Launch 2020: Russian Missions Improved in Quality, Declined in Numbers

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For Russia, 2020 was a mixed year in terms of launch. Once the world’s leader in sending payloads into space, the nation finished a distant third behind the United States and China with only 17 orbital flights. That figure was eight below the 25 launches in 2019, and Russia’s lowest number of the 21st century. The U.S. and China finished with 44 and 39 launch attempts, respectively.

On the bright side, 2020 was the second year in a row in which Russia did not experience a launch failure. That streak came after more a decade during which the Russian launch industry was plagued with multiple fmishaps.

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Expedition 62 Completes Work, Prepares to Return to Earth

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Onboard the International Space Station, the 62nd long-term mission is finishing its work. The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft crewmembers Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and  Jessica Meir are getting ready to return to Earth according with the flight program.

So, last night the crew changeover took place at the station. ISS-62 long-term mission commander Oleg Skripochka who has been in command of the station since February 2020 and ISS-63 mission commander Christopher Cassidy signed the transfer of authority act.

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