Space Force Budget by Category, 2021-2023
In recent years, space has reestablished itself as an important component of defense strategy alongside the establishment of the Space Force and large budget increases for space programs. The Space Force received $1.7 billion more than originally requested for fiscal year 2023, resulting in $7.1 billion (39%) more than the enacted 2022 budget.
Per Nation Mass Share of an Estimated 973,000 KG, 2022
Operators deployed ~421 spacecraft with a mass of 200 kg or less, 18% of all deployed spacecraft in 2022. SpaceX’s Starlink satellites comprised over half the spacecraft mass deployed in 2022. The company’s Starlink deployments added up to 518,523 kg, nearly double the 257,140 kg it deployed in 2021. The largest spacecraft deployed during 2022 was Lockheed Martin’s Orion space capsule (25,848 kg), deployed during NASA’s first Artemis/Space Launch System launch.
Spacecraft Deployed Per Mass Range, 2022
Mass estimates of all spacecraft deployed during 2022 exclude many of China’s spacecraft deployments and all U.S. classified spacecraft. However, without the mass totals from those two spacecraft operators, the overall spacecraft mass deployed during 2022 is estimated to be ~961,200 kilograms(kg), averaging ~415 kg per deployed spacecraft.
Shares of Major Communications Payload, 2022
U.S. company SpaceX Starlink deployed 1,689 satellites, a 71% increase from the 989 satellites it deployed in 2021. On the other hand, OneWeb, a U.K. company, deployed 110 satellites, less than half the number it deployed the previous year (284). Also falling under the communications category were satellites with Internet of Things (IoT) payloads. Operators deployed 84 IoT satellites in 2022. Also under the communications category were the 27 satellites hosting ship-tracking payloads deployed in 2022.
Spacecraft Payload Share, 2022
The 2,354 spacecraft deployed during 2022 each contained at least one payload to fulfill mission requirements. The Space Report separates those payloads into four categories: communications; EO/RS; position, navigation, and timing (PNT); and space transportation.
Spacecraft Mission Segment Shares by Nation, 2022
Compared with 2021’s 90% commercial spacecraft deployment share, 2022’s increased to 91%, even as spacecraft deployed in 2022 grew by 36% over the previous year. Spacecraft with civil government mission payloads accounted for 107 (4.5%) of all spacecraft deployed in 2022, slightly higher than 2021’s 99 civil government spacecraft deployments. Military missions comprised the remaining 3.5% (80) of the world’s deployed spacecraft in 2022, higher than the 69 military spacecraft deployments in 2021.
Launch Attempts by Country and Mission Type, 2022
While the U.S. typically leads commercial satellite launches, China almost doubled its private missions in 2022—commercial payloads were 27% of the nation’s launches compared to 16% in 2021. Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. launched five batches of high-resolution imagery satellites for its Jilin-1 constellation and has deployed approximately half of its planned 138 satellites.
SNAPSHOT: Lunar Missions
The first attempted lunar mission was the Soviet Union’s Luna 1 impactor, which launched Jan. 2, 1959, and passed within only 5,995 kilometers of the Moon at its closest point. The Space Race brought a large wave of lunar activity in the 1960s, but there have only been a few missions in the decades since.
Orbital Launch Attempts by Result, 2013-2022
For the second consecutive year, space launches set all-time records as operators sent a historic number of 179 successful missions into orbit in 2022. With 41 more attempts than 2021, the year also set a new record for the sheer volume increase of launches year over year.
Orbital Launch Activity Grows at Record Pace in 2022
Space launch activity continued to grow rapidly in 2022, reaching a new high of 186 orbital launch attempts. Last year was filled with successes and had three fewer failures than 2021, even with 41 more attempts.