Global Orbital Space Launch Activity by Sector

Global Orbital Space Launch Activity by Sector

Proof Point

Global orbital space launches totaled 85 in 2016, with 75% from military and civil governments

Global Orbital Space Launch Activity by Sector

2016 (number of launches and percentage)

Note: Data from U.S. and international orbital launch activities for calendar year 2016, including launches licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST)

Proof Point Findings

  • Orbital Space Launch – Military, civil (e.g. weather, geological sensing satellites, and cargo missions) or commercial (e.g. robotic lunar missions, asteroid mining, network connectivity) use of spaceflight take-off with goal of remaining in space for at least one orbit
  • Total Launches Worldwide – 85 launches recorded in 2016, with 48 (56%) for civil, 21 (25%) for commercial and 16 (19%) for military purposes
  • U.S. and China-Led – Countries conducting most launches in 2016 were U.S.and China, with 22 each
  • Key Growth Drivers – Include rapidly advancing space technology, accelerating space and geological research, expansion of space commercial applications (e.g. big data, network connectivity, and weather services), and increasing government support for space exploration



Military and Security


Date Last Updated

July 8, 2017

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