2015 in spaceflight

Summary

In 2015, the maiden spaceflights of the Chinese Long March 6 and Long March 11 launch vehicles took place.

2015 in spaceflight
A Falcon 9 first stage landing at Cape Canaveral LZ-1
Full disc, true colour view of Pluto
Close-up view of high-albedo regions on Ceres
Scott Kelly being carried from the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft
Highlights from spaceflight in 2015[a]
Orbital launches
First10 January
Last28 December
Total87
Successes82
Failures4
Partial failures1
Catalogued83[b]
National firsts
Satellite Turkmenistan
 Laos
Space traveller Denmark
 Kazakhstan
Rockets
Maiden flights
RetirementsDnepr-1
Crewed flights
Orbital4
Total travellers12
EVAs7

A total of 87 orbital launches were attempted in 2015, of which 82 were successful, one was partially successful and four were failures. The year also saw seven EVAs by ISS astronauts. The majority of the year's orbital launches were conducted by Russia, the United States and China, with 27, 20 and 19 launches respectively.

OverviewEdit

In February 2015, the European Space Agency's experimental lifting body spacecraft, the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, successfully conducted its first test flight.

In March 2015, Ceres became the first dwarf planet to be visited by a spacecraft when Dawn entered orbit. In July 2015, New Horizons visited the Pluto-Charon system after a 9-year voyage, returning a trove of pictures and information about the former "ninth planet" (now classified as a dwarf planet). Meanwhile, the MESSENGER probe was deliberately crashed into Mercury after 4 years of in-orbit observations.

On 23 November 2015, the Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital rocket achieved its first powered soft landing near the launch site, paving the way for full reuse of its propulsion stage. On 21 December, the maiden flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Full Thrust took place, ending with a successful landing of its first stage.

Two old weather satellites, NOAA-16 and DMSP 5D-2/F13, broke up in 2015, creating several hundred pieces of space debris. In both cases, a battery explosion is suspected as the root cause.

Orbital launchesEdit

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks

JanuaryEdit

10 January
09:47:10
  Falcon 9 v1.1   Cape Canaveral SLC-40   SpaceX
  SpaceX CRS-5 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 11 February 2015
00:44
Successful
  Flock-1d' 1 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation 13 October 2015 Successful
  Flock-1d' 2 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation 27 December 2015 Successful
  AESP-14 ITA Low Earth Ionospheric research 11 May 2015 Successful
SpaceX attempted to land the first stage on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean, but the first stage crash-landed on its landing platform.[1] The AESP-14 CubeSat was deployed from the space station on 5 February 2015,[2] while the Flock-1 CubeSats were deployed on 3 March 2015.[3]
21 January
01:04:00
  Atlas V 551   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  MUOS-3 US Navy Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
31 January
14:22:00
  Delta II 7320   Vandenberg SLC-2W   United Launch Alliance
  SMAP NASA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
  FIREBIRD II A Montana State Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  FIREBIRD II B Montana State Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  GRIFEX NASA / JPL Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  ExoCube Cal Poly Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational

FebruaryEdit

1 February
01:21:00
  H-IIA 202   Tanegashima LA-Y1   MHI
  IGS-Radar Spare CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
1 February
12:31:00
  Proton-M/Briz-M   Baikonur Site 200/39    International Launch Services
  Inmarsat 5-F2 Inmarsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
2 February
08:50
  Safir   Semnan   ISA
  Fajr ISA Low Earth Technology demonstration 26 February 2015 Successful
11 February
13:40:00
  Vega   Kourou ELV   Arianespace
  IXV ESA Transatmospheric Technology demonstration 11 February 2015
15:19
Successful
Vega's 4th stage briefly entered low Earth orbit before de-orbiting; thus it did not get a COSPAR ID. This marked the first flight of the IXV
11 February
23:03:32
  Falcon 9 v1.1   Cape Canaveral SLC-40   SpaceX
  DSCOVR NOAA Sun–Earth L1 Earth observation / Heliophysics In orbit Operational
First SpaceX launch aimed beyond GTO. First stage soft landed on water.
17 February
11:00:17
  Soyuz-U   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  Progress M-26M / 58P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 14 August 2015
14:17
Successful
27 February
11:01:35
  Soyuz-2.1a   Plesetsk Site 43/4   RVSN RF
  Kosmos 2503 (Bars-M 1L) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

MarchEdit

2 March
03:50:00
  Falcon 9 v1.1   Cape Canaveral SLC-40   SpaceX
  Eutelsat 115 West B Eutelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
  ABS-3A ABS Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First communication satellites to use all-electric propulsion to reach intended orbits from GTO.
13 March
02:44:00
  Atlas V 421   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  MMS-1 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
  MMS-2 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
  MMS-3 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
  MMS-4 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
18 March
22:05:00
  Proton-M / Briz-M   Baikonur Site 200/39   Khrunichev
  Ekspress AM7 RSCC Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
25 March
18:36:00
  Delta IV M+(4,2)   Cape Canaveral SLC-37B   United Launch Alliance
  USA-260 (GPS IIF-9) US Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
25 March
22:08:53
  Dnepr   Dombarovsky Site 13     ISC Kosmotras
  KOMPSat-3A KARI Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Final flight of Dnepr-1 rocket, due to Russia-Ukraine conflict.
26 March
01:21:00
  H-IIA 202   Tanegashima LA-Y1   MHI
  IGS-Optical 5 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
27 March
19:42:57
  Soyuz-FG   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  Soyuz TMA-16M Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 43/44/45/46 12 September 2015
00:51
Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts, including two on a year-long mission.
27 March
21:46:18
  Soyuz-STB / Fregat   Kourou ELS   Arianespace
  Galileo FOC 3 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
  Galileo FOC 4 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
28 March
11:49:00
  PSLV-XL   Satish Dhawan SLP   ISRO
  IRNSS-1D ISRO Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
30 March
13:52:30
  Long March 3C/E/YZ-1   Xichang LC-2   CASC
  BeiDou I1-S CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
31 March
13:47:56
  Rokot / Briz-KM   Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 133/3   VKO
  Gonets-M 11 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Gonets-M 12 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Gonets-M 13 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Kosmos 2504 VKO Low Earth Technology demonstration / Satellite inspection (?) In orbit Operational

