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The Past Week(ish) in Launches: SpaceX, CASC and ExPace Successes

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 6, 2022
Falcon 9 launches Starlink satellites on Sept. 4, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Due to the Labo(u)r Day holiday here in the U.S. and Canada, we got a little behind in our weekly launch updates. So, here’s what happened over the past 10 days.

SpaceX launched 151 Starlink satellites on three Falcon 9 launches conducted from Cape Canaveral Space Force Statin in Florida and Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The company has orbited 1,315 Starlink satellites on 26 dedicated missions and 1,514 payloads on 40 Falcon 9 launches this year.

The Falcon 9 launch on Sept. 5 carried a secondary payload: Spaceflight Inc.’s Sherpa-LTC, a free flying satellite deployment equipped with chemical propulsion. Sherpa-LTC hosted Boeing’s Varuna-TDM payload, which is a test of a V-band communications system for the company’s 147-satellite broadband satellite constellation.

Orbital Launches
Aug. 28 – Sept. 6, 2022

DateLaunch VehicleLaunch SitePayload(s)Purpose(s)
Aug. 28, 2022Falcon 9Cape Canaveral (USA)54 StarlinkBroadband
Aug. 31, 2022Falcon 9Vandenberg (USA)46 StarlinkBroadband
Sept. 2, 2022Long March 4CJiuquan (China)Yaogan 33-02Earth observation
Sept. 4, 2022Falcon 9Cape Canaveral (USA)51 Starlink, SHERPA-LTC2 space tug with Boeing Varuna-TDM payloadBroadband, V-band tech test
Sept. 6, 2022Kuaizhou-1AJiuquan (China)Centispace-1 S3Navigation
Sept. 6, 2022Long March 2DXichang (China)Yaogan 35-05A, Yaogan 35-05B, Yaogan 35-05CReconnaissance

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) launched four Yaogan satellites on Long March 4C and 2D boosters. Three satellites were for reconnaissance and the other for Earth observation.

ExPace conducted the third successful launch of its Kuaizhou-1A small-satellite booster on Tuesday. The payload was the Centispace-1 S3 navigation satellite.

Orbital Launches

Below are orbital launch totals through Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Orbital Launches by Nation
Jan. 1 – Sept. 6, 2022

NationSuccessesFailuresTotalPercentage of Total LaunchesNotes
United States5525750.4Includes Rocket Lab Electron launches from New Zealand; 2 Crew Dragon and 1 Cargo Dragon flights to ISS; CST-100 Starliner flight to ISS; final flight of Rocket 3.3 (failure); 1,500+ satellites launched by SpaceX
China3613732.7Crew, cargo and module launches to space station; Reusable Experimental Spacecraft flight; successful maiden flights of Long March 6A and ZK-1A boosters
Russia1201210.6Includes 1 Soyuz ST-B launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana conducted by Arianespace; 1 Soyuz crew and 2 Progress freighters to ISS; 1 successful maiden flight of Angara 1.2
India2132.72 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle maiden flight (failure)
Europe2021.8Successful Vega-C maiden flight
Iran1010.9Qased launch vehicle
South Korea1010.9First successful launch of domestically produced orbital launch vehicle (Nuri)

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