Sometime* in 2021 SpaceX reached a milestone of more reuse missions than new booster missions.*Exactly when depends on how you count Falcon 1, Falcon Heavy, and rockets that did not reach orbit.
On December 21, 2021, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched Dragon on the 24th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-24) mission for NASA from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, completing our 31st and final launch of the year. Dragon separated from Falcon 9’s second stage about twelve minutes after liftoff and will autonomously dock to the space station on Wednesday, December 22.CRS-24 also marked the 100th recovery of an orbital class rocket booster. SpaceX remains the only launch provider in the world capable of propulsive landing and re-flight of orbital class rockets. While most rockets are expended after launch — akin to throwing away an airplane after a cross-country flight — SpaceX is working toward a future in which reusable rockets are the norm. To date, SpaceX has:* Launched 138 successful missions;* Landed first stage rocket boosters 100 times; and* Reflown boosters 78 times, with flight-proven first stages completing 75 percent of SpaceX’s missions since the first re-flight of a Falcon 9 in 2017.2021 was particularly impressive, during which the SpaceX team:* Launched 94 percent of all missions on flight-proven Falcon 9 boosters;* Safely carried eight astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA, in addition to transporting ~28,000 pounds of critical cargo and scientific research to and from the orbiting laboratory;* Completed the world’s first all-civilian astronaut mission to orbit, which flew farther from planet Earth than any human spaceflight since the Hubble missions;* Launched humanity’s first planetary defense test to redirect an asteroid, among other important scientific missions; and* Deployed more than 800 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit which are helping to connect over 150,000 customers and counting around the world with high-speed, low-latency internet.In the year ahead, SpaceX’s launch cadence will continue to increase, as will the number of flight-proven missions, human spaceflights, Falcon Heavy missions, and people connected with internet by Starlink. We’re also targeting the first orbital flight of Starship, and have resumed development of a lunar lander for NASA that will help return humanity to the Moon, on our way to Mars and beyond.
Kudos to the entire SpaceX Team for an exceptionally successful year by any measure! - Charlie B.
Congratulations to SpaceX on the landing of the 100th Falcon booster! I admit being a skeptic when it was announced, now know I was wrong. SpaceX has disrupted the launch industry and set the reuability standard everyone is emulating. Remarkable achievement!
The 100th Falcon landing, on the anniversary of landing #1 no less! Huge credit to the teams that took something that worked *most* of the time a few years ago and made it a normal and reliable part of launch.Next up is 100% reusability, with Starship
The stat I like is that:1) Turksat 5B was launched by the 78th "previously flown F9 booster and FH cores"2) CRS24 was launched by B1069 and while half a dozen boosters have left Hawthorn for MacGregor since 1069, I don't think 1078 has left Hawthorn yet.So SpaceX has flown more "previously flown boosters" than "unflown boosters" on launchmissions.Carl
... Below is the number of each type of first stage flown on an orbital mission.Model Unflown Flown Total Falcon 1 5 0 5 ....
In my opinion, this is the week that significant reuse became fully accepted and the operational standard. We had a number of significant events over two launches:- They flew a customer mission on a seventh flight after having never gone beyond a third flight before. This marks a sudden departure from gradual envelope expansion to a regular commercial fleet.- NASA as one of their pickiest customers not only flew on a fourth flight after never going over two before, they flew after two demanding missions for other customers.- Both launches were after (multiple) Starlink missions which so far have been seen as low-risk life-leader experiments. Now those boosters are part of the normal rotation.And next week the NRO will fly on a fifth flight!
Quote from: AmigaClone on 12/27/2021 02:14 pm... Below is the number of each type of first stage flown on an orbital mission.Model Unflown Flown Total Falcon 1 5 0 5 ....That makes it look like there were five Falcon 1 boosters none of which flew. As that was obviously not the case, I'm guessing that by 'unflown' you mean they had not previously flown before?
Crew4 is launching on a -4 booster, twice the previous mark. Axiom-1 not announced yet.But that shows a lot of confidence and respect for flown boosters. And will allow a lot schedule flexibility.
Related news: NASA has amended the launch contract for the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. It will now fly on a flight-proven Falcon 9 booster rather than a new one.https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1512498083350736897
Even though I was always excited about utilizing flown @SpaceX boosters on principle and also the impact on mission cost, I have changed my opinion about them slightly: I now PREFER previously used boosters over totally new ones for most science applications.
A SpaceX launch with a brand new Falcon 9 booster is SUCH a rare sight these days!
Remember all those posts about how it was really, really, I mean really expensive to turn them around, but that they covered it up and had to conspire to charge their customers more?Or how some ULA peep actually knew how much it cost and why wouldn't anybody here listen to him?And other dubious rubbish. Those were fun.
Visualisation of new versus reused boostershttps://twitter.com/renatakonkoly/status/1512495754749026305QuoteA SpaceX launch with a brand new Falcon 9 booster is SUCH a rare sight these days!