Skip to main content

SpaceX launches two missions in one day, setting new record

SpaceX has made two launches within one day using its Falcon 9 rockets, setting a new record for the shortest interval yet between launches. On Saturday, December 18, the company launched its Turksat 5B mission from Cape Canaveral, carrying a satellite into orbit late in the evening.

Turksat 5B Mission

SpaceX livestreamed the launch, which you can watch using the video above, and was successful in catching the rocket’s first stage using one of its droneships.

“On Saturday, December 18 at 10:58 p.m. EST, Falcon 9 launched the Turksat 5B mission to geostationary transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida,” SpaceX wrote. “This was the third launch and landing of this booster, which previously supported launch of CRS-22 and Crew-3.”

SpaceX also shared clips of the launch on its Twitter account, including the liftoff, the catching of the rocket’s first stage on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, and the deployment of the Turksat 5B satellite.

Turksat 5B is a communications satellite to be operated by the Turksat company, which will be used for both military and commercial purposes. It was placed into geostationary orbit and is expected to be in use for at least the next 15 years.

This was in addition to another Starlink launch which SpaceX performed yesterday, December 18. That mission, which launched early in the morning from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, carried 52 new satellites to be added to the SpaceX Starlink constellation.

According to NASA Spaceflight, this short window between the two launches set a new record for SpaceX, with the shortest time yet between two Falcon 9 launches clocking in at 15 hours and 17 minutes. The company’s previous record had been 44 hours between Falcon 9 launches.

This isn’t all for SpaceX in the run-up to Christmas though. Next week, on Tuesday, December 21, the company will make one more Falcon 9 launch on a resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
Crew-7 astronauts launch on mission to the International Space Station
A rocket is launched to the International Space Station at 3:27 a.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 26, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The International Space Station (ISS) will soon be getting some new visitors, as four astronauts of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission began their journey to the station at 3:27 a.m. today, Saturday, August 26. Launched using a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, the crew will travel in their Crew Dragon spacecraft throughout the day before arriving at the ISS tomorrow.

An international crew of four representing four countries is in orbit following a successful launch to the International Space Station at 3:27 a.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 26, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The agency’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission is the seventh commercial crew rotation mission for NASA. NASA

Read more
SpaceX calls off Friday’s Crew-7 launch to the space station
Crew-7's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft on the launchpad.

Crew-7's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft on the launchpad. SpaceX

UPDATE: About four hours prior to the targeted launch time, SpaceX posted a message saying it was calling off Friday morning's launch attempt and would now target early Saturday morning instead.

Read more
How to watch the XRISM X-ray mission launch on Sunday
xrism launch livestream artist impression of pillars 1

Update: The launch has been rescheduled from Saturday evening to Sunday evening.

This weekend is gearing up to be an exciting one for space nerds, as two big launches will be occurring within days of each other. On Saturday, August 26, four crew members will launch to the International Space Station on board a Crew Dragon launched with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Crew-7 mission. And on Sunday, August 27, a joint European and Japanese X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission (XRISM) will launch as well.

Read more