SpaceX Completes Hat Trick with 3 Launches in 36 Hours

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on June 17, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

SpaceX completed a hat trick over the weekend with three satellite launches from different coasts in 36 hours.

Elon Musk’s company wrapped up a busy weekend when a Falcon 9 booster launched the Globalstar FM15 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The rocket lifted off at 12:27 a.m. EDT.

The first-stage booster landed on a drone ship in the Atlanic Ocean. This was the ninth launch and landing of the booster, which previously supported the launch of Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, one Starlink mission, Transporter-4, and Transporter-5.

It was 26th launch of the year for SpaceX, which is aiming for more than 50 flights of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.

SpaceX kicked the weekend off just over 36 hours earlier when a Falcon 9 launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket lifted off at 12:08 p.m. EDT (9:08 a.m. PDT).

It was a record 13th flight for the Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and now 10 Starlink missions. The stage landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Falcon 9 first stage lands back at Vandenberg Space Force Base on June 18, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX conducted its second launch in less than 24 hours on Saturday morning when a Falcon 9 carried a German reconnaissance satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The rocket lifted off at 7:19 a.m. PDT (10:19 a.m. EDT) with the Airbus-built SARah synthetic aperture radar satellite for the German military from a fog-shrouded launch pad.

The Falcon 9’s first stage booster, launching for the third time, touched down at Landing Zone 4 at Vandenberg. It was SpaceX’s 125th recovery of an orbital class booster.