Statistics on spacecraft launches for 2020 appeared on social networks:
USA - 40 successful starts;
China - 34;
Russia - 16;
Europe - 4;
Japan - 4;
India - 2;
Israel - 1.
One cannot fail to note the outstanding achievements of the two space leaders in the past year.
For example, despite the failure of the landing, the prototype Starship spacecraft, built by Elon Musk, completed all the other tasks assigned to it during the test test, which means that next year it will almost certainly make its first flight into space and return.
In addition, less than a week ago, another invention by Elon Musk, the Falcon 9 rocket, launched the American reconnaissance satellite NROL-108 into orbit. At the same time, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket was used for the fifth time - it landed safely on the site! For Falcon 9 it was already the 26th launch this year - a new record
The Chinese are not far behind. Just the other day, their return vehicle brought samples of lunar soil to Earth for the first time in almost half a century, and yesterday a new Long March 8 rocket went into space (eng: Long March 8)
On the eve of the launch, there was persistent talk that this rocket would be reusable, like Elon Musk's Falcon 9. But in practice, everything was more than prosaic - an ordinary start without any tricks with landing.
As the Chinese explained, on the basis of Long March 8, they really plan to make a reusable version of the rocket - VTVL (vertical takeoff and vertical landing), but not now, but in the future. According to a spokesman for China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, China's main space contractor, they will have their own reusable rocket in 2025. By the same time, it will appear at the European Space Agency.
That's it - it's not so easy to copy and paste from Elon Musk.
But in Russia everything is not very smooth. In December, 6 years after the first launch, our country launched a heavy launch vehicle "Angara-A5", according to experts, "far from the most perfect", which in terms of cost will never be competitive in the world market. It is not without reason that it is also called the “Ugly Swan” of Russian cosmonautics.
Well, a little later, extremely unpleasant news came from the United States: Roscosmos enterprises there were included in the next sanctions list. The head of the department, Dmitry Rogozin, commented on this:
“I think these sanctions are just some kind of disgrace. They are not thought out at all from the point of view of their targeting. We are talking about a boorish demarche with regard to civil space enterprises that interact with the United States itself..."