Mission Possible: SpaceX Launches Have a 94% Success Rate

May 30, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Space travel has never been cheap, but over the past several years Android app developers have witnessed companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin work toward more economical space flight. The key is reusable rockets that can be sent back into space again and again. It’s an idea that has really caught on. NASA has contracted SpaceX to run missions to the International Space Station, and now the Air Force is looking into investing in the company’s rocket technology to get an edge in today’s new space race. SpaceX’s consistently successful launches make it the space travel startup to beat.

A recent report shows that SpaceX has an impressive 94% successful launch rate over the past seven years. In that time, 34 of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets have gone up and only two have not survived the trip. These errors — a disintegration after a “overpressure event” in June 2015 and a launchpad explosion during fueling last September — cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. But as app developers can imagine, nothing motivates problem-solving like a couple hundred million dollar loss. SpaceX has managed not to be defined by these failed missions.

The frequency of launches has only grown more regular over the last year. SpaceX has already sent up 5 rockets so far in 2017, most recently a couple weeks ago when the company launched a 13,500-pound telecommunications satellite for the British company Inmarsat. Miami app developers, mark your calendars: the next launch, a supply mission for the International Space Station, is on June 1. After that, the company has more than 50 missions slotted for the years to come. With this pace and this success rate, it looks as if SpaceX has already ushered in the future of cheap and reliable space travel. It’s only a matter of time before the company starts launching humans into space.

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