Russia the leader in spacecraft launches

TLT news, a Russian news site reports that in the year 2006, Russia out numbered all other countries by grabbing a 45%  share in the spacecraft launches. But in the next year Russian scientists said they are  planning to launch just 20 satellites.

The head of the Federal Space Agency, Anatoly Perminov said Russia would allocate 24 billion Rubles  for their prestigious federal space program 2007. The United States is at second place with 20 launches. Japan and China trails behind the US with  six launches each.

“We have no doubt that in 2009 we will complete the GLONASS network, which consists of 24 satellites, and (precise) navigation will be possible anywhere on Earth,” Perminov said. GLONASS is an alternative to US’ GPS Satellite network for navigation purposes.
He also urged countries involved in space exploration to develop international rules for cleaning up “space garbage”. “We need a system of international measures for regulating the clean-up of space garbage,” Perminov said adding, “Unfortunately, it does not exist at present, but we are discussing it.”

13 thoughts on “Russia the leader in spacecraft launches

  1. You have to put the innovation in the context of that the US Space Program spent millions of dollars developing a pressurized pen that would write upside down wheras all the Soviets realized you had to do was simply use a pencil in space.

  2. Max, that is an urban legend, sorry. The developement of the Fisher AG-7 ‘Space Pen’ was started before the US space program ever saw a need for such an invention. The roots traces back to the early fifties, in fact.

    That NASA used it was more a coincidence due to availability more than anything else. Also look up the story behind the Omega Speedmaster and its place in the American space program. Same story: It was available, passed quality testing and did the job, so NASA used it.

  3. Max, the pressurized pen story is a myth. NASA never contracted anyone to develop such a pen. It was independently developed by Fischer. Up to that point everyone, including the Americans used pencils. And besides, there is no upside down in space. It is low-gravity.

  4. 24 billion roubles is not 2.3 million USD. The current rate is about 26.5 roubles per a buck. That would make it more than 900 million USD.

  5. Have you ever tried the “Space Pen”? I love it. I sometimes need to take notes on something, while standing, and putting pressure on a wal–ball points don’t cut it. And pencils are always broke.

  6. Payload to orbit is another metric to look at. Last year the Soviets launched about 60klbs and the USA about 80klbs, to LEO and beyond.
    Using more launchers to put less payload into orbit isn’t all that impressive an achievement.
    (And note: I’m not including the weight of the Shuttle Orbiters, at about 100,000+ pounds each, that went to orbit and back).

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