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SpaceX Plans For Equipment That Never Sleeps To Achieve Record 144 Launches This Year

SpaceX Plans For Equipment That Never Sleeps To Achieve Record 144 Launches This Year

Elon Musk‘s rocket manufacturing company SpaceX is considering a new factory model that involves equipment working continuously, except for planned or unplanned maintenance, as it aims to scale its launch rate.

What Happened: SpaceX VP of Launch, Kiko Dontchev, mentioned in a post on X that the company is currently undergoing planned maintenance on various equipment, including its SLC-40 launch pad in Florida. The proposed model suggests that the equipment will be in operation continuously, barring maintenance scenarios.

“As we move to a higher launch rate, we are adopting more of a factory model where the equipment is always running except for planned and unplanned maintenance,” Dontchev said.

He also said that the company’s Just Read The Instructions (JRTI) droneship is undergoing planned dry dock maintenance. Simultaneously, some work will be performed on the company’s recovery ships named Bob and Doug.

Why It Matters: SpaceX has ambitious plans for 2024, aiming for 144 launches, equivalent to 12 launches per month. To achieve this, Dontchev emphasized the importance of the launch system, including pads, recovery, and flight hardware, being capable of withstanding at least 13 launches per month, as mentioned in a post earlier this month.

In 2023, SpaceX completed 96 launches, marking a remarkable 57% year-on-year increase. The company’s launch numbers have been steadily increasing, with 26 launches in 2020, 31 in 2021, and 61 in 2022.

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Image Credit – SpaceX