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Space Environment: Total Launches by Country

This data repository accompanies Space Threat Assessment 2019, a featured report from the CSIS Aerospace Security Project.

This data repository visualizes the total number of successful orbital launches achieved by the United States, Russia, China, and all other space-faring nations from the world’s first satellite launch on October 4, 1957 to December 31, 2018.

We encourage corrections, additions, and suggestions. Please direct all messages to aerospace@csis.org.

Methodology

This data repository utilizes publicly available satellite databases, including Space-Track.org (Space-Track)1 and Gunter’s Space Page (GSP)2 to collect the total number of space launches per country by year. 

Like the “Spaceports of the World” interactive data repository, this data repository only includes “successful” orbital launches (and excludes all sub-orbital launches and any failed attempts to reach orbit). An orbital space launch is defined as “successful” (and therefore included in this dataset) if it contributed at least one object labeled as “Payload” to the Space-Track catalog.

In this data repository, “Russia” includes both Soviet launches prior to 1991 and Russian launches after 1991.

Satellite Databases

The International Space Station’s International Designator. Space object’s international designators can be used to deduce the total number of launches per year.

Space-Track is an online catalog that includes historical and current space object data collected by the U.S. Strategic Command’s Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC). The catalog contains over 40,000 individual entries, including both deorbited and in-orbit payloads, rocket bodies, and pieces of debris. The catalog includes each space object’s name, international designator, country of origin, and orbital parameters. Each object’s international designator and country of origin was used to deduce the total number of launches per country by year. 

Gunter’s Space Page (GSP) provides a detailed, narrative description of most payloads’ purpose, manufacturer, and operator. GSP is a privately organized, publicly available database.