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The competition heats up: The Russians announced today that they plan nine more Proton rocket launches in 2013, for a total of twelve.
I note this to give some context to what SpaceX will do with Falcon 9 this year. SpaceX has just updated its launch manifest schedule, and if the American company does what it says, it should have at least six more Falcon 9 flights this year, for a total of seven.
Should these predicted launches all take place, it will clearly demonstrate that SpaceX has grabbed a significant share of the launch market, but that the Russians are also holding their own.
Note also that the updated launch manifest still includes the first test flight of Falcon Heavy in 2013. Very interesting.
Update: The Russians are also preparing to launch their new Angara rocket family, which will replace their older rockets and allow them to launch from their new spaceport.