The Space Coast had a record-breaking 57 launches in 2022 and is on track for another busy year in 2023. According to Space Launch Delta 45 commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Purdy, there could be between 86 and 92 potential launches this year.
As of September 24, there have been 51 launches from the Space Coast in 2023. Out of these, 41 were from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, and 10 were from Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX dominated the launches with 48 missions, including 45 Falcon 9s and 3 Falcon Heavy rockets. United Launch Alliance contributed 2 launches, with one Delta IV Heavy and one Atlas V. Relativity Space had 1 launch.
In terms of human spaceflights, there have been 3 so far in 2023. These include Crew-6, Ax-2, and Crew-7 missions.
Looking ahead, there are several exciting launches scheduled for the remainder of the year. Here are some notable ones:
In October, there will be a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39-A. This mission will carry NASA’s Psyche probe, which is headed for the asteroid Psyche. The probe will use a Mars-gravity assist and is expected to arrive at its destination in August 2029.
In November, there will be a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch with the Intuitive Machines IM-1 lunar lander from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A. This mission has the potential to be the first NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission to land on the moon.
There are also several launches scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023. These include the first-ever launch of United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur, carrying Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander and the first two test satellites for Amazon’s Project Kuiper. SpaceX will also have a Falcon Heavy mission, and there will be a Boeing CST-100 Starliner launch carrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
Looking ahead to 2024, there are already some exciting missions planned. Axiom Space will conduct the Axiom-3 mission, bringing four crew members for a short stay on the ISS. NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol Cloud Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 to advance the assessment of ocean health. SpaceX Crew-8 is also scheduled for early 2024, continuing NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
The Space Coast continues to be a hub for space exploration, with numerous launches and missions planned for the coming years.