SpaceX bypassed Russia by number of space launches

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SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 rocket from the cosmodrome in California, lifting a Taiwanese satellite into orbit. The first stage successfully landed on the sea platform in the Pacific Ocean.

This launch was the 12th for the company this year, and now SpaceX bypasses Roskosmos, the world’s former leader in the satellite launch market.

Until the last launch of Falcon 9, SpaceX and Russia have had the same number of orbital launches (11) since the beginning of the year, followed by China (8 launches), and the European Space Agency (6 launches). The main private competitor of SpaceX, the American United Launch Alliance, owned by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, launched 5 rockets this year.

My favorite pic from today’s launch

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During yesterday’s launch of Falcon 9, the first stage has successfully detached from the second, and landed on a platform in the Pacific Ocean. This is the 9th returning first stage in 2017, and the 15th in total.

According to preliminary plans, SpaceX is going to increase the number of launches to 20 in 2017, in the teeth of skeptics, who said that the company will not be able to meet the needs of its customers. The next two or three launches are scheduled for September.

According to the head of Roskomos Igor Komarov, Russia will respond with cheaper production of Russian rockets, increasing their competitiveness. Although, Roskosmos does not plan to go for re-usable first stages.

Source: hightech.fm