Using its Long March 2D rocket, China last night successfully launched a classified remote sensing satellite into orbit.
The launch was from an interior spaceport. No word on where the first stage crash-landed.
The leaders in the 2022 launch race:
9 Rocket Lab
The U.S. still leads China 80 to 59 in the national rankings, but now trails the entire world combined 90 to 81.
Though SpaceX led China in successful launches for most of the year, China historically tends to do a lot of launches in the November-December time period. This is why it has surged ahead in the past month. SpaceX can still catch up, however, as it still has five launches planned for 2022. Either way, we will not know who comes out ahead until probably the end of the year.
That a private American company however has even a chance of beating out the entire world in annual launches is quite remarkable, whether or not SpaceX ends up ahead.
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