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SpaceX Targets 144 Rocket Launches in 2024, Aiming for Unprecedented All-Time Record

After setting records in the year 2023, SpaceX is gearing up for a groundbreaking year in 2024 when it comes to rocket launches. In December 2023 the space company pushed the boundaries of its Falcon 9 rocket and operational systems by aiming to launch 100 rockets within a year, although they fell short of that target.

However, undeterred by this setback, SpaceX has set its sights on an ambitious goal for 2024: launching a staggering 144 rockets. This would be a feat that no other country or company has ever attempted before. This bold objective aligns with SpaceX’s strategy of expanding its Starlink satellite internet constellation.

More About SpaceX Targeting 144 Launches in 2024

As the exclusive rocket company responsible for launching satellites for Starlink, the number of missions on SpaceX’s launch schedule has seen an increase. In the year 2023, more than half of the 94 rockets launched by the company were dedicated solely to Starlink. That amounts to a total of 63 missions carried out between January and December.

The heightened focus on Starlink is becoming increasingly important due to evolving competition in both the rocket launch vehicle industry and the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet sector. While SpaceX currently holds an advantage when it comes to reducing launch costs to LEO through Falcon 9 reusability other players such as Amazon’s Kuiper subsidiary and Jeff Bezoss Blue Origin are entering this market well. Blue Origins New Glenn, which boasts stages and can carry heavier payloads than Falcon 9 adds another layer of competition, into the mix.

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SpaceX’s vice president of launch Kiko Dontchev has recently announced their goal of conducting 144 rocket launches in 2024. This bold strategy aims to achieve a launch rate of 12 launches, per month or three launches, per week. SpaceX has already initiated 2024 with two successful missions, launching a broadband satellite to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) for a Swedish company and deploying the first group of Starlink satellites capable of supporting direct-to-cellular communications.

However, the challenge lies in supply chain management, particularly with the second stage of the Falcon 9. While the first stage is reusable, a new second stage must be manufactured for each launch, posing a bottleneck to increasing launch cadence. SpaceX’s ability to have readily available second stages will be crucial in meeting the ambitious launch targets.

As SpaceX ventures into 2024, the company’s next launch is expected to involve its Starlink internet satellites. Additionally, progress on the third test launch of Starship from Texas appears to have slowed down as the space company collaborates with regulatory bodies to secure clearance for another test.


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