SpaceX is aiming to launch 100 rockets this year, another big increase from what the company did in 2022. That will mean they will have to launch on average every three to four days. Will SpaceX be able to pull it off? Keep track below of all of SpaceX’s 2023 launches.
So far, SpaceX has launched eight rockets in 2023, seven Falcon 9s and one Falcon Heavy.
SpaceX 2023 launches at a glance
Number of launches: 8 (Falcon 9: 7, Falcon Heavy: 1)
Launches success rate: 100%
Launch rate: 4.13 days
East Coast launches: 6 (LC-39A: 2, SLC-40: 4)
West Coast launches: 2 (SLC-4E)
Total payload mass: ~76,542 kg (Not including classified and rideshare missions)
Landings at a glance
Number of landings: 9
Landing success rate: 100%
Ground landings: 4 (LZ-1: 3, LZ-2: 1)
Droneship landings: 5 (OCISLY: 2, JRTI: 1, ASOG: 2)
The year of the heavy
In 2023 we expect a total of five Falcon Heavy launches, the most ever attempted by SpaceX. The once king of launchers, dethroned by NASA’s Space Launch System, is still the most powerful commercial rocket on the market, until Starship comes online. It was first launched in 2018, showing off what it could do by throwing Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster in orbit around the Sun, close to Mars’ orbit. Since then, it has only launched five times, the most recent being in January 2023.
SpaceX was selected for 40% of the Space Force’s National Security Space Launch Phase 2 contract, and the company began launching those missions on Falcon Heavies late last year. Another NSSL mission is slated to take place in April, with three more commercially purchased heavy rockets rounding out the year from ViaSat, EchoStar, and NASA.
SpaceX could push record for most crewed flights yet
In 2021 and 2020, SpaceX launched three crewed flights on its Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon spacecraft, two for NASA and one commercial. This year SpaceX could break that record with likely four but maybe even five or six crewed flights. Two of those flights will be NASA crew rotations to the International Space Station, Crew-6 and Crew-7. Another will be Polaris Dawn, the first mission of the Polaris Program, and will demonstrate SpaceX’s first spacewalk. That launch is slated no earlier than March 2023.
The wild card for how big this new record would be will be Axiom missions. Last year we saw Axiom 1 launch with four commercial astronauts to research on the ISS alongside government astronauts. In 2023, SpaceX could launch up to three Axiom missions. However, we only know crew and date details for Axiom 2. Axiom 2 is set to launch former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, former race car driver John Schoffner, and two unknown crew members from Saudi Arabia no earlier than May.
Debut of Starship rocket on the horizon
Somewhere on the horizon is the first orbital launch of SpaceX’s Starship rocket in 2023. Of course, more testing is required, and who knows what needs to be done to get the FAA’s approval but with the green light given to proceed after the FAA’s environmental review, SpaceX is focused on getting one launched.
I think if SpaceX could get its first Starship launched in the first half of 2023, more launches could come in the second half. However, with all Starship news, we will see what happens when it actually happens and not a moment sooner.
List of SpaceX launches in 2023
|Date||Mission||Rocket / Booster(s)||Launch Pad||Landing|
|January 3||Transporter-6||Falcon 9 (B1060.15)||SLC-40||LZ-1|
|January 10||OneWeb 16||Falcon 9 (B1076.2)||SLC-40||LZ-1|
|January 15||USSF-67||Falcon Heavy (B1070, |
|LC-39A||LZ-1 & 2|
|January 18||GPS III-06 |
|Falcon 9 (B1077.2)||SLC-40||ASOG|
|January 19||Starlink Group 2-4||Falcon 9 (B1075.1)||SLC-4E||OCISLY|
|January 26||Starlink Group 5-2||Falcon 9 (B1067.9)||SLC-40||JRTI|
|January 31||Starlink Group 2-6||Falcon 9 (B1071.7)||SLC-4E||OCISLY|
|February 2||Starlink Group 5-3||Falcon 9 (B1069.5)||LC-39A||ASOG|