From the (I'd say) historic and pivotal hearing Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Defense Subcommittee (Chairman Durbin) Time and Location: 10:00 a.m., in Room SD-192 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building Agenda:
Richard Durbin Chairman Appropriations Subcomitte:
Mr. Musk one can not help but be impressed by the numbers that you've given us, in terms of the cost your product measure against ULA. We start with the premise that Senator Shelby noted; ULA has a flawless record. It's been able to meet the goals that we've set for them time and time and time again. You're suggestion that is we paid dearly for it, and could pay a lot less now.
I guess the question I need to ask now is the premise of this is/goes back to the creation of ULA. Do you believe it is possible to maintain two companies, in competition, for future launches? And with your company, with a record of success but more limited because of the time that you've been around, without - for example - commercial business to sustain you when government budgets can not?
(Uh, yeah, absolutely...) First I should mention that the premise of perfect success is not quite correct for ULA... they certainly have a very good track record, but the first Delta IV Heavy failed, and there was a partial failure of one of the Atlas missions which resulted in a satellite having a reduced life. So it's certainly a good... it would be a flawed premise to say it's perfect.
And in equally distinguished "testimony": @geoffc in The Pod Bay mentions:
100th consecutive, successful launch of a Falcon 9
16th launch of 2021, a cadence of one rocket every nine days
6th launch during the last 33 days, once every five days
Question: Is there a record for an unbroken series of "successful (orbital) launches" (or "perfect success" by some relatively objective criteria)? Who has it now? And what has to happen for it to change hands?