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China is leading the world in space launches and no one is talking about it. 1/n
Since 2018 China's military space programs have ramped up exponentially- and they're now at a launch a week. That is a crazy number of things being launched into space.
Their dominance is especially stark when you realize that a huge percentage of US launches are for one program: Starlink.
If not for @SpaceX's Starlink, the US would be doing only about half the launches China is doing.

Starlink is an awesome capability. But China has no equivalent that would require such a huge volume of launches. So what are all these things they're putting into space?
The short answer is: everything. Earth observation, comms sats, modules for their space station, a top secret orbital space plane, missions to the moon, their own GPS, and large numbers of classified satellite missions. The list goes on and on.
Here's a recent launch of a top-secret space plane.

and a new military commsat:

and a new constellation to connect self-driving cars:

and a here's a story about two Chinese spy satellites that chased a US satellite in GEO:

China clearly knows the value of space. And the definitely know how priceless some of our satellites are to our national security.

So there is real concern that they are gearing up for space to be part of any potential future conflict.
The United States is at real risk of falling behind. So what can we do about it?
We have a not-so secret weapon: commercial space. Venture-backed companies are innovating at a pace that is hard for any other country to match.
The more Space Force and NASA can engage with and support those companies the better. We've had some great successes working with Space Force at @Astranis, but they can do more. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Other analyses show the US as having a slight edge in launches because they counted Rocket Lab as US. Technically they are licensed by the US FAA. Because those launches happen from New Zealand soil we have broken them out separately here.


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Excellent thread John. For those who want more — Here’s a view we published this week on the new Space race (and mentions @Astranis of course):