2015 in spaceflight

Summary

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

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

Overview

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 launches

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

January

10 January
09:47:10
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-5 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 11 February 2015
00:44
Successful
United States Flock-1d' 1 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation 13 October 2015 Successful
United States Flock-1d' 2 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation 27 December 2015 Successful
Brazil 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
United States Atlas V 551 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States MUOS-3 US Navy Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
31 January
14:22:00
United States Delta II 7320 United States Vandenberg SLC-2W United States United Launch Alliance
United States SMAP NASA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States FIREBIRD II A Montana State Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States FIREBIRD II B Montana State Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States GRIFEX NASA / JPL Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States ExoCube Cal Poly Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational

February

1 February
01:21:00
Japan H-IIA 202 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan IGS-Radar Spare CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
1 February
12:31:00
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 RussiaUnited States International Launch Services
United Kingdom Inmarsat 5-F2 Inmarsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
2 February
08:50
Iran Safir Iran Semnan Iran ISA
Iran Fajr ISA Low Earth Technology demonstration 26 February 2015 Successful
11 February
13:40:00
Europe Vega France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe 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
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States 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
Russia Soyuz-U Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Progress M-26M / 58P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 14 August 2015
14:17
Successful
27 February
11:01:35
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2503 (Bars-M 1L) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

March

2 March
03:50:00
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
France Eutelsat 115 West B Eutelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Bermuda 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
United States Atlas V 421 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States MMS-1 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
United States MMS-2 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
United States MMS-3 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
United States MMS-4 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric research In orbit Operational
18 March
22:05:00
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Ekspress AM7 RSCC Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
25 March
18:36:00
United States Delta IV M+(4,2) United States Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-260 (GPS IIF-9) US Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
25 March
22:08:53
Ukraine Dnepr Russia Dombarovsky Site 13 Russia Ukraine ISC Kosmotras
South Korea 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
Japan H-IIA 202 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan IGS-Optical 5 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
27 March
19:42:57
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia 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
Russia Soyuz-STB / Fregat France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
European Union Galileo FOC 3 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
European Union Galileo FOC 4 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
28 March
11:49:00
India PSLV-XL India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India IRNSS-1D ISRO Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
30 March
13:52:30
China Long March 3C/E/YZ-1 China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China BeiDou I1-S CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
31 March
13:47:56
Russia Rokot / Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 133/3 Russia VKO
Russia Gonets-M 11 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
Russia Gonets-M 12 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
Russia Gonets-M 13 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
Russia Kosmos 2504 VKO Low Earth Technology demonstration / Satellite inspection (?) In orbit Operational

April

14 April
20:10:41
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-6 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 21 May 2015
16:42
Successful
United States Arkyd 3 Reflight Planetary Resources Low Earth Technology demonstration 23 December 2015 Successful
United States 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
Europe Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Norway Thor 7 Telenor Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Italy France SICRAL-2 MDD/DGA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
27 April
23:03:00
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Turkmenistan TürkmenÄlem 52°E / MonacoSAT Turkmen Telecom Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First Turkmen satellite.
28 April
07:09:50
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 31/6 Russia Roscosmos
Russia 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]

May

16 May
05:47:39
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 Russia United States International Launch Services
Mexico 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
United States Atlas V 501 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States AFSPC-5 (X-37B OTV-4) U.S. Air Force Low Earth Technology demonstration 7 May 2017 Operational
United States ULTRASat NASA Low Earth CubeSat Deployment In orbit Operational
United States Lightsail-A The Planetary Society Low Earth Technology demonstration 14 June 2015
17:23
Successful
United States USS Langley U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States BRICSat-P U.S. Naval Academy / George Washington Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States ParkinsonSat U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States GEARRS-2 Taylor Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States AeroCube-8A The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States AeroCube-8B The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States OptiCube 1 CalPoly Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States OptiCube 2 CalPoly Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States 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
Europe Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
United States DirecTV-15 DirecTV Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Mexico Sky Mexico 1 SKY Mexico Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational

