July 21, 2024

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SpaceX launches 14th Falcon 9 rocket in May using booster flight for 14th time – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX launches 14th Falcon 9 rocket in May using booster flight for 14th time – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on the Starlink 6-64 mission. This was the 14th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in May. Image: Spaceflight Now

Update at 9:30 PM EDT: SpaceX has postponed the T-0 liftoff time to the end of the launch window “to allow the recovery assets to reach final position.”

SpaceX continues to push its launch pace as it completed another Falcon 9 rocket launch near Friday. This mission marks SpaceX’s 14th launch this month, a new industry launch record.

The achievement adds to the record set earlier this week, when SpaceX launched its 13th Falcon 9 rocket to send the European Space Agency’s EarthCARE satellite into orbit. This latest mission, Starlink 6-64, was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, at 10:37 PM EDT (0237 UTC).

This mission’s first stage booster, tail number B1076, was launched into the SpaceX fleet, for the 14th time. It has previously launched missions such as SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Services 26th (CRS-26) Dragon flight to the International Space Station, NASA’s TEMPO payload aboard the Intelsat 40e satellite and seven batches of Starlink satellites.

Just over eight minutes after liftoff, B1076 touched down on the SpaceX drone, dubbed “A Shortfall of Gravitas.” This was the 73rd landing for ASOG and the 315th booster landing for SpaceX.

The record-breaking launch comes at the end of a landmark weekend for SpaceX. May 25 marked the 12th anniversary of the Dragon spacecraft becoming the first private spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. May 30 was the fourth anniversary of the launch of the Demo-2 mission, marking the return of human spaceflight to American soil following the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.

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SpaceX is preparing for two more crewed missions over the summer: Polaris Dawn and Crew-9.