SpaceX Dominated Spaceflight in 2023

In 2023, space companies, led by SpaceX, launched more rockets and payloads into orbit than in any previous year. At the moment, 200 successful orbital launches have already been carried out, of which SpaceX alone has completed 96.

The space industry continues to evolve and 2023 has become an example of growing success in the industry. This year has been the busiest on record. This fall, space companies again broke the record for successful orbital launches in a single year, completing their 180th flight in 2023. That record was broken when SpaceX launched Starlink satellites on November 22, according to Ars Technica. However, after just over one month, the number of launches had grown to 200.

The obvious fact is that such success of the entire space industry was made possible thanks to SpaceX. The company has set a goal of 100 launches in 2023. As of December 26, the number of flights reached 96. This means that almost half of all successful launches this year are from one company.

SpaceX has conducted a record series of orbital launches using reusable Falcon 9 rockets and partially reusable Falcon Heavy rockets. Most of the flights were to deliver Starlink internet satellites into orbit. At the moment, their number is more than 5,000. In addition to delivering its satellites, SpaceX has also delivered payloads for other organizations, including NASA, and is a world leader in payload delivery to space. In addition, the company has completed several crewed flights on its Dragon capsule.

In 2023, SpaceX also conducted two experimental Starship flights. Starship is the largest and most powerful rocket ever created by humans. It is designed to support future human spaceflight, including NASA’s return to the Moon in 2025. Super Heavy is a booster that will launch the rocket into orbit. Both Starship and Super Heavy are planned to be fully reusable.

Their first combined flight took place on April 20. Several engines failed, preventing the test flight from being completed as planned. SpaceX self-destructed the ship. In November, the company conducted a second test flight. Starship reached an altitude of about 92 miles above Earth. SpaceX also made its first attempt at hot staging and was able to separate completely from the Super Heavy launch vehicle. This was the first real demonstration that hot staging was possible.

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