Bryce Tech Releases 1Q22 Report On Orbital Launches

11th Aug 2022
Bryce Tech Releases 1Q22 Report On Orbital Launches

Bryce Tech released its Global Orbital Space Launches for Q1 of 2022. There were few surprises, but new trends appeared.

SpaceX launched 502 spacecraft, which is unsurprisingly more than any other provider. For context, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) launched 38, Variance Space launched 34, Astra Space launched 21 spacecraft. All other companies launched fewer than ten.

Launches around the world

In Q1, there were 18 launches in the United States, eight in China, and four in Russia. There were also one each in Europe, India, and Iran. The number of launches as well as upmass from Russia will drop due to sanctions Russia brought upon itself with the wide-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Upmass carried by launch provider

In terms of upmass carried by launch supplier, again, SpaceX was at the top of the chart, with 115,969 kg in Q1. This was followed by the 19,130 kg launched by Roscosmos.

The majority of spacecraft were for communication purposes

Driven by the continual deployment of Starlink and OneWeb constellations, the majority of the spacecraft launched in Q1 were communications satellites. In fact, they accounted for 75 per cent of the 624 spacecraft launched during this time.

Of the remainder, 16 per cent were for remote sensing, eight per cent for technology demonstration and development, and less than one per cent for scientific purposes, cargo and crew transportation, and other purposes.

In terms of operator type, 550 of the 623 spacecraft launched were operated by commercial companies. You then had 40 from non-profit or academic organisations, 22 launched by the civil government, and 12 launched by the military government. 

98% of the spacecraft launched were smallsats

Smallsats include spacecraft falling into the following mass classes; mini (201 – 600), micro (11 – 200), nano (1.1 – 10), Pico (0.1 – 1), and Femto (0.01 – 0.09). Statistics show that 98 per cent of the spacecraft launched fell into one of those categories.

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