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SpaceX launches 23 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX tonight successfully launched 23 Starlink satellites, its Falcon 9 rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral.

This was the 50th successful launch by SpaceX this year, in only a little more that five months. Reaching the company’s goal of 150 launches in 2024 (six of which were planned to be Starship/Superheavy test launches) remains a challenge, but if the company reaches even 80% of that goal (120) it will have set a record for launches greater than what the entire world achieved for every year of the space age until 2020.

This was also the 15th launch of the rocket’s first stage, landing successfully on a drone ship in the Atlantic.

The leaders in the 2024 launch race:

50 SpaceX
21 China
6 Russia
5 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise now leads the world combined in successful launches, 57 to 33. SpaceX by itself now leads the rest of the world, including other American companies, 50 to 40.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • MDN


    Today is only May 12th, so we’re just a little over 4 months into the year, not 5. So if they continue on their present pace of 3 launches a week they’ll be at about 70 by the end of June and 78 more through December. In the end they may not quite hit their target, but I bet they end up closer to it than 120.

  • MDN: I have never claimed math as my specialty. Thanks.

  • Rockribbed1

    Hopefully we can add several Starship orbital launches too

  • GeorgeC

    The real horse race here is not for Win or Place but for Show.
    I don’t know anything about the plans of Rocket Lab, but they are neck and neck with Russia and if the data on is even close to accurate they have a good chance of pulling ahead into a third place finish. Rocket Lab has been a public company as RKLB since 2021.
    Who knows.

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