Falcon 9: Next Generation of Space Flight


Image by SpaceX

Sam Hokkanen, Contributor

Elon Musk, the world’s former richest man, founded his American aerospace company SpaceX in 2002. As of January 24th, Musk’s various projects have successfully launched five separate rockets in January 2023 alone. These launches primarily include satellites that are used for surveying and research purposes. Musk’s most recent breakthrough is the Falcon 9 rocket, a reusable aircraft designed for the reliable and safe transport of people and materials into Earth’s orbit and outer space. The 70-meter-tall rocket may as well be the idea that propels us into colonizing Mars or another habitable planet. This is Musk’s goal, of course. In an interview with NPR in 2016, he stated that he wanted to build a rocket capable of taking people to Mars and supporting a permanent city on the planet. 



October 2005 – SpaceX announces its plan for the reusable Falcon 9 rocket

June 2010 – First Falcon 9 launch out of Cape Canaveral, Florida

2014 – SpaceX receives funding from NASA to progress Falcon 9 project

December 2015 – Launch #20 is the first successful flight to land vertically and is able to be reused 

February 2016 – Launches are frequent, production rate increases to 18 rockets per year

January 2021 – Falcon 9 sets record for most satellites launched by a single rocket (143)

January 2021 – Falcon 9 becomes the U.S. mission with the most launches in history

January 2022 – SpaceX has successfully landed 159 Falcon 9 rockets with 201 launches and 137 reflights


The Falcon 9 rocket is regarded by some as the most reliable rocket ever created due to its impressive success rate and unique capabilities. Not only did it surpass the space shuttle as the most-launched rocket in history, but it is the only U.S. rocket currently certified for transporting humans to the International Space Station. There is no denying NASA’s impressive and accomplished history, yet SpaceX continues to surpass all expectations and reach feats never thought possible. Ever since the Apollo missions, NASA and other space agencies have focused on advancing technology and opening up new opportunities to explore deep space. The Falcon 9 rocket is undoubtedly the biggest step in space flight this century and many astronauts have stated their findings to prove it. For example, Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken said in 2020 that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was a “very pure flying machine” and were “surprised by the rougher-than-expected ride on the Falcon 9’s powerful upper stage.” In the widely unknown world of space flight, SpaceX is leading the planet to new heights, possibly even a new home for the human race.