June

5 June
15:23:54
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2505 (Kobalt-M) VKO Low Earth Reconnaissance 18 September 2015 Successful
23 June
01:51:58
Europe Vega France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe Sentinel-2A ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
23 June
16:44:00
Russia Soyuz-2.1b Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2506 (Persona) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
26 June
06:22:04
China Long March 4B China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Gaofen 8 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation / Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
28 June
14:21:11
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-7 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 28 June 2015 Launch Failure
United States Flock-1f × 8[11] 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.[10] 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.

July

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

August

19 August
11:50:49
Japan H-IIB Japan Tanegashima LA-Y2 Japan MHI
Japan HTV-5 JAXA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 29 September 2015 Successful
Brazil SERPENS University of Brasília / Brazilian Space Agency Low Earth Technology demonstration 27 March 2016 Successful
Japan S-CUBE Chiba Institute of Technology Low Earth Meteor observation 23 November 2016[13]
United States Flock-2b × 14[14] Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation First: 22 May 2016
Last: 17 October 2016
Successful
(12 deployed)
Denmark AAUSAT5 Aalborg Low Earth Technology demonstration 15 March 2016 Successful
Denmark GOMX-3 GomSpace Low Earth Technology demonstration 19 October 2016[15] 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.[12]
20 August
20:34:08
Europe Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
France Eutelsat 8 West B Eutelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
United States Intelsat 34 Intelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
27 August
02:31:35
China Long March 4C China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Yaogan 27 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
27 August
11:22:00
India GSLV Mk II India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-6 Indian Armed Forces/ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
28 August
11:44:00
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 Russia United States International Launch Services
United Kingdom Inmarsat 5-F3 Inmarsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational

September

2 September
04:37:43
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz TMA-18M Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 45/46/iriss[18] 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.[16] Japanese space tourist Satoshi Takamatsu was believed to be taking Brightman's place, but he declined and Roscosmos chose Aimbetov as an alternative instead.[17]
Landed with the Year in Space crew of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Korniyenko
2 September
10:18:00
United States Atlas V 551 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States MUOS-4 U.S. Navy Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
11 September
02:08:10
Russia Soyuz-STB / Fregat France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
European Union Galileo FOC 5 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
European Union Galileo FOC 6 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
12 September
15:42:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China TJS-1 CNSA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
14 September
04:42
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Gaofen 9 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation / Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
14 September
19:00:00
Russia Proton-M / Blok DM-03 Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 81/24 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Ekspress AM8 RSCC Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
19 September
23:01:14
China Long March 6 China Taiyuan LC-16 China CASC
China ZDPS-2A ZJU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China ZDPS-2B ZJU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2A CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2B CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2C CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2D CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2E CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2F CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
China XY-2 CASC Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China DCBB CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Education In orbit Operational
China LilacSat-2 HIT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Tiantuo-3 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China NUDT-Phone-Sat NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 1 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 2 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 3 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 4 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China NS-2 Tsinghua University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China ZJ-1 Tsinghua University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China 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
Russia Rokot / Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Site 133/3 Russia VKO
Russia Kosmos 2507 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
Russia Kosmos 2508 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
Russia Kosmos 2509 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
25 September
01:41:40
China Long March 11 China Jiuquan China CASC
China Pujiang-1 SAST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Tianwang 1A (Shankeda 2) ShanghaiTech Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Tianwang 1B (NJUST 2) NJUST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China Tianwang 1C (NJFA 1) ShanghaiTech Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Maiden flight of the Long March 11 vehicle.
28 September
04:30:00
India PSLV-XL India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
India Astrosat ISRO Low Earth X-ray astronomy In orbit Operational
Indonesia LAPAN-A2 LAPAN Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Canada ExactView 9 exactEarth Low Earth Maritime observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 1 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 2 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 3 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 4 NanoSatisfi Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
29 September
23:13:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-3 China CASC
China BeiDou I2-S CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
30 September
20:30:07
Europe Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Australia NBN-Co 1A (Sky Muster) NBN Co Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Argentina ARSAT-2 ARSAT Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational

