The launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, followed by a successful landing on the droneship in the Pacific Ocean, was the third such mission Elon Musk’s rocket company has performed for satellite communications company Iridium. But essentially, it waswith its 14th successful launch of 2017.
The launch marks the 14th successful launch in 2017. While this week’s satellite launches may seem boring, they’re an early rehearsal for making humans a multiplanetary species, as Musk likes to say.
SpaceX hopes to achieve a launch a week, on average, by 2019. That would more than double the twenty or so missions it hopes to complete in 2017. Beyond 2019, though, the pace of launches is set to pick up even more as Musk builds towards his grand vision of.
“We want to establish steady cadence that there’s always a flight leaving (for Mars),”.
Musk’s ambitions will also require a lot of actual rockets. SpaceX has this covered too with its plan to reuse rocket stages. In fact, Wednesday’s EchoStar mission will be flown using a “flight-proven” Falcon 9 that’s already been to space.