AprilEdit

14 April
20:10:41
  Falcon 9 v1.1   Cape Canaveral SLC-40   SpaceX
  SpaceX CRS-6 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 21 May 2015
16:42
Successful
  Arkyd 3 Reflight Planetary Resources Low Earth Technology demonstration 23 December 2015 Successful
  Flock-1e × 14 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation First: 8 February 2016
Last: 24 August 2016
Successful
First stage recovery failed; the rocket stage landed on the target drone ship too fast, tipped over, and exploded.[4]
All secondary payloads were deployed from an ISS airlock later. Arkyd 3 Reflight is a replacement for Arkyd 3, which was lost in the Cygnus CRS Orb-3 flight accident in 2014.
26 April
20:00:07
  Ariane 5 ECA   Kourou ELA-3   Arianespace
  Thor 7 Telenor Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
    SICRAL-2 MDD/DGA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
27 April
23:03:00
  Falcon 9 v1.1   Cape Canaveral SLC-40   SpaceX
  TürkmenÄlem 52°E / MonacoSAT Turkmen Telecom Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First Turkmen satellite.
28 April
07:09:50
  Soyuz-2.1a   Baikonur Site 31/6   Roscosmos
  Progress M-27M / 59P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 8 May 2015 Failure
Spacecraft lost communications and attitude control soon after separation failure during launch.[5] International Space Station docking attempt cancelled.[6] Mission declared a total loss.[7]

MayEdit

16 May
05:47:39
  Proton-M / Briz-M   Baikonur Site 200/39     International Launch Services
  Mexsat-1 SCT Geosynchronous Communications 16 May 2015 Launch failure
Proton third stage vernier engine failed at T+497 seconds due to turbopump shaft coating degradation causing excess vibration.[8]
20 May
15:05:00
  Atlas V 501   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  AFSPC-5 (X-37B OTV-4) U.S. Air Force Low Earth Technology demonstration 7 May 2017 Operational
  ULTRASat NASA Low Earth CubeSat Deployment In orbit Operational
  Lightsail-A The Planetary Society Low Earth Technology demonstration 14 June 2015
17:23
Successful
  USS Langley U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  BRICSat-P U.S. Naval Academy / George Washington Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  ParkinsonSat U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  GEARRS-2 Taylor Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  AeroCube-8A The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration 11 October 2021[10] Successful
  AeroCube-8B The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration 2 October 2021[11] Successful
  OptiCube 1 CalPoly Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  OptiCube 2 CalPoly Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  OptiCube 3 CalPoly Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
The X-37B spaceplane landed autonomously at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility after spending a record-breaking 718 days in orbit.[9]
27 May
21:16:07
  Ariane 5 ECA   Kourou ELA-3   Arianespace
  DirecTV-15 DirecTV Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
  Sky Mexico 1 SKY Mexico Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational

JuneEdit

5 June
15:23:54
  Soyuz-2.1a   Plesetsk Site 43/4   RVSN RF
  Kosmos 2505 (Kobalt-M) VKO Low Earth Reconnaissance 18 September 2015 Successful
23 June
01:51:58
  Vega   Kourou ELV   Arianespace
  Sentinel-2A ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
23 June
16:44:00
  Soyuz-2.1b   Plesetsk Site 43/4   RVSN RF
  Kosmos 2506 (Persona) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
26 June
06:22:04
  Long March 4B   Taiyuan LC-9   CASC
  Gaofen 8 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation / Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
28 June
14:21:11
  Falcon 9 v1.1   Cape Canaveral SLC-40   SpaceX
  SpaceX CRS-7 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 28 June 2015 Launch Failure
  Flock-1f × 8[13] Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation 28 June 2015 Launch Failure
Vehicle disintegrated at T+139 seconds after second stage helium tank support strut failure caused helium tank to break through second stage tanks.[12] Attempted to deliver the IDA-1 segment of the NASA Docking System. CubeSats were to be deployed from the International Space Station at a later date. Planned first stage landing test not achieved.

JulyEdit

3 July
04:55:48
  Soyuz-U   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  Progress M-28M / 60P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 19 December 2015 Successful
10 July
16:28:00
  PSLV-XL   Satish Dhawan FLP   ISRO
  UK-DMC-3A DMCii Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
  UK-DMC-3B DMCii Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
  UK-DMC-3C DMCii Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
  CBNT-1 SSTL Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  DeOrbitSail Surrey Space Centre Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
15 July
15:36:00
  Atlas V 401   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  USA-262 (GPS IIF-10) U.S. Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
15 July
21:42:07
  Ariane 5 ECA   Kourou ELA-3   Arianespace
  Star One C4 Star One Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
  MSG-4 EUMETSAT Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
22 July
21:02:44
  Soyuz-FG   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  Soyuz TMA-17M Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 44/45 11 December 2015
13:10
Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts.
24 July
00:07:00
  Delta IV M+(5,4)   Cape Canaveral SLC-37B   United Launch Alliance
  USA-263 (WGS-7) U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
25 July
12:29:04
  Long March 3B/YZ-1   Xichang LA-2   CASC
  BeiDou M1-S CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
  BeiDou M2-S CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational

