On Tuesday, SpaceX launched its 31st and final Falcon 9 rocket of 2021, capping off its busiest year ever. This one sent a Dragon cargo ship into orbit, carrying supplies, equipment and Christmas gifts for the crew of the International Space Station.
It was only the second all-new Falcon 9 to go to the skies in 2021, as SpaceX takes advantage of its reusable rocket technology, which officials say is critical for decreasing launch costs and increasing schedule flexibility.
‘SpaceX has had a record-breaking year,’ Sarah Walker, the company’s director of mission management, stated. ‘Reusability is essential for reducing the cost of spaceflight, allowing for greater investments in crucial scientific research.’