SpaceX has launched another Star 60 Starlink satellite – orbiting 180 in two weeks – but the launch on Sunday morning was even more significant as it set a new, original record for the reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket.
It marks the tenth flight of the first-stage rocket booster used for launch, setting a record for the reuse of SpaceX as the most successful mission under its belt as a rail booster. The plane took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 2:42 AM EDT. SpaceX also successfully returned the booster to its drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean for the tenth successful landing for the rocket, making it a record-setter in that case and making it possible to fly again.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, says that with the servicing and material replacement of a Falcon 9 booster, it may be “possible” to fly “100+” times. The Falcon 9 has previously flown on missions including the Crew Dragon, the SpaceX spacecraft and the original unveiled demonstration missions, including seven previous Starlink launches. This is the 27th Starlink launch so far, and SpaceX has planned six more days from now, starting May 15, with the possibility of doing at least one more work later this month. The company expects the broadband network to reach global reach by the end of this year.
Since SpaceX is both a supplier and a customer of Starlink launch, it is really important for the company to realize that it is possible to save as much as possible during frequent flights to build a network of orbital satellite satellites. Reuse of boosters is a key component and is where the cost savings are properly realized over time.
Kaptur has previously said that economies are such that for its external customer aircraft it is almost “even” in the second use of the booster and “ahead” in terms of spending by the third. During the Starlink launch program, SpaceX repeatedly set and broke its own recycling records, indicating that the main way to cover the cost of building its space satellite infrastructure is to use as many flight-proof boosters as possible.