Part 2 of 2
There were 85 orbital launches in 2016, not including the Falcon 9 that exploded on launch pad prior to a pre-flight engine test. The launches break down as follow:
- United States: 22 (22-0)
- China: 22 (20-1-1)
- Russia: 19 (18-1)
- Europe: 9 (9-0)
- India: 7 (7-0)
- Japan: 4 (4-0)
- Israel: 1 (1-0)
- North Korea: 1 (1-0)
For a more detailed description of these launches, please read US, China Led World in Launches in 2016.
Let’s look at launches by booster and spaceport and the flights that were required for human spaceflight.
Launches by Booster
Russia’s venerable Soyuz booster continued to lead the world in launches in 2016, with 13 successes in 14 attempts. Soyuz was followed by Falcon 9 and Atlas V with eight successful launches each and Ariane 5 with seven launches. The ninth Falcon 9 blew up on the launch pad prior to a pre-flight test.
|LAUNCH VEHICLE||NATION||SUCCESSES||LAUNCH FAILURES||LAUNCH PAD FAILURES||PARTIAL FAILURES||TOTAL|
|Long March 2D||China||5||0||0||1||6|
|Long March 3B||China||3||0||0||0||3|
|Long March 3C||China||2||0||0||0||2|
|Long March 2F||China||2||0||0||0||2|
|Long March 4B||China||2||0||0||0||2|
|Long March 4C||China||1||1||0||0||2|
|Long March 3A||China||1||0||0||0||1|
|Long March 5||China||1||0||0||0||1|
|Long March 7||China||1||0||0||0||1|
|Long March 11||China||1||0||0||0||1|
Launches By Spaceport
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station led all spaceports with 18 launches, a figure that does not include SpaceX’s Falcon 9 pre-flight launch pad failure. The Cape was followed by Baikonur and Kourou with 11 launches each. China’s Jiuquan and Xicheng spaceports followed with 9 and 8 launches, respectively.
|Cape Canaveral Air Force Station||USA||Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9, Pegasus XL||18|
|Kourou||Europe||Ariane 5, Soyuz, Vega||11|
|Jiuquan||China||Long March 2D, Long March 2F, Long March 4B, Long March 11||9|
|Xichang||China||Long March 3A, Long March 3B, Long March 3C||8|
|Satish Dhawan||India||GSLV, PSLV||7|
|Taiyuan||China||Long March 2D, Long March 4B, Long March 4C||4|
|Vandenberg||USA||Atlas V, Delta IV, Falcon 9||3|
|Wenchang||China||Long March 5, Long March 7||2|
Wallops Island was back in the orbital launch business after a two-year stand down caused by the loss of an Antares booster in October 2014.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome and China’s Wenchang spaceport hosted their inaugural launches in 2016.
A total of fourteen launches were conducted to support ISS and the Chinese Tiangong-2 space station.
Russia continued to provide the only human transportation to and from ISS. The nation launched four Soyuz crew missions to the orbiting laboratory.
|DATE||LAUNCH VEHICLE||NATION||MISSION||MISSION TYPE||LAUNCH SITE||RESULT|
|03/18/16||Soyuz||Russia||ISS 46S||ISS Crew||Baikonur||Success|
|03/22/16||Atlas V||USA||OA-6||ISS Resupply||CCAFS||Success|
|03/31/16||Soyuz||Russia||Progress 63P||ISS Resupply||Baikonur||Success|
|04/08/16||Falcon 9||USA||CRS-8||ISS Resupply||CCAFS||Success|
|07/16/16||Soyuz||Russia||Progress 64P||ISS Resupply||Baikonur||Success|
|07/18/16||Falcon 9||USA||CRS-9||ISS Resupply||CCAFS||Success|
|09/15/16||Long March 2F||China||Tiangong-2||Space Station||Jiuquan||Success|
|10/16/16||Long March 2F||China||Shenzhou-11||Tiangong-2 Crew||Jiuquan||Success|
|10/19/16||Soyuz||Russia||ISS 48S||ISS Crew||Baikonur||Success|
|11/17/16||Soyuz||Russia||ISS 49P||ISS Crew||Baikonur||Success|
|12/01/16||Soyuz||Russia||Progress 65P||ISS Resupply||Baikonur||Failure|
ISS was also visited by seven resupply ships, including two Russian Progress, two SpaceX Dragon, two Orbital ATK Cygnus, and one Japanese HTV. A third Progress launch failed in December.
The Chinese conducted the launch of the Tiangong 2 space station in September and sent astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong there aboard Shenzhou-11 in October for a 30-day stay. Their 33-day spaceflight was the longest in Chinese history. An automated supply ship will be launched to the station in 2017.