China completes 2nd launch in 2020

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China today successfully launched a earth resource satellite plus two smallsats using its Long March 2D rocket.

Right now in 2020 only SpaceX and China have completed launches, with China leading 2-1. SpaceX however plans on launching another 60 Starlink smallsats on January 20th, which will tie them again.

I expect both to be neck and neck for the rest of the year.


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  • geoffc

    You won’t count In flight Abort test as a launch? Or only as a successful failure? Or is that a failed success? Hmm… Rightspeak is hard.

  • geoffc: For this measure, I only count launches that reach orbit. I thus exclude all failures, and suborbital missions like the launch abort test and New Shepard and Virgin Galactic flights. The goal is to see who is getting objects permanently into space.

  • Scott M.

    Bob, I completely agree with your logic as to what constitutes a successful launch. Buuuuttt….it’s still a pity the in-flight abort test doesn’t count as one, since that would make the time between that flight and the next Starlink launch (scheduled for January 20th) by far the closest back-to-back flights that SpaceX has performed.

  • Scott M: Don’t worry. They will have plenty of opportunities to set and beat that record, with two orbital launches, in the coming years.

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