SpaceX performed three missions in less than 37 hours this past week --the fastest rocket launch rate in history. "Congrats to SpaceX Falcon team for executing 3 flawless launches in 2 days!" said SpaceX founder Elon Musk via Twitter. The impressive launch rate is possible because the company is capable of reusing orbital-class rocket boosters. The first mission took place on June 17, a veteran Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A at 12:09 p.m. ET and launched a total of 53 Starlink satellites into Low Earth Orbit. It marked the 13th flight of the booster, which set a new reusability record for SpaceX. The booster previously launched the U.S. Space Force's GPS III-3 satellite, Turkey's Turksat-5A mission, SpaceX Transporter-2 rideshare mission, and 10 Starlink missions. Reusing Falcon 9 first-stage boosters enables SpaceX to increase launch pace and provide cost-effective launch services.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/28eNKniMqe— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 17, 2022
SpaceX then launched a German military satellite on June 18. A twice-flown Falcon 9 rocket lifted off a third time from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Falcon 9 placed into orbit the German SARah-1 radar imaging satellite, built by Airbus as a replacement for Germany's existing SAR-Lupe system. SARah-1 is equipped with the “latest, highest-resolution radar technology” to collect 24/7 data and imagery for a variety of purposes, including weather information, for the German military. Soon after propelling the satellite to orbit, SpaceX landed the booster a third time on Landing Zone-4, marking the 125th recovery of an orbital-class rocket. The booster that supported this mission previously launched the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-87 and NROL-85 missions.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/yPInOsesbn— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 18, 2022
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on Landing Zone 4 pic.twitter.com/CfwzS6Y864— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 18, 2022
The third launch within the 37-hour period took place on June 19. A flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on its ninth flight to launch the Globalstar FM15 satellite at 12:27 a.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. That satellite was released to orbit from the Falcon 9 upper-stage nearly two hours after liftoff. The previously-flown first-stage booster that supported this mission supported the launch of Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, one Starlink mission, Transporter-4, and Transporter-5. The booster was recovered a ninth time, marking SpaceX's 126th rocket landing and the 102nd time it reuses a booster.
Deployment of Globalstar FM15 confirmed pic.twitter.com/nIFOk5sqKF— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 19, 2022
Congrats to SpaceX Falcon team for executing 3 flawless launches in 2 days! https://t.co/2MFmlkXmVz— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2022
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.