Launch vehicles can be grouped into two categories. The first consists of vehicles that can propel their payloads fast enough at a sufficient altitude to achieve orbit. A launch vehicle that is unable to place a payload in orbit, but can still carry a payload into space, is referred to as a suborbital launch vehicle.
Militaries around the globe use space as a force multiplier, a capability that significantly increases the efficiency of other military assets, thereby enhancing the probability of mission success with minimal casualties. Military space capabilities increase the effectiveness of traditional air, gro… This article is for subscribers. Please sign up for a subscription or login below.…
The Sea Launch consortium operates a derivative of the Ukrainian Zenit 2 rocket, modified with Russian and American components and used by Sea Launch as its standard booster since the company’s first launch in 1999. The Zenit-3SL rocket launches from Sea Launch’s ocean platform. A variant of this system, the Zenit-3SLB, launches from the Zenit pad at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
In 2009, a total of ## orbital launches took place from ## spaceports around the world. These launches carried ## payloads for militaries, civil government organizations, commercial entities, and universities into Earth orbit and destinations beyond.