SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will dominate global orbital launches in 2021

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will dominate global orbital launches in 2021

Less than five days after SpaceX successfully completed its 20th Falcon 9 launch in 2021, a Long March 4C rocket blasted off a weather satellite, sending China over 20 flights.

With the exception of SpaceX and China, the rest of the world together completed its 20th orbital launch before SpaceX when the Virgin Orbit Launcher One rocket, which entered service for the second time in the United States, succeeded. In simpler terms, for any country, space agency or other company, SpaceX has led the world in orbital launches for the first half of 2021 — the first time in history that a single company has achieved this feat.

Perhaps most importantly, as CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly pointed out in recent months, the total mass launched into orbit is a more valuable measure of success, and in this respect, SpaceX is leading the rest of the world together. In the first half of 2021, SpaceX successfully launched more than 230 tons (about 500,000 pounds) of spacecraft, dragons, space station payloads, and astronauts into orbit and augmented the Starlink Internet constellation by nearly 800 satellites.

As of July 4, the rest of the world combined — including China, Russia, India and three other US suppliers — has put about 175 tons (385,000 pounds) into orbit by 2021. According to Musk, SpaceX will have the rest of the global payload mass in orbit by 2020. , which means that other launch providers – led primarily by China – will be more competitive by 2021, even though they are still launching 25% less mass than SpaceX.

In terms of launch vehicle details, SpaceX also maintains an almost unbeatable lead with the Falcon 9. Only Russia so far is vaguely close to 11 successful launches of Soyuz 2.1, followed by China’s Long March 4 with 8 flights this year.

However, on July 1, a Russian Soyuz 2.1 rocket launched OneWeb’s eighth batch of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Internet satellites, pushing the rest of the non-Chinese/SpaceX world to 21 successful launches in 2021. Linked to a successful orbital mission, SpaceX But the country’s national space agency and at least one Chinese start-up have plans for seven more launches this month. Given China’s ambitious manifesto and its much larger resources, SpaceX probably won’t be able to catch up before the end of 2021, but its only company and reusable rocket launcher, the Falcon 9, is still on track to launch 40 (or more) this year alone. .

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will dominate global orbital launches in 2021

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