SpaceX launches 14th Falcon 9 rocket of May using booster flying for 14th time

A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on the Starlink 6-64 mission. This was the 14th Falcon 9 launch of the month of May. Image: Spaceflight Now

Update 9:30 p.m. EDT: SpaceX pushed back the T-0 liftoff time to the end of the launch window to “allow recovery assets to get into final position.”

SpaceX continues to push the pace of its launch cadence as it completed another Falcon 9 rocket launch Friday nigh. The mission marked SpaceX’s 14th launch of the month, a new industry record for launch.

The milestone adds to the record set earlier this week, when SpaceX launched its 13th Falcon 9 to send the European Space Agency’s EarthCARE satellite up to orbit. Liftoff of this latest mission, Starlink 6-64 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, happened at 10:37 p.m. EDT (0237 UTC).

The first stage booster for this mission, tail number B1076 in the SpaceX fleet, launched for a 14th time. It previously launched missions like SpaceX’s 26th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-26) Dragon flight to the International Space Station, NASA’s TEMPO payload onboard the Intelsat 40e satellite and seven batches of Starlink satellites.

A little more than eight minutes after liftoff, B1076 landed on the SpaceX droneship, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas.’ This was the 73rd landing for ASOG and the 315th booster landing for SpaceX.

The record setting launch comes at the tail end of a week of historic milestones for SpaceX. May 25 was the 12th anniversary of the Dragon spacecraft becoming the first private spacecraft to dock with the ISS. May 30 was the fourth anniversary of the launch of the Demo-2 mission, marking the return of human spaceflight to American soil in the wake of the Space Shuttle’s retirement in 2011.

SpaceX is preparing for two more crewed missions over the course of the summer: Polaris Dawn and Crew-9.