Orbital Launches in the First 3 Months of 2023

The global orbital launch report prepared for the first quarter of 2023 by the analysis and engineering firm called BryceTech is remarkable*.

SpaceX is in such a dominant position in the data of this report that in order to evaluate the world space flight market, it may be better if it is excluded from the statistics and evaluated in a different category.

In the first quarter of 2023, SpaceX 23, CASC (China) 12, Roscosmos (Russia) 6, Rocket Lab 3, JAXA (Japan) and ISRO (India) 2 and 5 other companies or states have carried out one orbital launches.

In terms of launch numbers, SpaceX is by far the first. But if we look at the statistics of the number of satellites carried into space and the total payload, the graphs get interesting. The difference is enough to necessitate logarithmic representation.

SpaceX launched 763 satellites, while ISRO, in second place launched 39, and CASC 31 satellites. Virgin Orbit 8, Rocket Lab 6, Roscosmos 6 satellites launched and other launchers followed with fewer satellites.

In the amount of payload delivered to orbit, SpaceX reached 233 tons, while CASC and Roscosmos in the second and third place delivered approximately 24 and 23 tons respectively. ISRO followed with 5.4 tons and JAXA with 3.5 tons. Rocket Lab has delivered a payload of 427 kg to orbit.

If we only look at the number of launches, the difference between SpaceX and China is 2 times, if we look at the tonnage, it increases to 10 times and the number of satellites is 24 times. The weight of satellites placed in orbit can vary from a few kilograms to tons. For this reason, the number of satellites does not provide reliable information about the work done. Small satellites made up 96% of the total mass, and the bulk of these are communications satellites like Starlink.

How practical and cost-effective the limited reusability feature of the Falcon 9 rocket would be initially met with skepticism. However, in the first three months of 2023, we see that SpaceX has achieved a 10-fold increase in performance compared to traditional methods of accessing space.

* You can read the original report here: https://brycetech.com/briefing


Popular Posts