Who takes us to space?

This is David, co-CEO of Datawrapper. Over the past weeks, you’ve heard a lot about the state of our planet in the Weekly Chart series. This week, I want to take a look at what lies beyond:

Last month, California-based startup SpaceX introduced their new Starship vehicle program to great anticipation by space enthusiasts around the world. It’s designed to carry humans to earth orbit, the moon and eventually to Mars.

They’re part of a trend: While the most famous accomplishments in space exploration have been achieved by governments, just over half of all orbital launches this year were serviced by private companies. That’s a huge difference from the early days of space exploration, when most launches were done by government agencies for military or research purposes:

SpaceX is far from the only space company in the private sector: Startups such as Rocket Lab, Chinese ispace or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin all have successfully launched rockets into space. Now, it should only be a matter of time till the trend catches up with apparel makers worldwide.

If you want to know more about SpaceX’s rocket launches in particular, I recommend browsing through the excellent SpaceX subreddit. If you have feedback, let me know in the comments or write to me at david@datawrapper.de. See you next week!