic $60 cardinal to $90 cardinal terms tag – SpaceX reuses rockets arsenic a mode to summation its motorboat complaint without importantly expanding production. For example, the Falcon 9 booster that SpaceX launched the Transporter-3 ngo with earlier this period was reused – for a 10th clip successful nether 20 months since its debut.

SpaceX's docket of missions for 2022 includes aggregate crewed spaceflight arsenic well, including for NASA. Even arsenic Magnus applauded the institution for its pace, she besides urged caution and safety.

"Both NASA and SpaceX volition person to guarantee the due attraction and precedence are focused connected NASA missions, and the close resources are brought to carnivore to support that gait astatine a harmless measure," Magnus said.