AugustEdit

19 August
11:50:49
  H-IIB   Tanegashima LA-Y2   MHI
  HTV-5 JAXA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 29 September 2015 Successful
  SERPENS University of Brasília / Brazilian Space Agency Low Earth Technology demonstration 27 March 2016 Successful
  S-CUBE Chiba Institute of Technology Low Earth Meteor observation 23 November 2016[15]
  Flock-2b × 14[16] Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation First: 22 May 2016
Last: 17 October 2016
Successful
(12 deployed)
  AAUSAT5 Aalborg Low Earth Technology demonstration 15 March 2016 Successful
  GOMX-3 GomSpace Low Earth Technology demonstration 19 October 2016[17] Successful
CubeSats to be deployed from the International Space Station at a later date. SERPENS and S-CUBE were deployed on 17 September. AAUSAT5, GOMX-3, and Dove Flocks were deployed on 5–7 October, but two out of the fourteen Dove Flocks failed to be deployed due to a malfunction of the deployer.[14]
20 August
20:34:08
  Ariane 5 ECA   Kourou ELA-3   Arianespace
  Eutelsat 8 West B Eutelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
  Intelsat 34 Intelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
27 August
02:31:35
  Long March 4C   Taiyuan LC-9   CASC
  Yaogan 27 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
27 August
11:22:00
  GSLV Mk II   Satish Dhawan SLP   ISRO
  GSAT-6 Indian Armed Forces/ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
28 August
11:44:00
  Proton-M / Briz-M   Baikonur Site 200/39     International Launch Services
  Inmarsat 5-F3 Inmarsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational

SeptemberEdit

2 September
04:37:43
  Soyuz-FG   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  Soyuz TMA-18M Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 45/46/iriss[20] 2 March 2016
04:26
Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts: including ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, the first Dane in space, and Aidyn Aimbetov, the first cosmonaut from an independent Kazakhstan.
Sarah Brightman was intended to fly this mission as a spaceflight participant, but withdrew from training on 13 May 2015 for personal reasons.[18] Japanese space tourist Satoshi Takamatsu was believed to be taking Brightman's place, but he declined and Roscosmos chose Aimbetov as an alternative instead.[19]
Landed with the Year in Space crew of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Korniyenko
2 September
10:18:00
  Atlas V 551   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  MUOS-4 U.S. Navy Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
11 September
02:08:10
  Soyuz-STB / Fregat   Kourou ELS   Arianespace
  Galileo FOC 5 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
  Galileo FOC 6 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
12 September
15:42:04
  Long March 3B/E   Xichang LC-2   CASC
  TJS-1 CNSA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
14 September
04:42
  Long March 2D   Jiuquan SLS-2   CASC
  Gaofen 9 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation / Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
14 September
19:00:00
  Proton-M / Blok DM-03   Baikonur Site 81/24   Khrunichev
  Ekspress AM8 RSCC Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
19 September
23:01:14
  Long March 6   Taiyuan LC-16   CASC
  ZDPS-2A ZJU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  ZDPS-2B ZJU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Xiwang-2A CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
  Xiwang-2B CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
  Xiwang-2C CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
  Xiwang-2D CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
  Xiwang-2E CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
  Xiwang-2F CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
  XY-2 CASC Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  DCBB CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Education In orbit Operational
  LilacSat-2 HIT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Tiantuo-3 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  NUDT-Phone-Sat NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Xingchen 1 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Xingchen 2 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Xingchen 3 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Xingchen 4 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  NS-2 Tsinghua University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  ZJ-1 Tsinghua University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  ZJ-2 Tsinghua / Xidian Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Maiden flight of the Long March 6 vehicle.
23 September
21:59:38
  Rokot / Briz-KM   Plesetsk Site 133/3   VKO
  Kosmos 2507 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Kosmos 2508 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Kosmos 2509 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
25 September
01:41:40
  Long March 11   Jiuquan   CASC
  Pujiang-1 SAST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Tianwang 1A (Shankeda 2) ShanghaiTech Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Tianwang 1B (NJUST 2) NJUST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 31 March 2021[21] Successful
  Tianwang 1C (NJFA 1) ShanghaiTech Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 27 February 2021[22] Successful
Maiden flight of the Long March 11 vehicle.
28 September
04:30:00
  PSLV-XL   Satish Dhawan FLP   ISRO
  Astrosat ISRO Low Earth X-ray astronomy In orbit Operational
  LAPAN-A2 LAPAN Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  ExactView 9 exactEarth Low Earth Maritime observation In orbit Operational
  Lemur-2 1 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  Lemur-2 2 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  Lemur-2 3 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  Lemur-2 4 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
29 September
23:13:04
  Long March 3B/E   Xichang LA-3   CASC
  BeiDou I2-S CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
30 September
20:30:07
  Ariane 5 ECA   Kourou ELA-3   Arianespace
  NBN-Co 1A (Sky Muster) NBN Co Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
  ARSAT-2 ARSAT Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational

