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Past Week in Launches: SpaceX Finally Flies, Rocket Lab and CASC Orbit Satellites

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 18, 2022
Falcon 9 launches 54 Starlink broadband satellites on Sept. 18, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

After being delayed for most of the past week by weather, SpaceX launched 54 Starlink broadband satellites on Sunday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX has now launched 1,403 Starlink satellites this year on 28 Falcon 9 flights. Elon Musk’s company has launched 42 times this year, or 70 percent of the 60 launches attempted by U.S. companies this year.

Orbital Launches
Sept. 11-18 2022

Date Company -Launch VehicleCompany -PayloadPurposeLaunch Site
Sept. 13, 2022CASC – Long March 7AChina Satcom – ChinaSat-1EGEO CommunicationsWenchang (China)
Sept. 15, 2022Rocket Lab – ElectronSynspective – StriX-1Earth observation (SAR)Mahia Peninsula (New Zealand)
Sept. 18, 2022SpaceX – Falcon 9 SpaceX – 54 Starlink BroadbandCape Canaveral (USA)

Rocket Lab’s Electron booster orbited the StriX-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite for Synspective of Japan. The company set a new record with its seventh successful Electron launch in a calendar year with more than three months left in 2022. The company launched seven times in 2020, but one of those flights failed.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) launched the ChinaSat-1E geosynchronous communications satellite. It was CASC’s 32nd launch of the year and 38th launch by Chinese companies.

Orbital Launches by Nation
Jan. 1 – Sept. 16, 2022

NationSuccessesFailuresTotalPercentage of Total LaunchesNotes
United States5826050.85Includes 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)
China3713832.20Crew, cargo and module launches to space station; Reusable Experimental Spacecraft flight; successful maiden flights of Long March 6A and ZK-1A boosters
Russia1201210.17Includes 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
Europe3032.54Successful Vega-C maiden flight, 2 Ariane 5 launches
India2132.542 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle maiden flight (failure)
Iran1010.85Qased launch vehicle
South Korea1010.85First successful launch of domestically produced orbital launch vehicle (Nuri)

Thanks to SpaceX, the United States remained in the lead with 60 orbit launch attempts, which is 58.85 percent of the 118 attempts worldwide. Astra Space accounted both American failures with its since retired Rocket 3.3 booster.

China is in second place with 37 successful launches in 38 attempts. CASC has accounted for 32 successful launches with no failures.

Russia is a distant third with 12 launches, followed by Europe and India with three apiece, and Iran and South Korea with one apiece. Japan has yet to launch this year.

2 responses to “Past Week in Launches: SpaceX Finally Flies, Rocket Lab and CASC Orbit Satellites”

  1. ThomasLMatula says:

    Congratulations on a successful flight!

  2. therealdmt says:

    Cool pic. Looks like they caught the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) on the mid upper right there.

    Someday… 😀

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