Science & Technology



SpaceX sends up 200th reflight with Cape Canaveral launch

Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Science & Technology News

ORLANDO, Fla. — SpaceX’s reusability juggernaut kept rolling with a Space Coast launch Saturday night that marked the 200th time the company has relied on a previously launched booster to get its payloads to space.

A Falcon 9 rocket flying on the Starlink 6-18 mission carrying 22 of its Starlink satellites lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 11:38 p.m.

The first-stage booster made a record-tying 17th flight with a recovery landing down range on droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean.

It marked the 200th reuse of a booster among its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. It’s the 228th recovery since the first success in December 2015. SpaceX has not lost a first stage since February 2021 nailing 154 attempts in a row since.

It’s the 266th successful launch overall since the first Falcon 1 success in 2008 and 67th this year among its launch pads at Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The workhorse Falcon 9 began flying in 2010 and it has not had a launch failure since 2015.


For the Space Coast, the launch marked the 51st of the year coming up quick on its record 57 set in 2022. SpaceX has launched all but three of them so far this year, although United Launch Alliance, which had only its second liftoff of the year earlier this month, is setting up for its third flight soon, and could also launch its new Vulcan Centaur before the end of the year.

SpaceX has a slew more Falcon 9 launches planned as well as its next Falcon Heavy launch as early as Oct. 5 on a mission for NASA to send the Psyche probe on a multi-year mission to the metal-rich asteroid also named Psyche that orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

The only other company to launch from the Space Coast was Relativity Space back in March with its 3D-printed Terran 1 rocket.

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