OctoberEdit

1 October
16:49:40
  Soyuz-U   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  Progress M-29M / 61P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 8 April 2016 Successful
2 October
10:28:00
  Atlas V 421   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  Mexsat-2 SCT Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
7 October
04:13:04
  Long March 2D   Jiuquan SLS-2   CASC
  Jilin-1 Smart Verification Satellite[23] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
  Jilin-1 Optical-A[24] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
  Jilin-1 Video-01 (Lingqiao 1-01)[25] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
  Jilin-1 Video-02 (Lingqiao 1-02)[25] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
8 October
12:49:30
  Atlas V 401   Vandenberg SLC-3E   United Launch Alliance
  USA-264 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
  USA-264 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
  Aerocube-5c The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Aerocube-7 The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  SNaP-3 x 3 U.S. Army SMDC Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  PropCube x 2 Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  SINOD-D x 2 SRI International Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  ARC-1 UAF Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  BisonSat SKC Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  AMSAT Fox-1 AMSAT Low Earth Amateur radio / Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  LMRST-Sat NASA / JPL Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
NRO Launch 55
16 October
16:16:04
  Long March 3B/E   Xichang LC-2   CASC
  APStar-9 APT Satellite Holdings Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
16 October
20:40:11
  Proton-M / Briz-M   Baikonur Site 200/39     International Launch Services
  Türksat 4B Türksat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
26 October
07:10:04
  Long March 2D   Jiuquan SLS-2   CASC
  Tianhui 1C CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (Cartography) In orbit Operational
31 October
16:13:00
  Atlas V 401   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  USA-265 (GPS IIF-11) U.S. Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational

NovemberEdit

3 November
16:25:04
  Long March 3B/E   Xichang LC-3   CASC
  ChinaSat 2C CNSA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
4 November
03:45:00
  SPARK   Pacific Missile Range Facility LP-41   ORS
  HiakaSat ORS Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
  EDSN x 8 NASA Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
  PrintSat Montana State University Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
  Argus St. Louis University and Vanderbilt University Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
  STACEM Utah State University Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
  Supernova-Beta Pumpkin, Inc. Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
Maiden flight of the SPARK/Super Strypi launch vehicle.
Vehicle lost attitude control at T+1 minute.
8 November
07:06:04
  Long March 4B   Taiyuan LC-9   CASC
  Yaogan 28 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
10 November
21:34:07
  Ariane 5 ECA   Kourou ELA-3   Arianespace
  Arabsat 6B Arabsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
  GSAT-15 ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
17 November
06:33:41
  Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat   Plesetsk Site 43/4   RVSN RF
  Kosmos 2510 (EKS (Tundra)) VKO Molniya[27] Early warning In orbit Operational[28]
First space component for Russia's new unified missile early warning network.[26]
20 November
16:07:04
  Long March 3B/E   Xichang LC-2   CASC
  LaoSat-1 Laos National Authority for Science and Technology Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First Laotian satellite[29]
24 November
06:50:00
  H-IIA 204   Tanegashima LA-Y1   MHI
  Telstar 12V Telesat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
26 November
21:24:04
  Long March 4C   Taiyuan LC-9   CASC
  Yaogan 29 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

DecemberEdit

3 December
04:04:00
  Vega   Kourou ELV   Arianespace
  LISA Pathfinder ESA / NASA Sun–Earth L1 Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
5 December
14:08:33
  Soyuz-2-1v / Volga   Plesetsk Site 43/4   RVSN RF
  Kosmos 2511 (Kanopus-ST) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 8 December 2015
05:43
Launch failure
  Kosmos 2512 (KYuA-1) Almaz-Antey Low Earth (SSO) Radar calibration In orbit Operational
Kanopus-ST failed to separate from the Volga upper stage.[30][31]
6 December
21:44:57
  Atlas V 401   Cape Canaveral SLC-41   United Launch Alliance
  Cygnus CRS OA-4
S.S. Deke Slayton II
Orbital ATK / NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 20 February 2016 Successful
  Flock-2e x 12 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  CADRE University of Michigan Low Earth Technology demonstration 3 January 2017[34] Successful
  MinXSS 1 University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth Solar physics, Space weather 5 May 2017[35] Successful
  Nodes x 2 NASA Low Earth Technology demonstration 23 September 2017[36] Successful
  STMSat 1 St. Thomas More Cathedral School Low Earth Education 21 April 2017[37] Successful
  SIMPL NovaWurks Low Earth Technology demonstration 26 July 2022[38] Successful
Flight moved from Antares 130 rocket following launch failure of Cygnus CRS Orb-3. Originally scheduled for 1 April 2015.[32] MinXSS was deployed into orbit from ISS on 16 May 2016.[33]
9 December
16:46:04
  Long March 3B/E   Xichang LC-3   CASC
  ChinaSat 1C CNSA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
11 December
13:45:33
  Zenit-3F   Baikonur Site 45/1   Roscosmos
  Elektro-L No.2 Roscosmos Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
13 December
00:19:00
  Proton-M / Briz-M   Baikonur Site 81/24   Khrunichev
  Kosmos 2513 (Garpun No. 12L) VKO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
15 December
11:03:09
  Soyuz-FG   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  Soyuz TMA-19M Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 46/47 18 June 2016
09:15
Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts.
16 December
12:30:00
  PSLV-CA   Satish Dhawan FLP   ISRO
  TeLEOS-1 AgilSpace Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  VELOX C1 NTU Low Earth Atmospheric science In orbit Operational
  VELOX 2 NTU Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
  Kent Ridge 1 NUS Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
  Galassia NUS Low Earth Atmospheric science In orbit Operational
  Athenoxat-1 NTU Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
17 December
00:12:04
  Long March 2D   Jiuquan SLS-2   CASC
  DAMPE CAS Low Earth (SSO) High-energy astronomy In orbit Operational
17 December
11:51:56
  Soyuz ST-B / Fregat   Kourou ELS   Arianespace
  Galileo FOC 8 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
  Galileo FOC 9 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
21 December
08:44:39
  Soyuz-2.1a   Baikonur Site 31/6   Roscosmos
  Progress MS-01 / 62P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 3 July 2016
07:50
Operational
First launch of the new Progress-MS variant.
22 December
01:29:00
  Falcon 9 Full Thrust   Cape Canaveral SLC-40   SpaceX
  Orbcomm-2 F2 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F5 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F8 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F10 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F12 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F13 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F14 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F15 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F16 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F17 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
  Orbcomm-2 F18 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
First flight of the upgraded "full thrust" version of Falcon 9, first Falcon 9 flight after launch failure in June. First successful return to launch site and vertical landing of a first stage, demonstrated as part of a controlled descent test.
24 December
21:31:19
  Proton-M / Briz-M   Baikonur Site 200/39   Khrunichev
  Ekspress AMU1 RSCC Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
28 December
16:04:04
  Long March 3B/E   Xichang LC-2   CASC
  Gaofen 4 CNSA Geosynchronous Earth observation In orbit Operational

