Orbital Launches in Q3, by the Numbers

BryceTech has released its latest quarterly briefing on rocket launches and satellite deployments from around the world. 

By launch frequency (total spacecraft #s in parentheses)…

  1. China’s CASC led Q3 with 15 orbital launches (and 30 total spacecraft launched)
  2. Arianespace conducted five launches (but transported the most spacecraft—111—of any provider)
  3. SpaceX took bronze, with three orbital trips (and 61 spacecraft launched)

CASC also finished first in the upmass category, with 45,010 kg in Q3 (vs. SpaceX’s 32,634 and Arianespace’s 25,881).

Responding to CNBC’s Michael Sheetz, Elon Musk tweeted that SpaceX carried 41 tons (~37,200kg) of payload mass to orbit in July, August, and September of this year—and that SpaceX aims to double that this quarter. He also said: “China launch mass to orbit is extremely impressive.”

  • Countering market research and complimenting space programs via Twitter…Is this as declassified as it gets in space? 

A sign of the times? Of the 226 craft launched in Q3 (and tracked by BryceTech), ~82% are operated by commercial players.