SpaceX launches 13 satellites for the Space Force

SpaceX early this morning successfully completed its second launch for the Space Force, lifting off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California and placing another thirteen satellites of its Tranche-0 constellation into orbit.

The first stage completed its thirteenth mission, successfully landing back at Vandenberg.

This flight was SpaceX’s 61st in 2023, which matches the record it set last year, doing it in only eight months. With four months still left to go in the year the chances of SpaceX meeting its goal of 100 launches in the year still remains a possibility.

Furthermore, this was the 70th successful launch for the United States this year, which matches the record that the nation had set in 1966, and had been the record for the country until last year, when American companies (with help of one government launch) completed 85 launches. It seems last year’s record will be smashed without much problem.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

61 SpaceX
38 China
12 Russia
7 Rocket Lab
7 India

In the national rankings, American private enterprise now leads China in successful launches 70 to 38. It also leads the entire world combined, 70 to 62, while SpaceX by itself now trails the rest of the world (excluding American companies) by only 61 to 62, with another Starlink launch is now scheduled for tomorrow.