Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023
The Space Coast Anticipates a Record Number of Launches in 2023

The Space Coast is set to witness an impressive number of launches in 2023, with a projected total of 63 launches. Out of these, 51 will take place at Cape Canaveral, while the remaining 12 will occur at Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX is expected to lead the way with 59 launches, consisting of 55 Falcon 9s and 4 Falcon Heavy missions. United Launch Alliance will contribute with 3 launches, including 1 Delta IV Heavy and 2 Atlas V missions. Finally, Relativity Space will have 1 launch.

In terms of human spaceflights, there are three planned for 2023: Crew-6, Ax-2, and Crew-7. These missions will play a crucial role in advancing our understanding of space and exploring new frontiers.

In November, SpaceX is scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 with cargo Dragon on the CRS-29 mission to resupply the International Space Station. This mission will carry supplies for the Expedition 70 crew and various scientific experiments, including NASA’s Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE) and the Integrated Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Low-Earth-Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T).

Another notable launch in November is the SpaceX Falcon 9 on the SES O3b mPOWER mission to medium-Earth orbit. This mission aims to provide improved global communications capabilities.

In December, the first-ever launch of the United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on Certification-1 is planned. This launch will carry Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander to the moon, along with a human remains payload for Celestis Inc., which includes the ashes of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry and actor James Doohan.

Looking ahead to 2024, there are several exciting missions on the horizon. A SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39-A on USSF-52 is planned for the fourth quarter of 2023. This mission will feature the reuse of side boosters and a double land landing.

SpaceX is also preparing for a lunar mission in January 2024 with the Intuitive Machines IM-1 lunar lander. This mission could be the first NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission to land on the moon. Additionally, Axiom Space has been awarded the right to fly Axiom-3, a commercial flight carrying four crew members for a short stay on the International Space Station.

Other future launches include NASA’s PACE satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9, SpaceX Crew-8, United Launch Alliance Atlas V, Polaris Dawn mission, United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur on Sierra Space Dream Chaser test flight, and Boeing CST-100 Starliner.

Exciting times lie ahead for the Space Coast as it continues to be a hub for space exploration and innovation.