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SpaceX sets new annual record for Falcon rocket launches, misses 100 flight target

Published Dec 25th, 2023 12:56PM EST
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SpaceX will end the year with a staggering 97 launches for its Falcon rockets in 2023 alone. That’s a massive boost over the 60 launches the company saw last year, though it does still fall just shy of the targeted number of flights that the Elon Musk-led company hoped to hit this year. Still, the new Falcon launch record is something to boast about.

SpaceX has had a very busy year, and 2024 isn’t looking like things will slow down at all for the company. In 2023, SpaceX launched 90 Falcon 9 missions, carrying an assortment of payloads into orbit around our planet. It also launched four Falcon Heavy rockets and is slated to launch three more times (two Falcon 9 and one Falcon Heavy) between now and the end of the year.

If you want to include the two test flights for Starship, both of which exploded in flight, then SpaceX launched 99 rocket flights this year. Even without hitting the targeted 100 launches that SpaceX had set for itself at the start of the year, setting a new Falcon launch record over 30 launches higher than the last is no small feat, especially when you factor in weather and tech issues.

The space-based company has come a long way from its first Falcon launch 13 years ago and even from its first successful booster landing in 2015. Some of the boosters that SpaceX is currently running have even landed multiple times. In fact, a Falcon 9 booster launched over the weekend landed on Saturday for the 19th time.

With SpaceX ramping up efforts to get Starship into orbit and back down and hoping to be ready for a mission to Mars within four years, we’ll likely see even more launches, too. And, considering 2024 will probably be much busier, SpaceX will likely power through its new 97 rocket Falcon launch record with ease.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.