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Arianespace uses Soyuz rocket to launch French military satellite from French Guiana

Arianespace today successfully launched a French military reconnaissance satellite from French Guiana using a Russian Soyuz rocket.

This is the last launch for Europe in 2020, their sixth total. It is also the last publicly scheduled launch for the year. My annual worldwide launch report will follow in a day or so.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

35 China
25 SpaceX
15 Russia
6 Rocket Lab
6 Europe (Arianespace)

The U.S.’s lead over China in the national rankings remains 40 to 35.

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Michael McNeil: I think you are asking why I assign this launch to Europe instead of Russia. Though it is a Russian Soyuz rocket, the launch is run and sold by Arianespace. I have to make a choice, and have decided since the bulk of the work here is under European control, the launch is European.

  • jeff

    Hello Mr Zimmerman, your tallies of rocket launches are educational and enjoyable.; thank you for keeping the totals. If I may suggest, include more lines as the Russian total was excluded though mentioned and the sum of listed US launches did not equal your closing statement.

    Either way, thank you for writing all of your blog(s).

  • jeff: Whoops! I have put the Russia total in. My mistake. Thank you.

    Note however that this list only includes the leaders. The full list will be published in a day or two with my annual worldwide launch report.

  • Ken

    Interesting bit about the 35 Chinese launches. Is there a good resource which gives background on China’s space activities, and what this year’s launches were accomplishing?

  • Ken: All you need to do is do a search here on Behind the Black, and you will get an overview. Search for “China”, “launch race” and you will see all my launch updates from the start of the year. Each links to a story that describes the launch, and also has more information about the payloads.

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