October

1 October
16:49:40
Russia Soyuz-U Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Progress M-29M / 61P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 8 April 2016 Successful
2 October
10:28:00
United States Atlas V 421 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
Mexico Mexsat-2 SCT Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
7 October
04:13:04
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Jilin-1 Smart Verification Satellite[19] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Jilin-1 Optical-A[20] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Jilin-1 Video-01 (Lingqiao 1-01)[21] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Jilin-1 Video-02 (Lingqiao 1-02)[21] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
8 October
12:49:30
United States Atlas V 401 United States Vandenberg SLC-3E United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-264 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
United States USA-264 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
United States Aerocube-5c The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Aerocube-7 The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States SNaP-3 x 3 U.S. Army SMDC Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States PropCube x 2 Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States SINOD-D x 2 SRI International Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States ARC-1 UAF Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States BisonSat SKC Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States AMSAT Fox-1 AMSAT Low Earth Amateur radio / Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States LMRST-Sat NASA / JPL Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
NRO Launch 55
16 October
16:16:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
Hong Kong APStar-9 APT Satellite Holdings Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
16 October
20:40:11
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 Russia United States International Launch Services
Turkey Türksat 4B Türksat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
26 October
07:10:04
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Tianhui 1C CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (Cartography) In orbit Operational
31 October
16:13:00
United States Atlas V 401 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-265 (GPS IIF-11) U.S. Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational

November

3 November
16:25:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China ChinaSat 2C CNSA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
4 November
03:45:00
United States SPARK United States Pacific Missile Range Facility LP-41 United States ORS
United States HiakaSat ORS Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States EDSN x 8 NASA Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States PrintSat Montana State University Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States Argus St. Louis University and Vanderbilt University Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States STACEM Utah State University Low Earth Technology demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States 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
China Long March 4B China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Yaogan 28 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
10 November
21:34:07
Europe Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Saudi Arabia Arabsat 6B Arabsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
India GSAT-15 ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
17 November
06:33:41
Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2510 (EKS (Tundra)) VKO Molniya[23] Early warning In orbit Operational[24]
First space component for Russia's new unified missile early warning network.[22]
20 November
16:07:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
Laos LaoSat-1 Laos National Authority for Science and Technology Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First Laotian satellite[25]
24 November
06:50:00
Japan H-IIA 204 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Canada Telstar 12V Telesat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
26 November
21:24:04
China Long March 4C China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Yaogan 29 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