Suborbital flightsEdit

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
26 January
09:13
  Terrier-Improved Malemute   Poker Flat   NASA
  M-TEX Alaska Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~160 kilometres (99 mi)?
26 January
09:14
  Terrier-Orion   Poker Flat   NASA
  MIST Clemson Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~130 kilometres (81 mi)?
26 January
09:46
  Terrier-Improved Malemute   Poker Flat   NASA
  M-TEX Alaska Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~160 kilometres (99 mi)?
26 January
09:47
  Terrier-Orion   Poker Flat   NASA
  MIST Clemson Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~130 kilometres (81 mi)?
28 January
10:41
  Talos Terrier Oriole Nihka   Poker Flat   NASA
  ASSP USU Suborbital Auroral 28 January Successful
Apogee: ~590 kilometres (370 mi)?
31 January
02:36:00[39]
  Agni V   Integrated Test Range Launch Complex IV   DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 31 January Successful
Apogee: ~800 kilometres (500 mi)
19 February   Prithvi II   Integrated Test Range Launch Complex 3   DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 19 February Successful
Apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)
19 February
22:06
  VS-30/Improved Orion   Andøya   Andøya
   ICI-4 (CanoRock 4) Oslo/Andøya Suborbital Technology 19 February Successful
Apogee: 365 kilometres (227 mi)
22 February
07:52
  VSB-30   Esrange   CNES
  Cryofenix CNES Suborbital Microgravity 22 February Successful
Apogee: 265 kilometres (165 mi)
22 February   UGM-133 Trident II D5   Submarine, Pacific Ocean   US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 22 February Successful
22 February   UGM-133 Trident II D5   Submarine, Pacific Ocean   US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 22 February Successful
24 February
07:30
  Terrier-Oriole   Wallops Island   TBD
DOD Suborbital Missile Defense Test 24 February Successful
FTX-19 target, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)?
24 February
07:30
  Terrier-Oriole   Wallops Island   TBD
DOD Suborbital Missile Defense Test 24 February Successful
FTX-19 target, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)?
24 February
07:30
  Terrier-Oriole   Wallops Island   TBD
DOD Suborbital Missile Defense Test 24 February Successful
FTX-19 target, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)?
25 February
12:26
  Black Brant IX   White Sands   NASA
  MOSC 2 AFRL Suborbital Ionospheric research 25 February Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi)?
26 February   UR-100NU   Yasniy   RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 26 February Launch failure[40]
Yu-71 Hypersonic Vehicle Test
5 March
01:44
  VS-30   Andøya   DLR
  WADIS-2 DLR Suborbital Atmospheric 5 March Successful
Apogee: 126 kilometres (78 mi), 13 Super Loki meteorological rockets were also launched
9 March   Shaheen-III   Sonmiani   ASFC
ASFC Suborbital Missile test 9 March Successful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)?
18 March   RS-26 Rubezh   Kapustin Yar   RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 18 March Successful
23 March
10:36
  LGM-30G Minuteman III   Vandenberg LF-10   US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 23 March Successful
GT214GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
27 March
10:54
  LGM-30G Minuteman III   Vandenberg LF-04   US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 27 March Successful
GT215GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
30 March   VSB-30   Andøya   DSTO
 HiFire-7 DSTO Suborbital Technology demonstration 30 March Successful
9 April  Dhanush  Ship, Indian Ocean  DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Target 9 April Successful
Apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)
15 April  Ghauri  Tilla  Army of Pakistan
 Haft-5 Army of Pakistan Suborbital Missile test 15 April Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
16 April
04:22
 Agni-III  ITR IC-4  Indian Army
Indian Army Suborbital Missile test 16 April Successful
Apogee: 350 kilometres (220 mi)
18 April
11:01
  Terrier-Improved Malemute   Wallops Island   NASA
  Rocksat-X University of Colorado Boulder Suborbital Student Research 18 April Successful
Apogee: ~174 kilometres (108 mi)
23 April
07:35
  VSB-30   Esrange   EuroLaunch
 /  TEXUS-51 DLR/ESA Suborbital Microgravity 23 April Successful
Apogee: 261 kilometres (162 mi)
27 April
04:55
  VSB-30   Esrange   EuroLaunch
 /  TEXUS-52 DLR/ESA Suborbital Microgravity 27 April Successful
Apogee: 255 kilometres (158 mi)
2 May
08:30:01
  Black Brant IX   White Sands   NASA
  OGRESS University of Iowa Suborbital X-Ray Astronomy 2 May Successful
Apogee: 272 kilometres (169 mi)
20 May
10:37
  LGM-30G Minuteman III   Vandenberg LF-09   US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 20 May Successful
GT212GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
21 May
19:15
  Black Brant IX   White Sands  NASA
  EVE CU Boulder Suborbital SDO calibration 21 May Launch failure
