SpaceX successfully completed its 25th launch this year

SpaceX has announced that it successfully launched the SXM-7 satellite on Sunday, completing its 25th launch this year. The mission put a satellite into orbit for Sirius XM radio to provide satellite-based radio programming for people in Canada, the US, and the Caribbean. The satellite sent into orbit was quite large, weighing in at 15,432 pounds.

Another interesting tidbit about the mission was that the Falcon 9 rocket used to push the satellite into orbit flew for its seventh time on the mission. The launch marks the second time SpaceX has flown a Falcon 9 seven times. Initially, the launch was scheduled to happen on Saturday, December 12.

About 30 seconds before launch on Saturday, the countdown was halted to give mission controllers the chance to perform more ground checks. It's unclear exactly what stopped the launch on Saturday. SpaceX sent a satellite into orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, in Florida.

If a rocket could be famous, the Falcon 9 used in this mission definitely would be. This rocket supported Crew Dragon's first flight to the ISS called Demo-1. It also launched the RADARSAT Constellation Mission and performed four Starlink launches in 2020. The rocket landed on the drone ship, "Just Read the Instructions." This also marked another flight for one half of the Falcon 9 faring, which was previously flown on the ANASIS-II mission in July.

With the successful recovery of the Falcon 9, it would seem likely that the rocket will fly again in the future. It will be interesting to see how many times SpaceX can reuse a single Falcon 9 rocket without compromising mission integrity. One way that the company keeps the cost of launches down is by landing and reusing the first stage of the rocket and fairings.