The first half of 2021 marked the highest January-June launch tempo in five years, with 61 launches attempted. That puts the year on track to become the most prolific launch year since the 1980s.
Of the 2021 launches, only two failed, putting this year on track for the lowest failure rate since 2018. The first half of 2021 also signified a shift in the type of launches conducted. Analyzing orbital launch attempts by sector, 2021 is tracking as having the greatest share of commercial launch attempts of any year of the previous five.
Unprecedented to the year 2021, however, is the scale and success of booster recovery efforts. By the end of June, one in three orbital launch attempts completed a successful booster recovery mission – 20 in total. Of these, SpaceX conducted 19; Rocket Lab had one.
For access to The Space Report 2021 Q2, which also includes analysis of the 2020 global space economy and government budgets, President Biden’s first space budget, 2020 data on the European workforce, of The Space Report. Or you can since 2005.