December

3 December
04:04:00
Europe Vega France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe LISA Pathfinder ESA / NASA Sun–Earth L1 Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
5 December
14:08:33
Russia Soyuz-2-1v / Volga Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2511 (Kanopus-ST) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 8 December 2015
05:43
Launch failure
Russia Kosmos 2512 (KYuA-1) Almaz-Antey Low Earth (SSO) Radar calibration In orbit Operational
Kanopus-ST failed to separate from the Volga upper stage.[26][27]
6 December
21:44:57
United States Atlas V 401 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States Cygnus CRS OA-4
S.S. Deke Slayton II
Orbital ATK / NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 20 February 2016 Successful
United States Flock-2e x 12 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States CADRE University of Michigan Low Earth Technology demonstration 3 January 2017[30] Successful
United States MinXSS 1 University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth Solar physics, Space weather 5 May 2017[31] Successful
United States Nodes x 2 NASA Low Earth Technology demonstration 23 September 2017[32] Successful
United States STMSat 1 St. Thomas More Cathedral School Low Earth Education 21 April 2017[33] Successful
United States SIMPL NovaWurks Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Flight moved from Antares 130 rocket following launch failure of Cygnus CRS Orb-3. Originally scheduled for 1 April 2015.[28] MinXSS was deployed into orbit from ISS on 16 May 2016.[29]
9 December
16:46:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China ChinaSat 1C CNSA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
11 December
13:45:33
Ukraine Zenit-3F Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 45/1 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Elektro-L No.2 Roscosmos Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
13 December
00:19:00
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 81/24 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Kosmos 2513 (Garpun No. 12L) VKO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
15 December
11:03:09
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia 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
India PSLV-CA India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
Singapore TeLEOS-1 AgilSpace Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Singapore VELOX C1 NTU Low Earth Atmospheric science In orbit Operational
Singapore VELOX 2 NTU Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Singapore Kent Ridge 1 NUS Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Singapore Galassia NUS Low Earth Atmospheric science In orbit Operational
Singapore Athenoxat-1 NTU Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
17 December
00:12:04
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China DAMPE CAS Low Earth (SSO) High-energy astronomy In orbit Operational
17 December
11:51:56
Russia Soyuz ST-B / Fregat France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
European Union Galileo FOC 8 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
European Union Galileo FOC 9 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
21 December
08:44:39
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 31/6 Russia Roscosmos
Russia 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
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States Orbcomm-2 F2 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F5 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F8 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F10 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F12 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F13 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F14 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F15 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F16 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F17 Orbcomm Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States 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
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Ekspress AMU1 RSCC Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
28 December
16:04:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China Gaofen 4 CNSA Geosynchronous Earth observation In orbit Operational

