SpaceX launched the final rocket of 2022 into space on Friday. The company sent a Falcon 9 rocket with an Israeli Earth-imaging satellite to Earth’s orbit. It was the California rocket builder’s 61st launch of 2022.
The Earth Resources Observation Satellite (EROS) was built by Israel Aircraft Industries and is owned by ImageSat International.
The satellite, EROS C-3 is equipped with redundant camera systems capable of resolving surface features less than one foot across.
The new satellite joins two others already in orbit that are believed to be “commercialised” Israeli spy satellites.
Deployment of @ImageSatIntl EROS C-3 confirmed pic.twitter.com/J7KORv5lha
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 30, 2022
Falcon 9 resume
Since the rocket’s debut in 2010, SpaceX has chalked up to 194 Falcon 9 rockets overall putting together a string of 179 successful flights in a row since the company’s only in-flight failure in 2015.
The 61 flights this year fall one short of doubling last year’s pace.
“Launch 61 of 2022. Congrats SpaceX!,” company founder Elon Musk tweeted.
Launch 61 of 2022. Congrats SpaceX! https://t.co/tnTPZqYTd6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 30, 2022
Even more flights are expected in 2023, including two NASA astronaut ferry flights to the International Space Station, at least two commercial crew flights, two station cargo flights and the maiden orbital launch of SpaceX’s huge Super Heavy/Starship rocket.