SpaceX successfully launches Dragon to ISS


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Capitalism in space: SpaceX early this morning successfully launched Dragon to ISS using its last Block 4 Falcon 9.

Both the first stage and Dragon were used components. As planned, they did not recover the first stage.

The leaders in the 2018 launch standings:

18 China
12 SpaceX
7 Russia
5 ULA
4 Japan

The U.S. and China are once again tied at 18 in the national standings.

At the moment the 2018 worldwide totals for launches is 54, and this is only for the first half of the year. As I predicted in my January review of 2017’s launch totals, we continue to trend to having more than 100 launches in 2018, the first time this has happened since before the fall of the Soviet Union. Then, the numbers were inflated because the Soviets launched a lot of out-of-date spy satellites more out of habit than practicality, which is why, when the Soviet Union fell, the launch totals dropped precipitously. Now, the numbers reflect the real commercial market in space, and suggest real sustained growth, largely fueled by SpaceX’s forcing of lower launch prices.

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