# Mass Value Report for December 2023

### A review of the past month and of the year of 2023 - and how my model stacked up.

Now that 2023 is over, I have complete data for a year in launch that I’ve been tracking through these mass value reports, I can compare my projections to the final result to see how they stack up.

This one will be fairly brief - I’m working on upgrading the model to take into account more data, so that mass value reports in 2024 will have even more value.

## The Falcon Model

Here is the complete chart for Falcon launches up to the end of 2023:

There were 96 flights in 2023, representing 43% growth (31% without starlink) and 1680 tonnes to LEO capacity. When I first started publishing these analyses in March the projection was for a year-on-year growth rate of 34% and 80 flights, so clearly the cadence. Going back through the data, it appeared I initially dropped one of the 2 launches on March 17th - although this hasn’t made a huge different to the figures aside from having previous estimates of total flights off by 1.

Obviously cadence has picked up this year, given the disparity, so I thought it useful to look at the quarterly rate of growth. To make it a bit smoother, for each quarter the value is given for the year up to that quarter. The result is that the smoothed rate rises 11% per quarter or 53% annually.

Musk has given a target of 144 flights next year - that is exactly a 50% increase on the 2023 rate. Two VPs at SpaceX confirmed this figure and mentioned the key problem of supplying second stages:

This suggests that the top of the S curve for Falcon 9 won’t be too far away. Last month I was considering 200 or 300 flights per year as the maximum. Jon mentions that shipping 2.5 stages a day is very challenging, so is shipping them near daily as would be required for 300/year possible? Bear in mind that it would have to be constant at that rate, and as he points out a single supplier delay would slow the whole process down. With Starship in test flights, does SpaceX want to invest in making Falcon 9 second stage manufacture even more rapid?

## The Starship Flight Rate

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