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94 percent of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches have been successful

But its few failures have burned off hundreds of millions of dollars.

SpaceX: The Privately Funded Aerospace Company Founded By Elon Musk NASA via Getty Images

SpaceX, the interplanetary travel company led by Elon Musk and contracted by NASA, has attempted to launch its Falcon 9 rocket 34 times in the past seven years, counting only two complete failures, one of which happened in the run-up to a test.

That makes for a success rate of 94 percent, which is important to maintain, since every time a rocket launch fails, hundreds of millions of dollars are burned in the process.

No one wants to burn money, but that’s especially true for SpaceX, which has stated that one of its primary goals is to make its rockets reusable in order to significantly bring down the cost of space travel.

But now SpaceX is starting to get to its desired cadence of sending a rocket into space every two to three weeks, which means its clear that the company has learned from its rare, albeit expensive blunders. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell told Reuters in February that she hoped the company would get to a point where it was launching rockets that regularly.

Its last rocket launch was in mid-May, when the company sent its heaviest satellite yet into orbit — a satellite about the size of a double-decker bus. Two weeks before that, the Falcon 9 successfully landed after sending a military satellite into space. The next blastoff is scheduled for June 1, when yet another Falcon 9 will venture into space to restock supplies for the International Space Station.

The company has already completed five launches in 2017, according to its launch manifest, and has more than 50 future missions listed on the SpaceX website, though those will likely happen over a span many years.

Keeping such an ambitious schedule means there’s little room for error. The last time a Falcon 9 failed, in September of last year, it set the company back more than four months before it launched another Falcon 9 again.

For those interested in keeping track, here’s a look at what has happened the few times SpaceX’s Falcon 9 has failed:

In the 2015 failure, NASA calculated that it lost around $112 million in cargo. And a report from the Wall Street Journal found that SpaceX lost around $260 million in that mission.

This article originally appeared on

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