SpaceX Falcon 9 Record: 20th Flight and Landing by a Single Booster

Falcon 9 record

SpaceX has achieved a significant milestone in spaceflight sustainability and reusability by completing the 20th launch and landing of a single Falcon 9 first stage booster.

This historic event occurred on Friday, April 12, at 9:40 p.m. ET, when the Falcon 9 rocket successfully deployed 23 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

The mission’s success marked the 20th flight for the booster, which has played a crucial role in various significant missions since its debut in November 2020. This includes launching GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, Ax-1, Nilesat 301, OneWeb Launch 17, ARABSAT BADR-8, and 13 missions dedicated to deploying SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. The Falcon 9 first stage concluded its 20th mission by landing on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” droneship.

Throughout its service, this remarkable booster has been responsible for transporting eight astronauts and over 500 satellites to orbit, cumulatively delivering more than 261 metric tons of payload. This has not only demonstrated SpaceX’s commitment to reusability and cost reduction in space exploration but has also underscored the Falcon 9’s reliability and efficiency in supporting a wide array of missions.

The previous record was 19 re-flights and landings by a Falcon 9 booster back in December. But on the way back to Port Canaveral, high winds and waves caused the booster to tip over and get destroyed.  

This is remarkable record a single Falcon 9 first stage to be reused 20 times. Seeing a Falcon 9 land autonomously onto a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean? That just never gets old.