For the first time since January 2020, SpaceX intentionally expanded a Falcon 9 booster rather than making an effort to land or sea the rocket.
The uncommon operation carried Intelsat's twin Maxar-built Galaxy 31 and 32 communications satellites to a high geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) that will allow them to start operating early.
The rocket used all its fuel in its first and only fire, reaching maximum speed before separating from the second stage.
Falcon 9 rocket B1051 didn't perform a controlled flip or attempt to land on a SpaceX drone ship during its 14th flight since March 2019.
B1048 and B1050 both suffered in-flight anomalies that led to unsuccessful landing attempts even though they had no effect on the outcome of their primary missions.
Although SpaceX likely charged its clients a good sum for the use of B1049 and B1051, the business is probably not unhappy about the chance to improve its fleet of Falcon rockets.
B1051 was the third Falcon 9 booster to perform 14 flights, therefore SpaceX may anticipate each new Falcon 9 Falcon Heavy side rocket can replace more than a dozen expendable boosters.
Expending Falcon 9's booster allowed SpaceX to launch roughly 50% more payload to a comparable supersynchronous GTO, highlighting the toll booster reuse takes on higher orbit flights.
Musk then boosted his aim to 60 missions, although SpaceX has averaged one Falcon launch every six days for over a year and might complete another eight launches this year.