Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

SpaceX seeks to accelerate Falcon 9 production and launch rates this year |

WASHINGTON — SpaceX plans to ramp up the production and launch of its Falcon 9 rocket this year while introducing its Falcon Heavy rocket and completing a key test of its commercial crew vehicle, the company’s president said Feb. 3.

“It’s a really interesting year for us,” Gwynne Shotwell said in a speech at the Federal Aviation Administration’s annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference, citing work on the company’s launch vehicles, Dragon spacecraft and launch facilities.

One area of emphasis was accelerating the production and launch rate for the Falcon 9. “We’ve had the luxury in years past of having to build only a few rockets a year,” she said, “so we really weren’t in a production mode.” Last year would have been the first to require a high production rate of the rocket, she said, had it not been for the June launch failure that halted flights for nearly six months.

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