SpaceX Completes 65th Launch of 2023
The launch tempo of SpaceX continues at an unprecedented pace with the company claiming their 65th launch of 2023. On September 15, after a one day delay, a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, with 22 SpaceX Starlink satellites delivered to low earth orbit.
Once again the mission was carried out on a veteran rocket that had flown previously. This particular booster supported both crewed and cargo missions earlier having flown three prior Starlink flights, Crew-6 to the International Space Station, and SES O3b mPOWER.
Falcon 9 is the current workhorse of the SpaceX line though the company hopes their fully reusable Starship will eventually assume that role with operations near earth, to the moon and Mars.
SpaceX is testing Starship but the next test flight, the second so far, is on hold pending license issuance from the US Federal Aviation Administration.
The first test flight of Starship ended not long after the massive rocket launched when a series of failures led to loss of control and commanded self destruct.
Decades of experience contributing to Flight International, Aviation Week, KCRW, NPR, and appearances on the Discovery, Military and History Channels.