SpaceX Had Its First 100 Successful Rocket Flights

On Saturday, October 24, 2020, SpaceX completed its 100th successful flight since Falcon 1 first flew to orbit in 2008. Over the course of these flights, SpaceX landed Falcon’s first stage booster 63 times and re-flew boosters 45 times.

SpaceX is approaching the 15000 meter test flight for the fully reusable SpaceX Starship. Felix at What About It? has the details.

The traditional space industry has not commercially flown the Apollo style rockets that they wanted to make from parts of the Space Shuttle parts and the same supply chain. Scott Manley describes the long and failed history of attempts to make a direct Space Shuttle replacement.

The Space Shuttle program missed its goal of reaching $5 million per flight and having an affordable reusable system. The Space Shuttle was reusable but the heat shield made of tiles had a costly repair and maintenance process. The Space Shuttle program cost about $211 billion and it had 133 successful launches. The average cost of the program was $1.5 billion per launch.

SpaceX is on track to pass the Space Shuttle record of 133 successful launches by the end of 2021.

The early 1980s had the Future Space Transportation System program and the later NASA Advanced Manned Launch System program. In the late 1980s, there was the Shuttle II program. There was the National Launch System in 1991. In the 1980s, NASA and the Air Force worked on the X-30 National Aerospace Plane. The Rockwell X-30 NASP was canceled in 1995 after about $5.5 billion was spent. The X-30 could have had more secret Department of Defense money. There was about $10 billion spent on the Constellation program and now about $20 billion on the Space Launch System. All of the programs for creating a Shuttle replacement have so far not created any useful launch capability.

Written By Brian Wang,