21 successful landings: SpaceX updates reusability record

SpaceX has once again updated its own record for the number of uses of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket. Now it has twenty-one flights.

A long-exposure photo showing the launch of the Falcon 9 and the moment of separation of the first stage B1062. Source: SpaceX

We are talking about a booster with the tail number B1062. It was first used in November 2020. Basically, B1062 launched batches of Starlink satellites into space, but it also has two manned missions on its account — the Inspiration4 flight in September 2021 and Axiom-1 in April 2022. In total, during its operation, the booster sent more than 500 satellites into space with a total mass exceeding 270 tons.

The record-breaking 21st flight of the B1062 took place on May 18. It followed the usual scenario. The stage worked out the flight section, after which it separated and made a successful landing on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean. In the near future, it will be delivered to the SpaceX base, after which it will be inspected and prepared for a new launch. As for the payload in the form of another batch of 23 Starlink spacecraft, it was put into the desired orbit.

The barge with the B1062 stage returns to the port. Source: Jerry Pike

It is worth noting that initially the first stages of the Falcon 9 (in the Block 5 modification) were certified for ten flights. Since then, SpaceX has raised this bar several times — first to fifteen, and then to twenty missions. Now the company is going to reach the target of forty flights.

You can also read about how the wreckage of Crew Dragon fell on the farm.

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