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.
The list of launch vehicles set for maiden flights in 2023 may sound familiar. It’s mostly the same group of launch vehicles initially slated to fly in 2022.
European space employment was 53,051 in 2021, an increase of 5.4% from the total of 50,317 from 2020. This estimate is based on analysis by Eurospace, the trade association of the European Space Industry. The analysis focuses on the space manufacturing industry; space services companies such as Ariane- space, SES, Eutelsat, and Inmarsat which also employ thousands of individuals, are not included.
The space industry relies on skilled individuals from a wide variety of fields to enable the cutting-edge developments taking place in this sector. While many countries do not regularly produce metrics on the size of their workforce, these data are available for several major space actors, including the United States, Europe, Japan, and India.
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.
NASA says its Artemis I flight set to launch as soon as late August will be an uncrewed lunar fly-by.
The Paris-based European Space Agency would beg to differ. Shaun is leaving the happy confines of Mossy Bottom Farm to lead the flight around the Moon, an agency press release announced.
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.
Commercial space activity refers to efforts undertaken by private industry with little or no government investment. Commercial space revenue in 2021 totaled $362 billion.
With 15 new launch vehicles expected to make maiden flights this year, 2022 is set to be the busiest year for new rockets since the dawn of the Space Age.