1959 in spaceflight

Luna 1 was the first spacecraft to leave the gravitational influence of Earth. Also in 1959, Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of another celestial body, impacting the Moon, and Luna 3 returned the first images of the far side of the Moon.

1959 in spaceflight
Orbital launches
First2 January
Last26 November
Total23
Successes10
Failures11
Partial failures2
Catalogued14
Rockets
Maiden flightsThor-Agena
Atlas-Able
Atlas D (suborbital test)
RetirementsVanguard

Launches

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

January

2 January
16:41:21
Luna 8K72 Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
Mechta (Luna 1/E1-4) MVS Intended: HEO to Lunar impact
Achieved: Heliocentric
Lunar impactorIn orbitLaunch failure
Missed Moon due to premature cutoff of upper stage caused by control system malfunction. First spacecraft to be placed in Heliocentric orbit.
10 January
11:00
A-1 Ostrov Kheysa MVS
MVS Suborbital Ionospheric
Aeronomy
10 JanuarySuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
16 January
04:00
SM-65B Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-14 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test16 JanuaryLaunch failure
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
19 January
15:42
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test19 JanuaryLaunch failure
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
22 January
00:10
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-5 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test22 JanuarySuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
23 January Thor DM-18 Able-II Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
RVX-1 US Air Force Suborbital REV test23 JanuaryLaunch failure
27 January
17:00
Daniel CERES ONERA
ONERA Suborbital Aeronomy27 JanuarySuccessful
Apogee: 127 kilometres (79 mi)
27 January
23:34
SM-65C Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-12 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test27 JanuarySuccessful
Apogee: 990 kilometres (620 mi)
28 January Nike-Cajun Wallops Island ARPA
Beacon Test 4 ARPA/NASA Suborbital Technology28 JanuarySuccessful
Apogee: 122 kilometres (76 mi)
30 January
22:53
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test30 JanuarySuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)

February

4 February
08:01
SM-65B Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-11 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test4 FebruarySuccessful
Apogee: 990 kilometres (620 mi), final flight of Atlas B
5 February
14:45
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 5 FebruarySuccessful
Apogee: 212 kilometres (132 mi)
6 February
21:22
HGM-25A Titan I Cape Canaveral LC-15 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test6 FebruarySuccessful
Maiden flight of Titan I, battleship second stage, apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
17 February
15:55
Vanguard Cape Canaveral LC-18A US Navy
Vanguard 2 (20in Cloud Cover 2)[1] NRL Medium Earth AtmosphericIn orbitPartial spacecraft failure
Transmitted data for 19 days, poor quality data returned due to uncontrolled rotation of spacecraft
20 February
05:38
SM-65C Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-12 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test20 FebruaryLaunch failure
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
25 February
19:45
HGM-25A Titan I Cape Canaveral LC-15 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test25 FebruarySuccessful
Battleship second stage, apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
27 February
15:44
Aerobee Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Solar27 FebruarySuccessful
Apogee: 210 kilometres (130 mi)
27 February
19:16
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test27 FebruaryLaunch failure
Apogee: 2 kilometres (1.2 mi)
27 February
23:50
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test28 FebruarySuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
28 February
07:58
Thor DM-18 Able-II Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
RVX-1 US Air Force Suborbital REV test28 FebruarySuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
28 February
21:41:16
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-4 US Air Force
Discoverer 1 (KH-1 prototype) CIA DST Low Earth (Polar) Technology6 MarchSuccessful
Maiden flight of Thor-Agena, first spacecraft to be placed in polar orbit

