SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has provided an update on the expected global payload to orbit this year. According to Musk, SpaceX aims to lift 80% of all mass to orbit, with China carrying 10% and the rest of the world carrying the remaining 10%. While commenting on the matter, Musk expressed his cautiousness, stating that he didn’t want to jinx it.
This update came in response to a user on X.com who pointed out that SpaceX had lifted nearly 10 times more mass to orbit in the second quarter compared to China. SpaceX launched about 214,095 kg of spacecraft upmass during this period, while China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) launched 23,069 kg. Russian space agency Roscosmos launched a mere 8,100 kg during the same period, as per the infographic shared the user.
Musk had initially revealed the goal of delivering 80% of Earth’s payload to orbit earlier this year in March. He mentioned this during an interview with author Ashlee Vance in June, where he emphasized his focus on improving Starlink and rockets, rather than worrying about competition. Musk expressed that if competitors succeed, it would be great.
SpaceX has been rapidly increasing its launch capabilities over the years. In 2020, they completed 26 launches, followed 31 launches in 2021. The company aims to further scale up its operations this year, with Musk stating in March that they are eyeing over 90 launches.
Definitions: Payload – The total mass of cargo carried a vehicle, such as a rocket, into space.