Second stage failure, flight was terminated safety officials about four seconds into the second stage burn after data showed the vehicle was flying off-course. The payload carrying the experiment separated from the rocket and descended via parachute.
6 June   SM-3-IIA   San Nicolas Island   US Navy
US Navy Suborbital ABM test 6 June Successful
Maiden flight of SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development Controlled Test Vehicle-01 (SCD CTV-01)
25 June
10:00
  Terrier-Improved Orion   Wallops Island   NASA
  RockOn CU Boulder Suborbital Student experiments 25 June Successful
Apogee: 118 kilometres (73 mi)
26 June   ARAV ?   Kauai   MDA
MDA Suborbital ABM target 26 June Launch failure
Aegis radar target
30 June
04:55
  VSB-30   Esrange   EuroLaunch
  MAPHEUS-5 DLR Suborbital Technology demonstration 30 June Successful
Apogee: 252 kilometres (157 mi)
7 July
10:15
  Black Brant IX   Wallops Island   NASA
  SOAREX-8 NASA Suborbital Technology demonstration 7 July Successful
Apogee: 350 kilometres (220 mi)
29 July
08:30
  ARAV ? MMW E1   Kauai   MDA
MDA Suborbital ABM target 29 July Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)?, Aegis MMW E1 target, successful intercept by SM-6 Dual I missile
30 July
06:15
  ARAV ? MMW E2   Kauai   MDA
MDA Suborbital ABM target 30 July Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)?, Aegis MMW E2 target, successful intercept by SM-2 Block IV missile
12 August
10:14
  Terrier-Improved Malemute   Wallops Island   NASA
  Rocksat-X Various universities Suborbital Student Research 12 August Successful
Apogee: ~156km (97 miles).[41]
19 August
10:03
  LGM-30G Minuteman III   Vandenberg LF-10   US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 19 August Successful
GT213GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
22 August
15:13
  RS-12M Topol   Kapustin Yar   RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 22 August Successful
27 August
17:45
  Black Brant IX   White Sands   NASA
  MOSES-2 MSU Suborbital Solar astronomy 27 August Successful
Apogee: 185 miles (298 km)[42]
3 September
17:01
  Black Brant IX   White Sands   NASA
      CLASP NASA / JAXA / IAC / IAS Suborbital Solar astronomy 3 September Successful
Apogee: 167 miles (269 km)[43]
11 September
11:00:00
  S-520   Uchinoura   JAXA
  HU/UT/TU/JAXA Suborbital Microgravity 11 September Successful
Apogee: 312 km[44]
16 September
19:06
  Black Brant XI   Andøya   NASA
  CARE II NRL Suborbital Aeronomy 16 September Successful
Apogee: 299 kilometres (186 mi)
30 September
08:28
  M51   Landes   DGA/Marine nationale
DGA/Marine nationale Suborbital Test flight 30 September Successful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi), apparently launched from the land test pad, rather than from a submarine.
2 October
05:39:00
 /  VSB-30/Improved Orion   Esrange   Swedish Space Corporation
  O-STATES 1 SNSB Suborbital Atmospheric Research 2 October Successful
Apogee: 246 kilometres (153 mi)
7 October
23:07:00
  Black Brant IX   Wallops Island   NASA
  Technology Test Flight NASA GSFC Suborbital Rocket motor test 7 October Successful
  LEO-1 Orbital ATK Suborbital Materials Testing 7 October Successful
  NNS NASA Suborbital Materials Testing 7 October Successful
Apogee: 257.5 kilometers (160mi).[45] Test flight of the new Black Brant Mk4 sustainer motor. Other payloads included a cloud of barium and strontium, which was deployed to test the rocket's payload ejection system and was visible for miles along the East Coast of the United States.
19 October
14:09:00
 /  VSB-30/Improved Orion   Esrange   Swedish Space Corporation
  O-STATES 2 SNSB Suborbital Atmospheric Research 19 October Successful
Apogee: 244 kilometres (152 mi)
20 October   Terrier-Orion ADS-15 E2   South Uist, Hebrides   MDA
DOD Suborbital Target 20 October Successful
SM-3 Target, apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)?
20 October   SM-3 ADS-15 E2   USS Ross (DDG-71), Hebrides Range   US Navy
US Navy Suborbital ABM test 20 October Successful
First Aegis-Test in the North Atlantic, successful intercept, apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)?
21 October
12:45:00
  LGM-30G Minuteman III   Vandenberg LF-04   US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 21 October Successful
GT216GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
28 October
11:30
  RS-24 Yars   Plesetsk   RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 28 October Successful
30 October   RS-12M Topol   Plesetsk   RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful
30 October   R-29RMU Sineva   K-117 Bryansk, Barents Sea   VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful
30 October   R-29R Volna   K-223 Podolsk, Sea of Okhotsk   VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful
31 October
23:00 ?
  B-611   Shuangchengzi  PLA
PLA Suborbital ABM target 31 October Successful
Target
31 October
23:00 ?
  SC-19   Korla   PLA
PLA Suborbital ABM test 31 October Successful
Interceptor, successful intercept
1 November
03:05
  SRALT FTO-02 E2a   C-17, Pacific Ocean   MDA
MDA Suborbital THAAD target 1 November Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi), successful intercepted
1 November
03:07
  THAAD FTO-02 E2a   Wake Island   US Army
