The Past Week in Launches: SpaceX & China Launch Twice, a Soyuz Rideshare and India Falls Short

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off on maiden flight. (Credit: ISRO)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the past week, SpaceX launched 98 Starlink satellites, a Chinese commercial launch provider made it three in a row, Russia launched a rideshare mission with an Iranian satellite aboard, and India’s new small satellite launcher fell just short of orbit.

There have been 103 orbital launches worldwide, with 99 successes and four failures.

Let’s take a closer look at the last week in launch.

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77 Launches Conducted During First Half of 2022 as Access to Orbit Expanded

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites while the Dragon that will carry Crew-4 to the International space Station awaits its turn. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

It was a busy first half of 2022 that saw 77 orbital launches with 74 successes and three failures through the 182nd day of the year on July 1. At a rate of one launch every 2 days 8 hours 44 minutes, the world is on track to exceed the 146 launches conducted in 2021.

A number of significant missions were launched during a period that saw more than 1,000 satellite launched. SpaceX flew the first fully commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Boeing conducted an orbital flight test of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, China prepared to complete assembly of its space station, South Korea launched its first domestically manufactured rocket, and Rocket Lab sent a NASA mission to the moon.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

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Sidus Space Celebrates the Successful Space-Qualification of Dhruva Space’s Satellite Orbital Deployer

PSLV launches three satellites for Singapore on June 30, 2022. (Credit: ISRO)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Sidus Space PR) — Sidus Space, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIDU), a Space-as-a-Service company focused on mission critical hardware manufacturing; multi-disciplinary engineering services; satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations; and in-orbit support is proud to announce that Dhruva Space’s Satellite Orbital Deployer successfully achieved space-qualification on June 30.

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ISRO Successfully Tests Large Human-rated Solid Rocket Booster for the Gaganyaan Programme

SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — ISRO successfully completed the static test of a human-rated solid rocket booster (HS200) for the Gaganyaan Programme at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on May 13, 2022, at 7:20 AM local time. HS200 rocket booster is the human-rated version of the well-proven S200 rocket booster of GSLV Mk III satellite launch vehicle, popularly known as LVM3. The successful completion of this test marks a major milestone for the prestigious human space flight mission of ISRO, the Gaganyaan, as the first stage of the launch vehicle is tested for its performance for the full duration.

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ISRO Tests Solid Booster Stage for New Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle stage static fire. (Credit: ISRO)

SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — The ground testing of the newly developed solid booster stage (SS1) for the new launch vehicle of ISRO i.e. Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) was carried out today, March 14 2022 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota at 1205 hrs.

All the propulsion parameters during the test are found satisfactory and closely matching with the predictions.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle stage static fire. (Credit: ISRO)

SS1 motor is a three segmented solid propulsion stage incorporating many new technologies and innovative processes which includes bond-free joint between the segments, high power electro mechanical actuator with digital control electronics, optimized ignitor and simultaneous propellant casting of all segments, which have been successfully validated in the ground test.

The successful test of solid booster stage has given sufficient confidence to proceed with the first developmental flight of SSLV (SSLV-D1) which is scheduled in May 2022. The remaining stages of SSLV i.e. SS2 & SS3 stages have successfully undergone necessary ground tests and are ready for integration.