Landing just under 8 minutes after launch, Falcon 9 B1071 touched down at Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg Space Force Base and marked the 200th landing of an orbital class rocket.
SpaceX continues to prove the value in the reusability of orbital class rockets, since the start of 2022, SpaceX says around 90% of the last 100+ missions have been done by flight-proven vehicles.
After delivering 72 spacecraft to orbit, Falcon 9 returns to Earth and completes SpaceX’s 200th landing of an orbital class rocket pic.twitter.com/7Aw52C97jk
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 13, 2023
When SpaceX first announced that it intended to recover first stages, they were met with many naysayers with either “it will never work” or “they will never see the cost benefits” of such an endeavor.
Flash forward to mid-2023, and SpaceX is leading the space launch industry with the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, and now competing launch companies are beginning to take the same approach.
However, they have quite a bit of catching up to do before they are on the same playing field as SpaceX.
The Transporter-8 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex-4E at 2:35 PM PT (21:35 UTC) on its way to a Sun Synchronous orbit. The rideshare mission included 72 customer payloads, and many of the companies were sending a payload to space for the very first time.
Some of the payloads are connected directly to the SpaceX payload adapter, and others are connected to two space tugs that will deploy their payloads at a later date. All 72 payloads were successfully deployed, with the last deploying just under an hour and a half after launch.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 12, 2023
B1071 accomplished its 9th launch and landing, successfully sending the Transporter-8 mission on its way to orbit. This booster has only launched from SpaceXs west coast launch site SLC-4E and shows that SpaceX can maintain a fleet of Falcon 9s at launch sites on the East and West coast.
Currently scheduled next for SpaceX is the Satria communications satellite, due to launch NET June 18th.