SpaceX has made two launches within one day using its Falcon 9 rockets, setting a new record for the shortest interval yet between launches. On Saturday, December 18, the company launched its Turksat 5B mission from Cape Canaveral, carrying a satellite into orbit late in the evening.
SpaceX livestreamed the launch, which you can watch using the video above, and was successful in catching the rocket’s first stage using one of its droneships.
“On Saturday, December 18 at 10:58 p.m. EST, Falcon 9 launched the Turksat 5B mission to geostationary transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida,” SpaceX wrote. “This was the third launch and landing of this booster, which previously supported launch of CRS-22 and Crew-3.”
SpaceX also shared clips of the launch on its Twitter account, including the liftoff, the catching of the rocket’s first stage on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, and the deployment of the Turksat 5B satellite.
Turksat 5B is a communications satellite to be operated by the Turksat company, which will be used for both military and commercial purposes. It was placed into geostationary orbit and is expected to be in use for at least the next 15 years.
This was in addition to another Starlink launch which SpaceX performed yesterday, December 18. That mission, which launched early in the morning from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, carried 52 new satellites to be added to the SpaceX Starlink constellation.
According to NASA Spaceflight, this short window between the two launches set a new record for SpaceX, with the shortest time yet between two Falcon 9 launches clocking in at 15 hours and 17 minutes. The company’s previous record had been 44 hours between Falcon 9 launches.
This isn’t all for SpaceX in the run-up to Christmas though. Next week, on Tuesday, December 21, the company will make one more Falcon 9 launch on a resupply mission to the International Space Station.