Russians launch military satellite


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Using a Soyuz-2 rocket the Russians today successfully launched a classified military satellite from its spaceport in Plesetsk.

The leaders in the 2019 launch race:

26 China
18 Russia
11 SpaceX
6 Europe (Arianespace)

China continues to lead the U.S. in the national rankings, 26 to 23.

These numbers will change again later today if Arianespace successfully launches two communications satellites. They have been trying to launch now for three days, but minor technical problems and weather have stymied them.

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3 comments

  • Scott M.

    Bob, sorry if this is off-topic but there’s a fascinating article by Eric Berger at Ars. Virgin Galactic is looking towards doing long-distance suborbital travel.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/11/virgin-galactics-real-goal-may-be-point-to-point-travel-around-earth/

    They’re not gonna make it with that engine, that’s all I have to say.

  • Scott M: In the last three years I have generally made it a policy to ignore any story about Virgin Galactic that touts anything the company “might” do. So far, none of those “mights” have come true, and have instead generally been hype that means nothing.

    The same here. The stock is falling, so the CEO is trying to hype the company to pump up the stock value. Until they actually begin flying believe nothing.

  • Edward

    I wouldn’t put much into this Virgin Galactic “announcement” either. They used the words “suggested” and “may” rather than announcing that they were beginning actual development on such an endeavor. If they were starting development then that would be news. Not exciting news, but news. As it is, they only presented a concept without even a Power Point design. SpaceX, at least, is developing a Starship that could potentially perform the same service, and they even proposed fairly low launch prices.

    Not all attempts at the space launch business are successful. Armadillo and Kistler seemed promising, but where are they now? XCOR had some of us excited for a while, but they are gone, too. Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin had us excited a decade ago, too, but they just do not seem eager to begin actual revenue flights. So far, their business model looks more like one that spends the investor’s money than one that produces a service.

    Some of us remember the late 1990s, when there were plenty of internet-startups that did the same thing — spent the investor’s money on what turned out to be “vaporware.” One of my brothers worked for a few and refers to each one in terms such as “that was six failed internet startups ago.” He has had a stable IT job for two decades, now, not at an internet company.

    I sure hope that Blue Origin gets its BE-4 engine out the door, for ULA’s sake.

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