  US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM test 1 November Successful
Intercepted target missile, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
1 November
03:10
  eMRBM FTO-02 E2a   C-17, Pacific Ocean   MDA
  MDA Suborbital THAAD target 1 November Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi), successful intercepted
1 November
03:12
  THAAD FTO-02 E2a   Wake Island   US Army
  US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM test 1 November Successful
Intercepted target missile, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
6 November
15:01
  SpaceLoft XL   Spaceport America   UP Aerospace
  FOP-4 NASA Suborbital Four technology demonstration experiments 6 November Successful
Mission SL-10, Apogee: 120.7 kilometers (74.98 miles). First private suborbital rocket to demonstrate ejection of recoverable payloads.[46]
8 November
02:00
 UGM-133 Trident II D5  USS Kentucky, Pacific Ocean  US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 8 November Successful
Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 26 (DASO-26)
9 November
04:15
  Agni-IV   Integrated Test Range   DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile Test 9 November Successful
Apogee: ~850 kilometres (530 mi)?
9 November
20:00
 UGM-133 Trident II D5  USS Kentucky, Pacific Ocean  US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 9 November Successful
Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 26 (DASO-26)
14 November   RSM-56 Bulava   K-551 Vladimir Monomakh, White Sea   VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 14 November Successful
14 November   RSM-56 Bulava   K-551 Vladimir Monomakh, White Sea   VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 14 November Successful
Missile did not hit its targets at the Kura test site. The warheads did reach the Kamchatka region, but the miss was fairly large, but that was still not significant enough to abort the flight
17 November
12:12
  RS-12M Topol   Kapustin Yar   RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 17 November Successful
21 November   Ghadr-1   Semnan ?   IRGC
  IGRC Suborbital Missile test 21 November Successful
apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
23 November
17:21
  New Shepard   Corn Ranch   Blue Origin
  New Shepard Blue Origin Suborbital Test flight 23 November Successful
Apogee: 100.5 kilometres (62.4 mi). Second test flight of the New Shepard launch system, first to cross the Kármán line, and first to achieve a powered landing of its propulsion stage.
25 November
04:17
  Black Brant IX   White Sands   NASA
  PICTURE-B UMass Suborbital Astronomy 25 November Successful
apogee: 217 kilometres (135 mi)
30 November
07:25
  Talos Terrier Oriole Nihka   Andøya   NASA
  CAPER Dartmouth College Suborbital Auroral research 30 November Launch failure
Third stage failure, payload recovered
1 December
05:00
  VSB-30   Esrange   EuroLaunch
  MASER-13 SSC Suborbital Microgravity 1 December Successful
apogee: 270 kilometres (170 mi)
5 December
04:45
  Black Brant IX   White Sands   NASA
  DXL-2 U of M Suborbital Astronomy 5 December Successful
apogee: 224 kilometres (139 mi)
8 December   SM-3-IIA   San Nicolas Island   US Navy
US Navy Suborbital ABM test 8 December Successful
Second flight of SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development Controlled Test Vehicle-02 (SCD CTV-02)
10 December
06:12
  Silver Sparrow   F-15 Eagle, Israel   IAF
IAI/IDF Suborbital ABM target 10 December Successful
Arrow-3 target, successfully intercepted, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)
10 December
06:15
  Arrow III   Negev   IAF
IAI/IDF Suborbital ABM Test 10 December Successful
First test of the Arrow-III against a target, successful intercept over the Mediterranean
10 December   SRALT FTO-02 E1a   C-17, Pacific Ocean   MDA
MDA Suborbital SM-3-IB target 10 December Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi), successful intercepted
10 December   SM-3-IB FTO-02 E1a   Kauai   US Navy
US Navy Suborbital ABM test 10 December Successful
First intercept flight test of a land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) weapon system
10 December
13:55
  Juno   Fort Wingate LC-96   US Army
US Army Suborbital Target 10 December Successful
Target for MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 MSE test, successfully intercepted
11 December   Shaheen-III   Sonmiani   ASFC
ASFC Suborbital Missile test 11 December Successful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)?
12 December   R-29RMU Sineva   K-51 Verkhoturye, Barents Sea   VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 12 December Successful
13 December
04:32
  Black Brant XIIA   Andøya   NASA
  RENU 2 New Hampshire Suborbital Geospace 13 December Successful
Apogee: 447 kilometres (278 mi)
15 December   Shaheen-IA   Sonmiani   ASFC
ASFC Suborbital Missile test 15 December Successful
18 December
06:52
  Black Brant IX   White Sands   NASA
  FORTIS JHU Suborbital UV Astronomy 18 December Successful
apogee: 282 kilometres (175 mi)
24 December
17:55
  RS-12M Topol   Kapustin Yar   RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 24 December Successful