Suborbital flights

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
26 January
09:13
United States Terrier-Improved Malemute United States Poker Flat United States NASA
United States M-TEX Alaska Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~160 kilometres (99 mi)?
26 January
09:14
United States Terrier-Orion United States Poker Flat United States NASA
United States MIST Clemson Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~130 kilometres (81 mi)?
26 January
09:46
United States Terrier-Improved Malemute United States Poker Flat United States NASA
United States M-TEX Alaska Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~160 kilometres (99 mi)?
26 January
09:47
United States Terrier-Orion United States Poker Flat United States NASA
United States MIST Clemson Suborbital Auroral 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~130 kilometres (81 mi)?
28 January
10:41
United States Talos Terrier Oriole Nihka United States Poker Flat United States NASA
United States ASSP USU Suborbital Auroral 28 January Successful
Apogee: ~590 kilometres (370 mi)?
31 January
02:36:00[34]
India Agni V India Integrated Test Range Launch Complex IV India DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 31 January Successful
Apogee: ~800 kilometres (500 mi)
19 February India Prithvi II India Integrated Test Range Launch Complex 3 India DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 19 February Successful
Apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)
19 February
22:06
Brazil VS-30/Improved Orion Norway Andøya Norway Andøya
SwedenNorway ICI-4 (CanoRock 4) Oslo/Andøya Suborbital Technology 19 February Successful
Apogee: 365 kilometres (227 mi)
22 February
07:52
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange France CNES
France Cryofenix CNES Suborbital Microgravity 22 February Successful
Apogee: 265 kilometres (165 mi)
22 February United States UGM-133 Trident II D5 United States Submarine, Pacific Ocean United States US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 22 February Successful
22 February United States UGM-133 Trident II D5 United States Submarine, Pacific Ocean United States US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 22 February Successful
24 February
07:30
United States Terrier-Oriole United States Wallops Island United States TBD
DOD Suborbital Missile Defense Test 24 February Successful
FTX-19 target, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)?
24 February
07:30
United States Terrier-Oriole United States Wallops Island United States TBD
DOD Suborbital Missile Defense Test 24 February Successful
FTX-19 target, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)?
24 February
07:30
United States Terrier-Oriole United States Wallops Island United States TBD
DOD Suborbital Missile Defense Test 24 February Successful
FTX-19 target, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)?
25 February
12:26
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States MOSC 2 AFRL Suborbital Ionospheric research 25 February Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi)?
26 February Russia UR-100NU Russia Yasniy Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 26 February Launch failure[35]
Yu-71 Hypersonic Vehicle Test
5 March
01:44
Brazil VS-30 Norway Andøya Germany DLR
Germany WADIS-2 DLR Suborbital Atmospheric 5 March Successful
Apogee: 126 kilometres (78 mi), 13 Super Loki meteorological rockets were also launched
9 March Pakistan Shaheen-III Pakistan Sonmiani Pakistan ASFC
ASFC Suborbital Missile test 9 March Successful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)?
18 March Russia RS-26 Rubezh Russia Kapustin Yar Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 18 March Successful
23 March
10:36
United States LGM-30G Minuteman III United States Vandenberg LF-10 United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 23 March Successful
GT214GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
27 March
10:54
United States LGM-30G Minuteman III United States Vandenberg LF-04 United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 27 March Successful
GT215GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
30 March Brazil VSB-30 Norway Andøya Australia DSTO
AustraliaHiFire-7 DSTO Suborbital Technology demonstration 30 March Successful
9 April IndiaDhanush IndiaShip, Indian Ocean IndiaDRDO
DRDO Suborbital Target 9 April Successful
Apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)
15 April PakistanGhauri PakistanTilla PakistanArmy of Pakistan
PakistanHaft-5 Army of Pakistan Suborbital Missile test 15 April Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
16 April
04:22
IndiaAgni-III IndiaITR IC-4 IndiaIndian Army
Indian Army Suborbital Missile test 16 April Successful
Apogee: 350 kilometres (220 mi)
18 April
11:01
United States Terrier-Improved Malemute United States Wallops Island United States NASA
United States Rocksat-X University of Colorado Boulder Suborbital Student Research 18 April Successful
Apogee: ~174 kilometres (108 mi)
23 April
07:35
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange Europe EuroLaunch
Germany/Europe TEXUS-51 DLR/ESA Suborbital Microgravity 23 April Successful
Apogee: 261 kilometres (162 mi)
27 April
04:55
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange Europe EuroLaunch
