Space: September 4, 2003


Between 1957 and 2002, there have been 4,579 satellite launches. The top ten launch sites (with total launches in parenthesis) are Plesetsk (Russia, 1,535), Tyuratam/Baikonur (Kazakhstan, run by Russia, 1,190) Vandenberg AFB, Calif. (U.S.,620), Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. (U.S., 583), Kourou, French Guiana (European Space Agency, 166), JFK Space Center, Fla. (U.S., 133), Kapustin Yar (Russia, 101), Tanegashima (Japan, 35), Xichang (China, 33), Kagoshima (Japan, 30). There are 17 more, with under 30 launches each (Shuang Cheng-tsu/Jiuquan, Wallops Flight Facility, Va., Edwards AFB, Calif., Sriharikota, Taiyuan, Indian Ocean Platform, Pacific Ocean Platform, Palmachim Hammaguir, Algeria, Svobodny, Woomera, Australia, Alcantara, Barents Sea, Gando AB, Canary Islands, Kodiak, Alaska, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, Musudan ri). The two main Russian spaceports accounted for 60 percent of the launches. The Russian launch facilities are much less active these days, but still are major players in the launch business. Russia also has problems with the Kazak government over the rent they pay for the use of the Tyuratam/Baikonur facilities and may shut it down and open up another in Russia. 


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