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Browse Resources By Year

2016 - U.S. Suborbital

Country: United States
The promise of humans routinely traversing space for the purposes of business and pleasure has been around for nearly as long as humans have been sending vehicles to space. The promise of routine suborbital human spaceflight remained unfulfilled during 2016, although U.S. companies such as Blue...

2016 - U.S. Launch, Human

Country: Russia, United States
The United States is approaching its sixth year without a space launch vehicle capable of transporting humans to space and back. NASA has instead paid the Russian Federal Space Agency ROSCOSMOS for seat reservations to and from the International Space Station (ISS). According to the agency’s...

2016 - Russia Launch, Human

Country: Russia
Russia continued to be the only nation ferrying humans to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2016 with its Soyuz space launch vehicle and capsule. In spite of an overall downturn in Russian launch attempts during 2016, the country’s space agency, ROSCOSMOS, managed to conduct four human...

2016 - China Launch, Human

Country: China
China was one of two nations with human space launch vehicles active in 2016. After a three-year hiatus, China launched its sixth human spaceflight mission aboard a Long March 2 (Chang Zheng—CZ-2) space launch vehicle into low Earth orbit in October 2016. The rocket carried the Shenzhou 11...

Orbital Human Space Launch

Two nations launched humans into the Earth’s orbit using their own space launch vehicles in 2016: Russia and China. Russia continued its space “ridesharing” service to the International Space Station (ISS), charging astronauts from nations such as the United States for passage to the ISS....

2016 - Bigelow Space Stations

Topic: Bigelow
Country: United States
In April 2016, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) was launched and attached to the International Space Station (ISS). During transport, the module was nearly 2.5 meters in diameter and slightly over 2 meters (6.5 feet) in length. Since then, the ISS crew expanded the module to a diameter...

2016 - ISS

Topic: ISS
During 2016, the International Space Station (ISS) continued to be the primary inhabited space laboratory orbiting the Earth. An international contingent of scientists, engineers, and researchers used the ISS for various microgravity-based experiments.One ISS program, NASA’s human research...

2016 - China Space Stations

Topic: China
Country: China
China launched a new space station laboratory in the middle of September 2016, making China the only nation to have two space stations in orbit, although one appears to no longer be functional. The nation’s first space station, Tiangong-1, was launched into orbit in late 2011. The last time China...

2016 - Russia Launch, Payload

Country: Russia
Russia abdicated its customary position as the world’s leader in the number of launches during 2016, coming in third after the United States and China. The nation launched only 17 space launch vehicles (SLVs), but still managed to hold 20% of the global launch market. This 35% decrease from the...

2016 - U.S. Launch, Payload

Country: United States
U.S. launch activities constituted 26% of global orbital launch activity, matched only by China during 2016. The country’s 22 successful launches for 2016 exceeded its 2015 efforts by two. There were no launch failures in 2016, an improvement from the two failures the United States had during its...