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Analysis and Data: 2013 was a record year for number of satellites launched but only because of the tiddlers

6 Jan 2014, 15:19 UTC
Analysis and Data: 2013 was a record year for number of satellites launched but only because of the tiddlers
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According to the Seradata SpaceTrak database there were 82 orbital launch attempts made in 2013 with three failures to orbit at all and two incorrect orbit placements. Notable first flights for new or radically modified launch vehicles included the Soyuz 2-1V, the Kuaizhou and Epsilon 1 launch vehicles. Meantime, the SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 was placed fully into commercial service with its first launch carrying a GEO bound communications satellites.
While 82 launch vehicle flights flown, the year was roughly on a par with previous years, the number of spacecraft carried on all orbital attempts was dramatically up. at 216 spacecraft (compared to 139 on 78 launches the previous year). The figure of 216 broke the record for the number of spacecraft launched. The cause was the burgeoning growth in low cost nanosatellites and cubesats – several of which can be fitted to a single launch vehicle. Of the 216 spacecraft carried, 84 were below 5kg. Low cost nanosatellites and cubesats are being built by companies, research establishments and universities around the world and this growth trend is expected to continue.
Courtesy: Seradata SpaceTrak
With respect to nationality of launches, Russia again took top position with 33 launch attempts ...

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