Public astronauts typically complete multiple missions in space over their careers — 65% have two or more flights compared to only 9% of private space travelers. Retired NASA astronaut Frederick “CJ” Sturckow remains the only person to have visited space eight times.
From the early days of the space race, sending humans to space has always been a key priority. The International Space Station (ISS) has maintained a continuous human presence in orbit for more than 20 years, and microgravity research on space stations has provided valuable insight for future long-term human missions in space.
Including defense spending and contributions to third parties such as ESA, France’s total space spending in 2021 was the fourth-largest in the world behind the U.S., China, and Japan.
Expenditures by program are not available yet for 2022 but launch vehicle development tends to be the largest portion of CNES’ budget. From 2017 to 2021, the Ariane program composed an average of 32% of the agency’s non-ESA expenditures.
The majority of the French space budget goes to the French space agency, the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES). About 36% of CNES spending, went toward ESA projects. An additional 31%, of CNES spending went to the national space program. The remaining funds, were allocated for maintaining national resources and the Future Investment Program (PIA).
Operators deployed ~421 spacecraft with a mass of 200 kg or less, 18% of all deployed spacecraft in 2022. SpaceX’s Starlink satellites comprised over half the spacecraft mass deployed in 2022. The company’s Starlink deployments added up to 518,523 kg, nearly double the 257,140 kg it deployed in 2021. The largest spacecraft deployed during 2022 was Lockheed Martin’s Orion space capsule (25,848 kg), deployed during NASA’s first Artemis/Space Launch System launch.
As of December, U.S.-listed companies comprised 82.61% of the weight of the overall index, with France in second place at 10.69%, Japan at 4.09%, the Netherlands at 2.55%, and Italy at 0.06%. Canada was no longer represented due to the removal of MDA, and Italy’s share dropped by a factor of 10 due to the removal of Avio.
France has always been a pioneer in space: It was the third nation to establish a space program, and it led Europe’s launch vehicle development. Military and civil space strategies from the past few years have planned for the completion of new military satellite constellations, the first launch of the new Ariane 6 launch vehicle, and an increase in domestic space industry investment.
The S-Network Space Index℠ tracks a global portfolio of publicly traded companies that are active in space-related businesses such as satellite-based telecommunications; transmission of television and radio content via satellite . . .
The list of launch vehicles set for maiden flights in 2023 may sound familiar. It’s mostly the same group of launch vehicles initially slated to fly in 2022.