2022


Rivals Launch Military Satellites Amid U.S.-led Space Defense Drills

A flurry of military and intelligence satellite launches by rival powers this month came as the United States and two dozen partner nations wrapped up the largest global space defense wargame in history.

Russia launched what some leaders have described as a spy satellite for Iran and its own on-orbit snooping satellite Cosmos-2558, which is circling Earth in an orbit conspicuously close to a recently launched U.S. National Reconnaissance Office satellite, a Netherlands researcher confirmed.

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Solving Space Junk Problem Could Net Federal Prize

Polar objects in orbitPolar objects in orbit

A grand prize could be in the offing for inventors who come up with new methods to prevent orbiting debris or design tools that can clean up space junk, according to recommendations from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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Aug. 4 Sets Record for Most Launches in One Day

The beginning of August saw a flurry of launch activity as Aug. 4 set a record for most orbital launches on a single day (based on UTC launch times). The final launch count for the day reached five – three American and two Chinese.

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Space Matters: Experts Call for More Governance in LEO

The Wild West regulatory environment in low Earth orbit was ranked as a top threat to space sustainability by a panel of experts convened for Space Symposium 365’s Space Matters webcast Thursday.

Clockwise from top left, panelists former Rep. Robert Walker, Carissa Christensen, former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, and Patricia Cooper.

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Non-NASA U.S. Civil Space Spending by Agency, 2020-2022

Total government space spending in 2021 reached $107 billion, a 19% increase from 2020, based on Space Foundation analysis. Space Foundation examined government space spending of 46 nations, including 14 nations new to the analysis this year.Total government space spending in 2021 reached $107 billion, a 19% increase from 2020, based on Space Foundation analysis. Space Foundation examined government space spending of 46 nations, including 14 nations new to the analysis this year.

Civil government spending in the U.S. increased 3%. The Department of the Interior’s space budget was held flat in 2021, while the Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation only increased spending by 1% and 0.3%, respectively. The Department of Transportation, which has the smallest share of U.S. civil space spending, had its budget slashed by 21% in 2021.

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Payload Launches by Mission Type, Jan.-June, 2022

The first six months of 2022 saw a record pace of space launches, matching the mark of 75 set in the first half of 1967. And through June 30, the year saw a record pace for successful launches, topping the mark of 70 set in 1984.The first six months of 2022 saw a record pace of space launches, matching the mark of 75 set in the first half of 1967. And through June 30, the year saw a record pace for successful launches, topping the mark of 70 set in 1984.

In terms of payloads, the impact of commercial firms is far more striking. Of 1,022 spacecraft sent to orbit in the first half of the year, 958 were backed by commercial firms, accounting for nearly 94 percent of all spacecraft sent to orbit so far in 2022, up four percentage points from records set in 2021, Space Foundation research shows.

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Launches by Mission Type, Jan.-June 2022

The first six months of 2022 saw a record pace of space launches, matching the mark of 75 set in the first half of 1967. And through June 30, the year saw a record pace for successful launches, topping the mark of 70 set in 1984.The first six months of 2022 saw a record pace of space launches, matching the mark of 75 set in the first half of 1967. And through June 30, the year saw a record pace for successful launches, topping the mark of 70 set in 1984.

Including five launches that carried mixed payloads, commercial firms backed 36 missions to space in the first half of 2022, civil governments backed 26 and militaries footed the bill for 15, Space Foundation research shows. In all of 2021, itself a record year, commercial firms backed 56 launches.

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