Jan 12, 2015

2014’s launch tally highest in two decades

Posted by in category: space travel

by Stephen Clark — Spaceflight Now

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket flew nine times in 2014, more than any other U.S. launcher. Credit: ULA

There were more successful space launches in 2014 than in any year since 1992, with Russia, the United States and China responsible for more than 80 percent of global launch activity.

Russia had the most liftoffs with 36 orbital launch attempts — 34 were deemed complete successes — and the United States came in second with 23 space launches, with all but one reaching its intended target.

Chinese rockets were 16-for-16 in satellite launches last year.

There were 92 space launches worldwide in 2014, and 90 of the missions at least reached orbit. One of those flights — a Russian-made Soyuz rocket launched from French Guiana — failed to put its payload in the correct orbit.

That figure marks the highest number of launch attempts since 1994, when there were 93 launches with spacecraft passengers heading for Earth orbit or beyond.

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