The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft lifts off on from Space Launch Complex 41 on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. OSIRIS-REx will be the first U.S. mission to sample an asteroid, retrieve at least two ounces of surface material and return it to Earth for study. The asteroid, Bennu, may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of water and organic molecules found on Earth. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)
China takes commanding lead in annual orbital launches | arsTechnica
China’s space program has announced some of their long-term plans and goals for the next fifty years. Some of these include retrieving samples from mars, space walks, and building a low-orbital space station. One way China has already reached their goal of being in the front of space exploration is through orbital launches, having completed 27 of them in 2019. This is the first year where they took first place in leading the world in orbital launches, followed by the U.S. and Russia.