- Parabolic Arc
- November 29, 2023
The Past Week(ish) in Launches: SpaceX, CASC and ExPace Successes
by Douglas Messier
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.
Aug. 28 – Sept. 6, 2022
|Date||Launch Vehicle||Launch Site||Payload(s)||Purpose(s)|
|Aug. 28, 2022||Falcon 9||Cape Canaveral (USA)||54 Starlink||Broadband|
|Aug. 31, 2022||Falcon 9||Vandenberg (USA)||46 Starlink||Broadband|
|Sept. 2, 2022||Long March 4C||Jiuquan (China)||Yaogan 33-02||Earth observation|
|Sept. 4, 2022||Falcon 9||Cape Canaveral (USA)||51 Starlink, SHERPA-LTC2 space tug with Boeing Varuna-TDM payload||Broadband, V-band tech test|
|Sept. 6, 2022||Kuaizhou-1A||Jiuquan (China)||Centispace-1 S3||Navigation|
|Sept. 6, 2022||Long March 2D||Xichang (China)||Yaogan 35-05A, Yaogan 35-05B, Yaogan 35-05C||Reconnaissance|
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.
Below are orbital launch totals through Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Orbital Launches by Nation
Jan. 1 – Sept. 6, 2022
|Nation||Successes||Failures||Total||Percentage of Total Launches||Notes|
|United States||55||2||57||50.4||Includes 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|
|China||36||1||37||32.7||Crew, cargo and module launches to space station; Reusable Experimental Spacecraft flight; successful maiden flights of Long March 6A and ZK-1A boosters|
|Russia||12||0||12||10.6||Includes 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|
|India||2||1||3||2.7||2 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle maiden flight (failure)|
|Europe||2||0||2||1.8||Successful Vega-C maiden flight|
|Iran||1||0||1||0.9||Qased launch vehicle|
|South Korea||1||0||1||0.9||First successful launch of domestically produced orbital launch vehicle (Nuri)|