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With latest liftoff, SpaceX on track for a record 52 launches this year

The SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off from launch at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, on April 7, 2021. After last year's record 31 launches, SpaceX may see more than 52 liftoffs in 2022. (SpaceX/TNS)

SpaceX made its 23rd launch of 2022 on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Egyptian company Nilesat’s communications satellite to orbit.

Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 occurred at 5:04 p.m. EDT with the Nilesat 301 payload headed for a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The first-stage booster, which had previously flown on the Axiom Space, Inspiration4 and four other missions, represents the 99th time SpaceX has reused a booster. The company, which has recovered boosters from Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets 122 times to date, was able to recover it once again on its droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean.

The 23 launches in 23 weeks this year far outpaces the record 31 launches in all of 2021. Elon Musk last week indicated the company is on pace for at least 52 launches, and that could include up to four launches of Falcon Heavy.

SpaceX had originally been targeting a Friday launch from Kennedy Space Center on Friday on the CRS-25 resupply mission to the International Space Station with a cargo Dragon spacecraft, but has delayed it to no earlier than June 28, according to NASA.


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