From satellites, to probes, to capsules full of people—humans have launched more than 7000 objects into space. In a nifty infographic at Technology Review, Tommy McCall and Mike Orcutt illustrate reams of data, collected from hundreds of sources, to show how the character of launches has changed over time in different countries.
One of the first things you'll notice when you look at the graphic: The Soviet Union launched far more objects into space than anybody else. Why? According to Orcutt, it's partly because Soviet satellites were less robust. The U.S. didn't have to launch as many because we got more mileage out of the ones we did launch.
Via David Brin
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.