Germany/Europe TEXUS-52 DLR/ESA Suborbital Microgravity 27 April Successful
Apogee: 255 kilometres (158 mi)
2 May
08:30:01
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States OGRESS University of Iowa Suborbital X-Ray Astronomy 2 May Successful
Apogee: 272 kilometres (169 mi)
20 May
10:37
United States LGM-30G Minuteman III United States Vandenberg LF-09 United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 20 May Successful
GT212GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
21 May
19:15
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United StatesNASA
United States 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 United States SM-3-IIA United States San Nicolas Island United States 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
United States Terrier-Improved Orion United States Wallops Island United States NASA
United States RockOn CU Boulder Suborbital Student experiments 25 June Successful
Apogee: 118 kilometres (73 mi)
26 June United States ARAV ? United States Kauai United States MDA
MDA Suborbital ABM target 26 June Launch failure
Aegis radar target
30 June
04:55
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange Europe EuroLaunch
Germany MAPHEUS-5 DLR Suborbital Technology demonstration 30 June Successful
Apogee: 252 kilometres (157 mi)
7 July
10:15
United States Black Brant IX United States Wallops Island United States NASA
United States SOAREX-8 NASA Suborbital Technology demonstration 7 July Successful
Apogee: 350 kilometres (220 mi)
29 July
08:30
United States ARAV ? United States Kauai United States 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
United States ARAV ? United States Kauai United States 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
United States Terrier-Improved Malemute United States Wallops Island United States NASA
United States Rocksat-X Various universities Suborbital Student Research 12 August Successful
Apogee: ~156km (97 miles).[36]
19 August
10:03
United States LGM-30G Minuteman III United States Vandenberg LF-10 United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 19 August Successful
GT213GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
22 August
15:13
Russia RS-12M Topol Russia Kapustin Yar Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 22 August Successful
27 August
17:45
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States MOSES-2 MSU Suborbital Solar astronomy 27 August Successful
Apogee: 185 miles (298 km)[37]
3 September
17:01
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United StatesJapanSpainNorwayFrance CLASP NASA / JAXA / IAC / IAS Suborbital Solar astronomy 3 September Successful
Apogee: 167 miles (269 km)[38]
11 September
11:00:00
Japan S-520 Japan Uchinoura Japan JAXA
Japan HU/UT/TU/JAXA Suborbital Microgravity 11 September Successful
Apogee: 312 km[39]
16 September
19:06
Canada Black Brant XI Norway Andøya United States NASA
United States CARE II NRL Suborbital Aeronomy 16 September Successful
Apogee: 299 kilometres (186 mi)
30 September
08:28
France M51 France Landes France 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
Brazil/United States VSB-30/Improved Orion Sweden Esrange Sweden Swedish Space Corporation
Sweden O-STATES 1 SNSB Suborbital Atmospheric Research 2 October Successful
Apogee: 246 kilometres (153 mi)
7 October
23:07:00
United States Black Brant IX United States Wallops Island United States NASA
United States Technology Test Flight NASA GSFC Suborbital Rocket motor test 7 October Successful
United States LEO-1 Orbital ATK Suborbital Materials Testing 7 October Successful
United States NNS NASA Suborbital Materials Testing 7 October Successful
Apogee: 257.5 kilometers (160mi).[40] 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
Brazil/United States VSB-30/Improved Orion Sweden Esrange Sweden Swedish Space Corporation
Sweden O-STATES 2 SNSB Suborbital Atmospheric Research 19 October Successful
Apogee: 244 kilometres (152 mi)
20 October United States Terrier-Orion United Kingdom South Uist, Hebrides United States MDA
DOD Suborbital Target 20 October Successful
SM-3 Target, apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)?
20 October United States SM-3 United States USS Ross (DDG-71), Hebrides Range United States US Navy
US Navy Suborbital ABM test 20 October Successful
ADS-15, first Aegis-Test in the North Atlantic, successful intercept, apogee: ~100 kilometres (62 mi)?
21 October
12:45:00
United States LGM-30G Minuteman III United States Vandenberg LF-04 United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 21 October Successful
GT216GM, Apogee: ~1,300 kilometres (810 mi) ?
28 October
11:30
Russia RS-24 Yars Russia Plesetsk Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 28 October Successful
30 October Russia RS-12M Topol Russia Plesetsk Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful
30 October Russia R-29RMU Sineva Russia K-117 Bryansk, Barents Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful
30 October Russia R-29R Volna Russia K-223 Podolsk, Sea of Okhotsk Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 30 October Successful
31 October
23:00 ?
China B-611 China Shuangchengzi ChinaPLA
PLA Suborbital ABM target 31 October Successful
Target
31 October
23:00 ?
China SC-19 China Korla China PLA
