SpaceX aimed for up to 39 launches in 2020. The company, which still makes it the most prolific year for Elon Musk and his team, and second only to China and its Long March family of rockets with an unofficial count of 30.
Most notably, SpaceX's number includes two missions that carried astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon, setting a number of milestones for human spaceflight. Thethat took NASA's Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the space station was the first crewed commercial flight and the first from US soil since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. SpaceX did it again with four astronauts, including one from Japan's space agency, JAXA, on the in November.
The 14made up more than half the SpaceX flights this year, brought the broadband constellation closer to its first 1,000 flying routers in orbit and enabled the beta to begin in October.
In addition to those 26 Falcon 9 flights, SpaceX also continued development of its next-generation Starship rocket at its south Texas facility. This culminated in the dramatic, which was deemed a success despite the hard, explosive landing after reaching about 8 miles (12.5 kilometers) in altitude.
In 2021 we can expect even more of the same, with scheduled Falcon 9 missions carrying Starlinks, bigger satellites and more astronauts to space. There are even a few Falcon Heavy launches on the calendar, which we didn't get to see in 2020. And certainly we'll be seeing more from the Starship development team in Texas.
Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy every launch Elon and his pals brought us during what was otherwise a year we'd rather forget.