Record number of rocket launches from Earth into space: 180 successful launches by 2022

Record number of rocket launches from Earth into space: 180 successful launches by 2022

The USA had the lion’s share with 76 launches

2022 marked a milestone for rocket launches from Earth into space as they took place 180 successfully, 44 more than in 2021.

The lion’s share was the USA with 76 launches followed by China with 62the Russia with 21the New Zealand with 9 and the Europe with 5. Elon Musk’s US aerospace company Space X and the Chinese government were the carriers with the most launches.

The relevant analysis of the launches was made by astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA, according to “Nature“.

Last year, Space X sent an average of one rocket into space every six days. In total it made 61 successful launches, tying the annual record held by Soviet R-7 rockets since 1980. Most of the company’s launches have involved commercial satellites, including for its own Starlink communications network, which has now surpassed 3,300 satellites and it is the largest ever created.

China did last year nine more successful launches in relation to 2021. Many were state-owned but the number of missiles launched by Chinese private companies is constantly increasing. The Chinese launches of 2022 were almost triple from the Russian ones, as, according to McDowell, “China is replacing Russia as the No. 2 space power.”

Europe’s successful launches have seen a big drop from 15 in 2021 to only 5 in 2022. In part this is because the European Space Agency (ESA) halted launches of Russian-made Soyuz rockets after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On the other hand, New Zealand made a record number of launches last year thanks to the American company Rocket Lab, which uses this country to send satellites into space.

A new record is expected in 2023, as only Space X plans 100 launches.


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