PLA Suborbital ABM test 31 October Successful
Interceptor, successful intercept
1 November
03:05
United States SRALT United States C-17, Pacific Ocean United States MDA
United States FTO-02 Event 2a MDA Suborbital THAAD target 1 November Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi), successful intercepted
1 November
03:07
United States THAAD United States Wake Island United States US Army
United States FTO-02 Event 2a US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM test 1 November Successful
Intercepted target missile, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
1 November
03:10
United States eMRBM United States C-17, Pacific Ocean United States MDA
United States FTO-02 Event 2a MDA Suborbital THAAD target 1 November Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi), successful intercepted
1 November
03:12
United States THAAD United States Wake Island United States US Army
United States FTO-02 Event 2a US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM test 1 November Successful
Intercepted target missile, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
6 November
15:01
United States SpaceLoft XL United States Spaceport America United States UP Aerospace
United States 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.[41]
8 November
02:00
United StatesUGM-133 Trident II D5 United StatesUSS Kentucky, Pacific Ocean United StatesUS Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 8 November Successful
Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 26 (DASO-26)
9 November
04:15
India Agni-IV India Integrated Test Range India DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile Test 9 November Successful
Apogee: ~850 kilometres (530 mi)?
9 November
20:00
United StatesUGM-133 Trident II D5 United StatesUSS Kentucky, Pacific Ocean United StatesUS Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 9 November Successful
Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 26 (DASO-26)
14 November Russia RSM-56 Bulava Russia K-551 Vladimir Monomakh, White Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 14 November Successful
14 November Russia RSM-56 Bulava Russia K-551 Vladimir Monomakh, White Sea Russia 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
Russia RS-12M Topol Russia Kapustin Yar Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 17 November Successful
21 November Iran Ghadr-1 Iran Semnan ? Iran IRGC
Iran IGRC Suborbital Missile test 21 November Successful
apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
23 November
17:21
United States New Shepard United States Corn Ranch United States Blue Origin
United States 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
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States PICTURE-B UMass Suborbital Astronomy 25 November Successful
apogee: 217 kilometres (135 mi)
30 November
07:25
United States Talos Terrier Oriole Nihka Norway Andøya United States NASA
United States CAPER Dartmouth College Suborbital Auroral research 30 November Launch failure
Third stage failure, payload recovered
1 December
05:00
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange Europe EuroLaunch
Sweden MASER-13 SSC Suborbital Microgravity 1 December Successful
apogee: 270 kilometres (170 mi)
5 December
04:45
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States DXL-2 U of M Suborbital Astronomy 5 December Successful
apogee: 224 kilometres (139 mi)
8 December United States SM-3-IIA United States San Nicolas Island United States 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
Israel Silver Sparrow Israel F-15 Eagle, Israel Israel IAF
IAI/IDF Suborbital ABM target 10 December Successful
Arrow-3 target, successfully intercepted, apogee: ~150 kilometres (93 mi)
10 December
06:15
Israel Arrow III Israel Negev Israel 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 United States SRALT United States C-17, Pacific Ocean United States MDA
United States FTO-02 Event 1a MDA Suborbital SM-3-IB target 10 December Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi), successful intercepted
10 December United States SM-3-IB United States Kauai United States 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
United States Juno United States Fort Wingate LC-96 United States US Army
US Army Suborbital Target 10 December Successful
Target for MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 MSE test, successfully intercepted
11 December Pakistan Shaheen-III Pakistan Sonmiani Pakistan ASFC
ASFC Suborbital Missile test 11 December Successful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)?
12 December Russia R-29RMU Sineva Russia K-51 Verkhoturye, Barents Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 12 December Successful
13 December
04:32
Canada Black Brant XIIA Norway Andøya United States NASA
United States RENU 2 New Hampshire Suborbital Geospace 13 December Successful
Apogee: 447 kilometres (278 mi)
15 December Pakistan Shaheen-IA Pakistan Sonmiani Pakistan ASFC
ASFC Suborbital Missile test 15 December Successful
18 December
06:52
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States FORTIS JHU Suborbital UV Astronomy 18 December Successful
apogee: 282 kilometres (175 mi)
24 December
17:55
Russia RS-12M Topol Russia Kapustin Yar Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 24 December Successful

