A tough learning curve for space start-ups

Posted January 2, 2023, 3:20 pmUpdated January 2, 2023 at 16.45

In the 2022 table, SpaceX shows 61/61/0: 61 launches, 61 successes and 0 failures for its Falcon 9 rocket. A flawless, American launch vehicle broke all records last year. Enough to encourage all the disciples of Elon Musk, who have collected hundreds of millions of dollars in five to seven years, to create their own rockets and participate in the crazy adventures of space. Liquid, solid, hybrid propulsion, use of 3D printers to design more efficient engines, research into new materials, the race for cheap small rockets has become one of the favorite areas for start-ups in the space sector. Some cite 200 rocket projects in the world, including about thirty in Europe and four in France.

However, the game is not easy, as evidenced by the December 20 explosion of the European Vega-C rocket in Guyana. A small consolation for the European space sector, this was not the first failure of 2022. Not only are most of the new launch vehicles in preparation behind the announced schedule, but many aspirants to orbital flight have also missed their entry on the stage. In total, a dozen failures occurred in 2022.

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