One problem area for Japan is the possibility of a gap in reliable access to space. The nation is one of 10 capable of orbital launch, but its launch activity is relativity infrequent.
The known mass of spacecraft deployed last year was 1.4 million kg, 42% more than 2022. This total does not include masses for satellites without publicly available information, including many classified U.S., Chinese, and Russian military satellites. Excluding these uncategorized satellites, the average payload mass in 2023 was 550 kg.
Seizing the high ground to see what lies ahead, a skill as old as warfare itself, has never been more important. Now, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the intelligence community’s mapmakers, are seizing the high ground of commercial space to augment the products they deliver to the military and first responders at disaster scenes.
With record launches for the third year running, it’s no surprise that the number of payloads reaching orbit is also skyrocketing. Spacecraft deployed in 2023 grew 23% to 2,891, bringing approximately 1.4 million kg of equipment to space.
American foreign policy is sitting on a razor’s edge. The United States now must walk a tightrope between maintaining global posture and avoiding global conflict.
Universities across the globe are building an increasingly large presence in space by attaching student satellite projects to launches. Since the advent of nanosatellites and CubeSats, the barrier to space entry has never been lower for students.