Launching rockets into orbit is an expensive business.
So costly that, thus far, only government space agencies or government-related companies have transported astronauts or satellites into space.
Still, as Statista’s Florian Zandt details below, the private space industry has been booming in the last couple of years, with companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX providing varying degrees of suborbital and orbital space travel and transportation.
In 2022, according to Bryce Tech, eleven private providers launched 94 rockets – of which SpaceX alone sent 61 rockets into orbit.
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This compares with 71 launches by space agencies or government-related companies.
The leader in this category is the prime contractor for the Chinese space program, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (35 launches). It is followed by Roscosmos (21 launches), the space agency of the Russian Federation.
However, the private and public sectors are often intertwined rather than strictly separated. For example, SpaceX has been awarded NASA contracts worth $2 billion in the agency’s fiscal year 2022 alone.