These are just some of the 2018 launch statistics we thought may be interesting to our readers.
114 launch attempts
Launch service providers around the world attempted a total of 114 launches in 2018. The number of annual launches hasn’t been nearly this high since 1990.
The 114 launch attempts include two failures. One involved a launch vehicle with a lot of history, a Russian Soyuz. The Soyuz-FG malfunctioned mid launch while transporting a crew to the International Space Station (the crew came back safely). The other was the very first launch of a Chinese commercial rocket, Zhuque-1.
China’s increase from 18 orbital space launch attempts in 2017 to its record-high of 39 in 2018. China’s share of the global orbital space launch market was 34%, ranking it as first in that activity in 2018.
The highest number of launches from a spaceport in 2018. For 2018, it was a tie. Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida, U.S.A., and Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China each accounted for 17 launches in 2018. Together, they accounted for 30% of all orbital space launch attempts in 2018.
The U.S. share of global orbital space launch activities. U.S. launch service providers ranked second overall with 34 successful launches, a 13% increase from 2017.
Half of 34
That’s how many launches Russia’s launch service providers conducted in 2018. For those not great in math, that’s 17. This equals that nation’s low of 17 in 2016 and is well below the nation’s annual launch average in the decade prior.
9.5 per month
The monthly orbital space launch attempt average for 2018.
The share of global orbital space launches with a primary civil government payload in 2018. Including launches with military payloads increases government sponsorship of all primary payloads launched globally in 2018 to 80%.