With the successful completion of its spaceflight Sunday morning, SpaceX has completed three launches in under 36 hours, the shortest sequence of three missions by any commercial launch company in history.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket launched a Globalstar communications satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral early Sunday, completing SpaceX’s hat trick. The company launched its Starlink broadband satellites from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday.
On Saturday, a radar satellite for the German military was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The latest achievement has made SpaceX diehards thrilled. Only seven years ago, the first Falcon 9 core successfully landed, and now SpaceX has completed three independent launches on both sides of North America. It’s a proud moment for a company that has been formerly associated with unsuccessful launches.
The launches came just days after SpaceX employees got critical of Elon Musk, the company CEO, went public. Musk’s public remarks had caused “embarrassment” to certain staff, forcing them to be diverted from their work, according to an open letter disseminated around the company’s networks on June 15.
SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, stated that the company “removed a number of employees involved.”
“As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX — every Tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company,” the letter said. “It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission, or our values.”
However, despite the controversy, SpaceX continues to lead the commercial space industry.