SpaceX plans for 100 launches come 2023, currently at 39 launches for 2022

falcon 9 rocket launch

Last night SpaceX launched its 39th Falcon 9 of 2022 from Vandenberg Space Force Base to deploy another 46 Starlink satellites. The company has already shattered records for the past few years, but it wants to push harder, hoping for 100 launches in 2023 per its CEO, Elon Musk.

Can anything hold SpaceX back from its tear into the launch industry? Ever since the company came on the scene, it has been doing what no one thought was possible, and to this day, it continues to push what can be done in spaceflight.

As of the end of August, SpaceX has launched 39 Falcon 9 rockets from its three launch sites in Florida and California, 25 of those being Starlink satellites bringing its total number of Starlink satellites to 3,208 (2,941 currently in orbit). SpaceX has already crushed its 2021 record of 31 and could be on track to launch 60 by the end of this year.

Next year it looks like SpaceX will be pushing this even further, finally putting triple digits in its sight with 100 launches for 2023. Most of these are likely to contain satellites for the company’s Starlink internet service. Musk’s company is continuing to build out the current constellation and soon replace them with Gen 2 satellites in the near future.

Originally planned to be launched exclusively on Starship, reports hinted at a shrunken-down version capable of fitting into Falcon 9’s payload fairing. While it most likely won’t include everything the Gen 2 satellites would have, these “Gen 2 lite” satellites could be used in the interim until Starship gets up and running with flights out of South Texas.

In total, SpaceX has almost 30,000 Gen 2 Starlink satellites to launch, and most likely more as the service grows in popularity. So expect the number of yearly launches from SpaceX to increase, especially when Starship comes online.

Reaming SpaceX launches for 2022

On average, SpaceX has launched about five rockets per month. To meet its 2023 goal of 100 launches, it would need to do over eight per month. Looking at the rest of the year, SpaceX could keep that average of four to five monthly launches alive between commercial, government, and Starlink launches.

Expect two or three Starlink launches per month and maybe even a Falcon Heavy launch, the first since STP-2 in June 2019. There are also three more planned Dragon flights in 2022, two crewed (Crew-5 and Polaris Dawn) and CRS-26. For the remaining launches, OneWeb has signed on for a few SpaceX launches that could start this year after it ended launching on Russian Soyuz rockets. Also, O3b mPOWER has a list of launches for the final quarter of this year to launch six satellites into orbit.

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