Deep space rendezvousEdit

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
10 January Chang'e 5-T1 Injection into Selenocentric orbit Departed from Earth–Moon L2 on 4 January.
11 January[47] Cassini 109th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 970 kilometres (603 mi).
12 February Cassini 110th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 1,200 kilometres (746 mi).
6 March[48] Dawn Enters orbit of Ceres 1st visit to a dwarf planet.
16 March Cassini 111th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 2,275 kilometres (1,413 mi).
30 April MESSENGER Impact to Mercury[49] The crash occurred on the side of the planet not visible from Earth.
7 May Cassini 112th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 2,722 kilometres (1,691 mi).
16 June Cassini 4th flyby of Dione Closest approach: 516 kilometres (321 mi).
7 July Cassini 113th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 10,953 kilometres (6,806 mi).
14 July New Horizons First flyby of Pluto and Charon 2nd visit to a dwarf planet. Closest approach: 12,500 km (7,800 mi).
17 August Cassini 5th flyby of Dione Closest approach: 474 kilometres (295 mi).
28 September Cassini 114th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 1,036 kilometres (643 mi).
14 October Cassini Flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 1,839 kilometres (1,142 mi).
28 October Cassini Flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 49 kilometres (30 mi).
12 November Cassini 115th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 11,920 kilometres (7,407 mi).
3 December[50] Hayabusa2 Flyby of Earth Gravity assist
3 December[51] PROCYON Flyby of Earth Gravity assist en route to cancelled asteroid flyby.
4 December[52] Shin'en 2 Flyby of Earth Gravity assist
7 December[53] Akatsuki Venus orbit insertion Akatsuki's 2nd flyby of Venus and 2nd (successful) attempt at orbit insertion.
19 December Cassini Flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 4,999 kilometres (3,106 mi).

Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs)Edit

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
21 February
12:45
6 hours
41 minutes
19:26 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

  Barry E. Wilmore

  Terry W. Virts

Rigged and routed power and data cables at the forward end of the Harmony module as part of preparations for the installation of the International Docking Adapter at PMA-2.[54]
25 February
11:51
6 hours
43 minutes
18:34 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

  Barry E. Wilmore

  Terry W. Virts

Completed power and data cable routing at the forward end of the Harmony module. Removed launch locks from forward and aft berthing ports of Tranquility to prepare for relocation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the installation of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. Lubricated end effector of Canadarm2.[55][56]
1 March
11:52
5 hours
38 minutes
17:30 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

  Terry W. Virts

  Barry E. Wilmore

Finished cable routing, antenna and retro-reflector installation on both sides of the ISS truss and on other modules in preparation for the installation of the International Docking Adapter at PMA-2 and 3.[57][58]
10 August
14:20
5 hours
31 minutes
19:51 Expedition 44/45

ISS Pirs

  Gennady Padalka

  Mikhail Korniyenko

Installed gap spanners on the hull of the station for facilitating movement of crew members on future spacewalks, cleaned windows of the Zvezda Service Module, install fasteners on communications antennas, replaced an aging docking antenna, photographed various locations and hardware on Zvezda and nearby modules, and retrieved a space environment experiment.[59][60]
28 October
12:03
7 hours
16 minutes
19:19 Expedition 45

ISS Quest

  Scott Kelly

  Kjell N. Lindgren

Prepared a Main Bus Switching Unit for repair, installed a thermal cover on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, lubricated elements of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, and routed data and power cables to prepare for the installation of the International Docking Adaptor at PMA-2 and 3.[61]
6 November
11:22
7 hours
48 minutes
19:10 Expedition 45

ISS Quest

  Scott Kelly

  Kjell N. Lindgren

Worked to restore a portion of the ISS's cooling system to its primary configuration, returning ammonia coolant levels to normal in the primary and backup radiator arrays.[62]
21 December
13:45
3 hours
16 minutes
16:01 Expedition 46

ISS Quest

  Scott Kelly

  Timothy Kopra

Released a brake on the Mobile Servicing System to allow it to be properly stowed prior to the arrival of a visiting Progress vehicle. Routed cables in preparation for the installation of the Nauka module and the International Docking Adapter, and retrieved tools from a toolbox.[63]

Space debris eventsEdit

Date/Time (UTC) Source object Event type Pieces tracked Remarks
3 February 17:40[64] DMSP 5D-2/F13 (USA-109) Satellite breakup 159[65] The breakup was most likely caused by a battery explosion.[64][66] This satellite had been launched in 1995. Another satellite from the same series, DMSP 5D-2/F11, had broken up in 2004.[64] Debris are expected to remain in orbit for decades.[67]
25 November 7:20[68] NOAA-16 Satellite breakup 275[69] As this weather satellite, launched in 2000, had a similar construction to the DMSP satellite which broke up in February 2015, the same cause is suspected (battery overheating and explosion).[70]
22 December 16:00[71] Briz-M upper stage Booster explosion 9[71] A Briz-M upper-stage booster, having subsisted in geosynchronous transfer orbit since launching the Canadian Nimiq 6 commsat in 2012, was seen to have broken up into 9 pieces as of 26 January 2016. Orbital analysis of the debris allowed to time the explosion within one minute of 16:00 UTC on 22 December 2015.[71] Three other Briz-M upper stages had exploded earlier in 2007, 2010 and 2012.[72]

Orbital launch statisticsEdit

By countryEdit

For the purposes of this section, the yearly tally of orbital launches by country assigns each flight to the country of origin of the rocket, not to the launch services provider or the spaceport. For example, Soyuz launches by Arianespace in Kourou are counted under Russia because Soyuz-2 is a Russian rocket.

China: 19Europe: 9India: 5Iran: 1Japan: 4Russia: 27Ukraine: 2USA: 20 
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
  China 19 19 0 0
  Europe 9 9 0 0
  India 5 5 0 0
  Iran 1 1 0 0
  Japan 4 4 0 0
  Russia 27 24 2 1 Includes three European Soyuz launches from Kourou, French Guiana by Arianespace
  Ukraine 2 2 0 0 Zenit and Dnepr rockets were launched from Russia and/or Kazakhstan
  United States 20 18 2 0
World 87 82 4 1

By rocketEdit

5
10
15
20