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The United States, with SpaceX, well ahead in rocket launches in 2023

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan1,2024

The United States, with SpaceX, largely in the lead in launches of rockets in 2023

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A man watches a SpaceX rocket before its launch in Boca Chica, Texas, in November 2023.

Agence France-Presse

The United States, thanks to SpaceX, have once again crushed the global space launcher market, achieving 107 orbital flights in 2023, far ahead of other countries in this strategic sector.

Elon Musk's firm alone launched its Falcon 9 96 times during the year, almost at the rate of two per week, mainly to continue the deployment of its Starlink Internet satellite constellation.

Space ended with explosions from its super heavy Starship launcher. This must be used to land astronauts on the Moon again during the Artemis missions.

For next year, we want to increase the number of flights to around 12 flights per month, or 144 flights, said the vice president of Space X Bill Gerstenmaier during a hearing before the US Senate in October.

Faced with American domination, China is rapidly developing its space activity and completed 67 launches in 2023, compared to 64 in 2022, according to Spacenews.

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For its last launch of the year on Friday, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said on its website to have carried out 47 launches for its Longue Marche range of rockets alone in 2023.

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The Shenzhou-17 rocket during its launch on October 26, 2023.

Russia has fired its Soyuz rocket 19 times, including 17 times, mainly satellites for its government and military needs as well as Progress vessels for the International Space Station (ISS), according to the specialist site Gunter&#x27 ;s Space Page.

The Electron rocket from the American-New Zealand company Rocket Lab, one of the rare operational mini-launchers, was launched on nine occasions.

Behind comes India, whose space agency Isro carried out seven launches during the ;year of its GSLV, PSLV and SSLV rockets.

Isro can also boast of having carried out the first launch of 2024, a PSLV rocket launched on Monday at 4:30 GMT having put into orbit a scientific satellite.

Europe, in the midst of a launcher crisis, has only carried out three launches in 2023: the last two Ariane 5 and a Vega rocket.

Europeans hope to regain autonomous access to space with the inaugural flight of' Ariane 6, scheduled between June 15 and the end of July, and the return to flight of Vega-C at the end of the year, after an accident which grounded it since the end of 2022.

Japan also carried out three launches in 2023, including a failure for its new H-3 heavy launcher. The Japanese space agency, Jaxa, announced Thursday a new attempt for February 15.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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