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SpaceX sends up Space Coast's 50th rocket launch of the year

Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

SpaceX continued the Space Coast’s record rocket launch pace with a Monday evening liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

A Falcon 9 rocket on the Turksat-6A mission carrying a Turkish communications satellite to a geosynchronous transfer orbit lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.

This was the 15th flight of the first-stage booster, which made a recovery landing downrange on the droneship Just Read the Instructions stationed in the Atlantic.

It was the 50th launch of the year from either Canaveral or neighboring Kennedy Space Center, with SpaceX responsible for 47 of them.

The other three have been from United Launch Alliance during a year that could see more than 100 missions fly for the first time, besting 2023’s record of 72 launches.


Both SpaceX and ULA have more launch plans for later this month, including SpaceX’s next Starlink launch, slated for July 12. ULA is targeting no earlier than July 30 for an Atlas V mission on the USSF-51 mission for the Space Force, while SpaceX is prepping for the return of billionaire Jared Isaacman to space on the Polaris Dawn mission no earlier than July 31.

Isaacman flew on the Inspiration4 mission with three other passengers in 2021 on an orbital mission aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience, which is set to be his ride again. This time he’s flying with pilot friend Scott Poteet and two SpaceX employees, Sarah Gillis and Anna Menon. The mission highlight is a planned tethered spacewalk for Isaacman and Gillis, which would be the first commercial spacewalk in history.

The flight would mark the fourth crewed mission of what is planned to be six for the year from the Space Coast.


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