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Doug Messier has compiled a detailed and what appears to be a complete list of all Russian/Soviet launch failures going back to 1988. As he says, “Launch failures are not a bug in the system, they’re a feature.”
What struck me most about his graph is the number of Soyuz rocket failures. For decades, various versions of this rocket have been used to bring astronauts up to either Mir or ISS, and because there have not been any launch failures during those manned launches, the impression given is that the Soyuz is one of the most reliable rockets in existence. Messier’s table proves that impression false, and also tells us that the Russians, and the United States, have been very lucky that no lives have been lost in the past three decades on any Soyuz launches.
The table also illustrates why commercial customers have been so quick to shift their business from the Russians to SpaceX. The Russians have not provided a very good or reliable product. Since 1988 there have only been two years, 2001 and 2003, in which the Russians had no failures. And the table indicates that their failure rate has increased in the past decade.