Today there were two successful launches. First China launched a remote sensing satellite using its Long March 6 rocket that lifted off from its Taiyuan spaceport in the south of China.
No word on where the rocket’s lower stages and four strap-on boosters crashed inside China.
Shortly thereafter, ULA used its Atlas-5 rocket to place a reconnaissance satellite into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), lifting off from Cape Canaveral.
For ULA, this was only its second launch in 2023. The leaders in the 2023 launch race are now as follows, with China’s total corrected:
7 Rocket Lab
In the national rankings, American private enterprise now leads China in successful launches 73 to 42. It also now leads the entire world combined, 73 to 67, while SpaceX by itself now trails the rest of the world (excluding American companies) only 63 to 67.
CORRECTION: Hat tip to reader John Foley (see his comment below), who noted that China’s total appeared to be one short. I went back and discovered I had missed a March 22, 2023 launch of a Kuaizhou 1A rocket from the Jiujian spaceport, placing four weather satellites in orbit. I have now added that launch to China’s total, and corrected the other numbers.
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