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Watch SpaceX’s 3 launches and 3 landings across just 3 days

SpaceX has just performed three Falcon 9 rocket launches and landings across just three days. In fact, the missions got off the ground within a mere 36 hours, marking the quickest trio of successive launches ever performed by a private spaceflight company.

The feat is all the more remarkable as it came amid an internal dispute at the company that saw a number of SpaceX employees fired after penning an open letter criticizing Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO.

Putting the controversy to one side, mission controllers sent the first of the three rockets skyward on Friday, June 17, at just after noon ET. The rocket departed Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying with it 53 Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s internet-from-space project. The first-stage booster returned safely, landing upright on a droneship waiting in the Atlantic Ocean.

The mission marked the 13th flight for this Falcon 9 first-stage booster, which previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and nine Starlink missions.

As usual, SpaceX shared footage of the launch and landing on Twitter:


— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 17, 2022

And here’s the booster descending to the droneship:

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship – marking SpaceX’s first 13th flight of a first stage booster and 100th successful mission with a flight proven orbital class rocket!

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 17, 2022

For the second mission, which started at 10:19 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 18, SpaceX launched Germany’s SARah-1 radar reconnaissance satellite from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The first-stage booster made a perfect landing back at the base shortly after pushing the second stage to orbit.

The flight marked the third launch and landing for this particular Falcon 9 booster, which previously launched the NROL-87 and NROL-85 missions.


— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 18, 2022

And here’s the landing:

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on Landing Zone 4

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 18, 2022

Finally, on Sunday, June 19 at 12:27 a.m. ET, Falcon 9 launched the Globalstar FM15 communications satellite to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in Florida. As with Friday’s launch, the booster landed minutes later on a droneship stationed in the ocean.

According to SpaceX, the mission was the ninth launch and landing for this booster, which previously supported the launch of the Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, Transporter-4, and Transporter-5 missions, as well as one Starlink mission.


— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 19, 2022

The third landing among the trio of successful missions:

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 19, 2022

SpaceX has now achieved a total of 160 orbital flights with its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket since the first one in 2010, using the vehicle to deploy satellites for a range of customers, send astronauts to the space station, and give private citizens the experience of a lifetime. The latest launch was also the 26th for the Falcon 9 this year as SpaceX moves swiftly toward beating its 2021 record of 31 launches in a calendar year.

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Trevor Mogg
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