September 30, 2022

THE NEW SPACE RACE: SpaceX again doubles the world in upmass.

In its quarterly reports on orbital space launches, the BryceTech analysis firm tallies upmass by each launch provider. During the second quarter of 2022, the report found that SpaceX delivered 158.7 metric tons to low Earth orbit, ahead of China’s space corporation CASC at 38.8 tons, Roscosmos at 17.2 tons, United Launch Alliance at 13.0 tons, and Arianespace at 9.8 tons.

Small potatoes for now … SpaceX alone doubled the rest of the world in the amount of payload delivered to orbit. It launched four times the mass of the entire nation of China. The bulk of this mass, of course, was composed of Starlink satellites as the company builds out its low Earth orbit megaconstellation.

Musk uses Starlink to create the demand SpaceX needs to generate the profits required to develop Starship to move even further ahead of the competition.

It’s about as clever a business model, certainly at this scale, as any of us is ever likely to see.

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