China launched more rockets into orbit in 2018 than any other country

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., – As American and Russian space programs struggle with uncertain budgets, China is expanding its efforts on every front: communications and reconnaissance satellites; a navigation and positioning constellation to rival America’s GPS; a human spaceflight program; and ambitious space-science and robotic exploration projects. All of these are enabled by a menagerie of new rockets with advanced capabilities. 2018 is shaping up to be the first year in which more rockets reach Earth orbit from China than from any other country. As of mid-December, China had made 35 successful launches, as against 30 for the US, writes Naval War College professor of national security affairs Joan Johnson-Freese for the MIT Technology Review.

China launched more rockets into orbit in 2018 than any other country
China launched more rockets into orbit in 2018 than any other country
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., – As American and Russian space programs struggle with uncertain budgets, China is expanding its efforts on every front: communications and reconnaissance satellites; a navigation and positioning constellation to rival America’s GPS; a human spaceflight program; and ambitious space-science and robotic exploration projects. All of these are enabled by a menagerie of new rockets with advanced capabilities. 2018 is shaping up to be the first year in which more rockets reach Earth orbit from China than from any other country. As of mid-December, China had made 35 successful launches, as against 30 for the US, writes Naval War College professor of national security affairs Joan Johnson-Freese for the MIT Technology Review.

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The Intelligent Aerospace take:

December 19, 2018-Johnson-Freese's piece lays out how and why China's steady state sponsorship for rocket launches has boosted (pardon the pun) the Asian power ahead of the United States in rocket launches this year. China has multiple state-run space agencies, but their largest, the Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, has around 140,000 employees, which is roughly the same as Boeing. China's space ambitions include a new space station, landing and retrieving soil samples from the far side of the moon (which has never been done), and continued development on a space telescope that has a field of view 300 times larger than NASA's Hubble. Johnson-Freese's piece for the MIT Technology Review is well worth a read if you have an interest in aerospace.

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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