SpaceX breaks its own record, launches Falcon 9 for the 18th time

B1058 launching Starlink satellites to orbit (Credit SpaceX)

23 Starlink satellites joined the constellation after successfully being launched into orbit atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 that was flying for a record-breaking 18th time.

Launching on Friday at 8:37 p.m. ET, about midway through the launch window, Falcon 9 Booster 1058 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, carrying the 23 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit.

B1058 is one of the more historic Falcon 9 boosters, having launched NASA astronauts Bob and Doug to the International Space Station on its inaugural flight in May 2020, which brought U.S. astronauts back to the space station on a U.S.-made rocket for the first time since the Space Shuttle was retired by NASA in 2011.

Since that historic launch, B1058 has gone on to launch 13 Starlink missions (with various rideshares), 2 Transporter missions, 1 dedicated communication satellite mission, and 1 resupply mission to the ISS and is responsible for a total of 844 satellites being delivered to orbit.

As for its most recent launch, B1058 landed on the droneship ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ following its portion of the mission and returned to Port Canaveral to be readied for a potential flight 19. SpaceX only took 45 days to turn around the booster between flights 17 and 18, indicating they have streamlined their refurbishment process for the more veteran boosters in the fleet.

While SpaceX has been keeping up a high cadence of launches, that has not slowed their progress on the new Crew tower being built that will enable NASA and SpaceX to launch astronauts or resupply missions from either LC-39A or SLC-40. Over the past couple of months, sections of the tower have been moved from the build area next to Hangar X to SLC-40, with work being done in between launches.

SpaceX hopes to have the tower ready for launches in 2024, which will initially start with resupply missions to the ISS, but with SpaceX and their cadence, they could possibly launch a Crew sooner than later.

Next up for SpaceX this week is another Starlink mission from Florida no earlier than 11 p.m. ET tomorrow, a Transporter mission from California no earlier than 1:47 p.m. PT on the 9th, and the CRS-29 resupply mission to the ISS from LC-39A at 8:28 pm ET.

Questions or comments? Shoot me an email at, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

SpaceX breaks its own record, launches Falcon 9 for the 18th time
To Top