SpaceX and Falcon 9 Dominate the World of Orbital Rocket Launches This Year14th Jul 2021
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 dominates this year’s rocket launches in a close tie with China. On 1st July, the company carried out its 20th orbital launch this year. Shortly after, the Chinese Long March rocket completed the same milestone after launching its meteorological satellite. This is the first time in history a single private company has managed to carry out as many launches as the entire country – and one of the leading space countries on top of that.
International rocket launches stats
Besides SpaceX and China, the rest of the world carried out a total of 20 rocket launches this year, which include another US startup Virgin Orbit, with its first successful rocket launch in 2021. In other words, SpaceX is way ahead of any other company or space agency in the world, with a single exception of China.
Falcon 9 rocket launch by payload
Even though SpaceX and China are tied when it comes to the total number of rocket launches, Elon Musk’s company is way ahead when it comes to payload deployed. As the company owner states, Falcon 9 rocket launches have helped carry 230 metric tons of payload to orbit this year alone. The payloads included various spacecraft, Dragons, space station supplies, and even actual astronauts. Besides, SpaceX is building its own constellation of internet satellites in LEO. Today, 800 Starlink satellites have already been deployed.
In contrast to that, the rest of the world combined have only placed 175 tons of payload into orbit this year. Musk adds that in 2020 SpaceX helped double the current mass of payload in orbit.
So, even though China closely follows SpaceX when it comes to the actual number of rocket launches, no one can compete with Falcon 9 when it comes to the total mass of payload deployed. Besides, the company plans to carry out 40 more Falcon 9 rocket launches by the end of the year.