A flurry of military and intelligence satellite launches by rival powers this month came as the United States and two dozen partner nations wrapped up the largest global space defense wargame in history.
Russia launched what some leaders have described as a spy satellite for Iran and its own on-orbit snooping satellite Cosmos-2558, which is circling Earth in an orbit conspicuously close to a recently launched U.S. National Reconnaissance Office satellite, a Netherlands researcher confirmed.
Of the 55 commercial launches attempted in 2021, 31 occurred in the United States. Of these, 23 were carried out by SpaceX, all of which were successful. China and Russia each conducted nine commercial launches in 2021. All six Russian launches were conducted on the Soyuz launch vehicle, and all were successful.
The first six months of 2022 saw a record pace of space launches, matching the mark of 75 set in the first half of 1967. And through June 30, the year saw a record pace for successful launches, topping the mark of 70 set in 1984.
Total government space spending in 2021 reached $107 billion, a 19% increase from 2020, based on Space Foundation analysis. Space Foundation examined government space spending of 46 nations, including 14 nations new to the analysis this year.
South Korea is intent on building its space program, as this look at its national space agency budget reflects.
South Korea is a relatively new actor in space and has a smaller presence in space than other nations. However, government leaders have ambitious goals for the future . . .
This interactive chart tracks 2021 launch attempts and shows that commercial launches have become the largest mission sector in the United States.
Seven nations conducted orbital launches in 2021, with China, the United States and Russia continuing a years-long lead in launch activity.
Successful launches soared past annual records in 2021 with 134, beating out the previous record of 128 launches, last met in 1984. Chinese launches grew by. . .
The Moon is re-emerging as a focus for global space exploration activities at a level and tempo that will surpass the peak of lunar activities during the space race of the 1960s and 1970s. Governments and commercial entities . . .