Deep space rendezvous

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[42] 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[43] 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[44] 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[45] Hayabusa2 Flyby of Earth Gravity assist
3 December[46] PROCYON Flyby of Earth Gravity assist en route to cancelled asteroid flyby.
4 December[47] Shin'en 2 Flyby of Earth Gravity assist
7 December[48] 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)

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

ISS Quest

United States Barry E. Wilmore

United States 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.[49]
25 February
11:51
6 hours
43 minutes
18:34 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

United States Barry E. Wilmore

United States 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.[50][51]
1 March
11:52
5 hours
38 minutes
17:30 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

United States Terry W. Virts

United States 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.[52][53]
10 August
14:20
5 hours
31 minutes
19:51 Expedition 44/45

ISS Pirs

Russia Gennady Padalka

Russia 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.[54][55]
28 October
12:03
7 hours
16 minutes
19:19 Expedition 45

ISS Quest

United States Scott Kelly

United States 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.[56]
6 November
11:22
7 hours
48 minutes
19:10 Expedition 45

ISS Quest

United States Scott Kelly

United States 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.[57]
21 December
13:45
3 hours
16 minutes
16:01 Expedition 46

ISS Quest

United States Scott Kelly

United States 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.[58]

Space debris events

Date/Time (UTC) Source object Event type Pieces tracked Remarks
3 February 17:40[59] DMSP 5D-2/F13 (USA-109) Satellite breakup 159[60] The breakup was most likely caused by a battery explosion.[59][61] This satellite had been launched in 1995. Another satellite from the same series, DMSP 5D-2/F11, had broken up in 2004.[59] Debris are expected to remain in orbit for decades.[62]
25 November 7:20[63] NOAA-16 Satellite breakup 275[64] 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).[65]
22 December 16:00[66] Briz-M upper stage Booster explosion 9[66] 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.[66] Three other Briz-M upper stages had exploded earlier in 2007, 2010 and 2012.[67]

Orbital launch statistics

By country

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: 20Circle frame.svg
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 3 Soyuz launches from Kourou
 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 rocket

By family

By type

By configuration

By spaceport

5
10
15
20
China
France
India
Iran
Japan
Kazakhstan
Russia
United States
Site Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Baikonur  Kazakhstan 18 16 2 0
Barking Sands  United States 1 0 1 0
Cape Canaveral  United States 17 16 1 0
Dombarovsky  Russia 1 1 0 0
Kourou  France 12 12 0 0
Jiuquan  China 5 5 0 0
Plesetsk  Russia 7 6 0 1
Satish Dhawan  India 5 5 0 0
Semnan  Iran 1 1 0 0
Taiyuan  China 5 5 0 0
Tanegashima  Japan 4 4 0 0
Vandenberg  United States 2 2 0 0
Xichang  China 9 9 0 0
Total 87 82 4 1

By orbit

  •   Transatmospheric
  •   Low Earth
  •   Low Earth (ISS)
  •   Low Earth (SSO)
  •   Low Earth (retrograde)
  •   Geosychronous
    (transfer)
  •   Medium Earth
  •   High Earth
  •   Heliocentric
Orbital regime Launches Achieved Not achieved Accidentally
achieved
Remarks
Transatmospheric 1 1 0 0
Low Earth 45 42 2 1 14 to ISS (1 launch failure, 1 failure post-separation)
Geosynchronous/transfer 32 31 1 0
Medium Earth 7 7 0 0
High Earth 2 2 0 0
Total 87 83 3 1

Gallery

References

Generic references:
RocketSunIcon.svg Spaceflight portal
  • Bergin, Chris. "NASASpaceFlight.com".
  • Clark, Stephen. "Spaceflight Now".
  • Kelso, T.S. "Satellite Catalog (SATCAT)". CelesTrak.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Chronology of Space Launches".
  • Kyle, Ed. "Space Launch Report".
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "Jonathan's Space Report".
  • Pietrobon, Steven. "Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive".
  • Wade, Mark. "Encyclopedia Astronautica".
  • Webb, Brian. "Southwest Space Archive".
  • Zak, Anatoly. "Russian Space Web".
  • "ISS Calendar". Spaceflight 101.
  • "NSSDCA Master Catalog". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • "Space Calendar". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • "Space Information Center". JAXA.
  • "Хроника освоения космоса" [Chronicle of space exploration]. CosmoWorld (in Russian).

Footnotes

  1. ^ Clockwise from top:
  2. ^ The European experimental spaceplane IXV was briefly in orbit but did not receive a COSPAR catalog number.
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