Arianespace successfully launches four commercial communications satellites

Week Four: Ninth Anniversary Fund-Raising Drive for Behind the Black

The fourth week of my annual anniversary fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun.

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Capitalism in space: Using a Russian-built Soyuz rocket Arianespace today successfully placed four O3b communications in orbit.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

4 China
4 Europe (Arianespace)
3 SpaceX
3 Russia

The U.S. now leads China and Europe 6 to 4 in the national rankings.



  • Edward

    I am a bit concerned that there have been so few launches in the first quarter of the year. In addition to the 14 launches listed, I believe that there are two each for ULA and India, and one each for Rocket Lab and Japan, giving a total, so far, of 20. At this rate, we will not meet last year’s launch total of 111, so I hope things start to pick up soon.
    I therefore expect the launch total for 2019 to be much higher, possibly as much as 120 launches.

    I count 50 scheduled launches through August, which is a bit better, at 10 launches per month, but that rate may only take us to the equivalent of last year’s total.

  • Edward: Your count is correct, 20 launches so far this year.

    The numbers so far is less than last year, partly because the launches last year were clearing out backlog for both SpaceX and China. They don’t have as many launches now on their manifest. However, this will be compensated for but the arrival of the smallsat rockets, of which Rocket Lab is one.

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