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SpaceX launches second time in three days

April 29 at 5:27 pm E.T. from SLC-40 at CCSFS

Less than three days since the launch of Crew-4 the SpaceX & NASA partnership to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, they've launched another batch of fifty-three Starlink satellites. This also comes at the end of the same week that the Axiom-1 crew was recovered from the Gulf of Mexico after splashing down to end their mission, the first all private crew to fly to the space station. Things have been busy, to say the least. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX posted on twitter earlier this year that they were going for sixty launches this year, that's a cadence of more than one rocket launch a week. So far, they've been able to maintain an average of one launch every 6.93 days. That's keeping them close to their overall goal.

Today's launch was the seventeenth of the year for SpaceX and the booster that flew today, B1062 flew just twenty-one days ago for the Axiom-1 mission. That is a new record turnaround time between flights for the company. It has now flown six times, with six successful landings along with those flights. We saw its first flight back in November of 2020 when it flew the GPS III SV04 mission. It was then flown again two-hundred-twenty-four days later for the GPS III SV05 mission, followed by Inspiration-4 mission where the first all civilian space flight spent three days in orbit inside a Crew Dragon capsule. From there it carried fifty-three Starlink satellites on the 4-5 mission in January of this year. Ninety-one days later it flew that Axiom-1 crewed mission.

B1062 landed on the drone ship Just Read the Instructions, making that forty-three consecutive landings, and should return to Port Canaveral roughly three days from now. This marked the 151st launch of a Falcon 9 rocket, and the ninety-fifth reflight of a first stage booster. The launch site for this mission was SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, the main hub for non-crewed SpaceX launches, making this now eighty-five missions sent to orbit from this launch complex.

Next up on the list is for SpaceX is another Starlink mission on May 5. It appears that there will be five launches this coming month, with at least one from each complex in Florida, and California. Boeing is also having a go at their Starliner crew capsule, reportedly making their second launch attempt to reach the International Space Station on May 19.

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