Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Tally of space launches in last two decades

Falcon 9 liftoff, carrying 10 Iridium satellites into orbit. Credit Flickr. Courtesy of SpaceX who has placed their photos in the public domain.

Falcon 9 liftoff, carrying 10 Iridium satellites into orbit. Credit Flickr. Courtesy of SpaceX who has placed their photos in the public domain.

Behind the Black has tallied the number of space launches by country and by US company, by year from 1998 through 2016.

Mr. Zimmerman provides the tally at Launch industry trends, based on recent history on 1/11. He provides more observations on the trends in the January 13, 2017 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast.

For a more overall view (and under fair use) I added up the launches from 1998 through 2006 and then from 2007 through 2016. I chose a break of 2007 because that is when Lockheed Martin and Boeing formed their joint venture, United Launch Alliance. Here are the long-term trends:

source 98 – 06 07 – 16
US govn 52 19
Lockheed Martin 50 0
Boeing 71 0
ULA  0 114
Orbital ATK 30 23
Space X 1 32
Virgin Galactic 0 0
Rocket Lab 0 0
Neptune 0 0
US total 204 188
China 47 144
Russia 254 288
Europe 70 82
India 9 34
Japan 19 29
Iran 0 4
Israel 3 4
Brazil 1 0
South Korea 0 3
North Korea 0 3
total 607 779

 

Here are just a few of the many things I learned from the detail:

The US government hasn’t had any launches since 2011. The only scheduled launches are SLS in 2018 and then a follow on SLS launch many years later if NASA can persuade Congress to provide massive additional funding.

In the US, all launches are provided by private sector companies who have their own platforms. Mr. Zimmerman points out in the podcast that in other countries, all of those launches were from the national space agency.

China has greatly expanded their launch schedule since 2010.

Russia’s schedule has been in decline for two years.

Very cool. For more info, check out the web article. For even more analysis, check out the podcast.

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