March

3 March
05:10:56
Juno II Cape Canaveral LC-5 ABMA
Pioneer 4 NASA/ABMA Heliocentric Lunar flybyIn orbitPartial launch failure
Second stage burned for longer than planned, resulting in more distant flyby than planned[2]
3 March Trailblazer 1 Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital REV test3 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 260 kilometres (160 mi)
4 March
11:14
Skylark-2 Woomera LA-2 RAE
RAE
UCL
Queen's
Suborbital Aeronomy4 MarchLaunch failure
Apogee: 30 kilometres (19 mi)
7 March
19:34
Véronique Hammaguir Blandine CASDN
CASDN Suborbital Aeronomy7 MarchLaunch failure
Apogee: 35 kilometres (22 mi), released sodium
10 March
18:40
Véronique Hammaguir Blandine CASDN
CASDN Suborbital Aeronomy10 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 124 kilometres (77 mi), released sodium
12 March
05:44
Véronique Hammaguir Blandine CASDN
CASDN Suborbital Aeronomy12 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 174 kilometres (108 mi), released sodium
12 March
10:50
Black Knight 201 Woomera LA-5A RAE
RAE Suborbital Test flight12 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 537 kilometres (334 mi)
12 March
15:44
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 12 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 210 kilometres (130 mi)
13 March
13:50
Aerobee-150 (Hi) White Sands LC-35 US Navy
NRL Suborbital 13 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 170 kilometres (110 mi)
17 March
01:46
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test17 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
17 March Honest John-Nike-Nike-20"SM Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Test flight17 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 1,380 kilometres (860 mi)
19 March
00:59
SM-65C Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-12 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test19 MarchLaunch failure
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
21 March
06:19
Thor DM-18 Able-II Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
RVX-1 US Air Force Suborbital REV test21 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
22 March
00:58
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test22 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
25 March
05:25
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test25 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
27 March
04:02
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test27 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
30 March
15:01
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 30 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 201 kilometres (125 mi)
30 March
16:45
Aerobee-150 (Hi) White Sands LC-35 US Navy
NRL Suborbital 30 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 238 kilometres (148 mi)
30 March
22:53
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test30 MarchLaunch failure
Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
30 March R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test30 MarchSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)

April

3 April
17:11
HGM-25A Titan I Cape Canaveral LC-15 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test3 AprilSuccessful
Battleship second stage, apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
4 April
00:34
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test4 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
4 April WS-199B Bold Orion II B-47, Cape Canaveral US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test4 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
7 April
14:46
Aerobee-150 (Hi) White Sands LC-35 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 7 AprilLaunch failure
Apogee: 317 kilometres (197 mi)
8 April
06:35
Thor DM-18 Able-II Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
RVX-1 US Air Force Suborbital REV test8 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 1,230 kilometres (760 mi)
11 April R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test11 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
13 April
21:18:39
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-4 US Air Force
Discoverer 2 (KH-1 prototype) CIA DST Low Earth Technology26 AprilPartial spacecraft failure
Capsule recovery failed due to timer error. May have been recovered by the Soviet Union, inspiring plot of 1963 Alistair MacLean novel Ice Station Zebra
14 April
02:49:46
Vanguard Cape Canaveral LC-18A US Navy
20in Radiation Balance 1[1] NRL Intended: Medium Earth Radiation14 AprilLaunch failure
Vanguard Balloon[1] NRL Intended: Medium Earth Air density
Second stage damaged during separation, failed to reach orbit, first launch of multiple satellites on a single rocket
14 April
21:46
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test14 AprilLaunch failure
Apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)
14 April R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test14 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
15 April
14:46
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 15 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
16 April
20:46
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-2-8 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test16 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
20 April
15:30
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test20 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
21 April
01:05
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 21 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 235 kilometres (146 mi)
22 April
19:29
Nike-Cajun Holloman US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Ionospheric22 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
23 April
05:30
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test23 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
25 April
05:00
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test25 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
29 April R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test29 AprilSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)

May

1 May Terrier-ASROC-Cajun Point Arguello US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Test flight1 MayLaunch failure
2 May OPd-56-39-22D (Antares) CERES ONERA
ONERA Suborbital REV test2 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
4 May
18:30
HGM-25A Titan I Cape Canaveral LC-15 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test4 MaySuccessful
Battleship second stage, apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
5 May
01:45
Aerobee AJ10-34 White Sands LC-35 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy5 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 113 kilometres (70 mi)
7 May
01:47
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test7 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
8 May
19:28
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test8 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
9 May
18:59
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test9 MayLaunch failure
Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
12 May
11:39
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 12 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 145 kilometres (90 mi)
12 May
17:35
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test12 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
12 May R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test12 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
14 May
05:52
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-5 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test14 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
14 May R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test14 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
15 May
22:10
Arcon Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Test flight15 MayLaunch failure
Apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)
15 May R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test15 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
18 May
23:16
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test18 MayLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
19 May
04:30
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-14 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test19 MayLaunch failure
Apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)
21 May
06:40
Thor DM-18 Able-II Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
RVX-1 US Air Force Suborbital REV test21 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
22 May
11:15
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 22 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
23 May
02:42
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test23 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
27 May
04:51
Nike-Cajun White Sands US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy27 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 169 kilometres (105 mi)
27 May
19:55
Nike-Cajun White Sands US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy27 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 177 kilometres (110 mi)
28 May
07:35:02
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
Bioflight 2 US Air Force Suborbital Biological
Missile test
28 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 483 kilometres (300 mi)
30 May
21:42
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test30 MayLaunch failure
Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
30 May R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test30 MaySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
May Long Tom Woomera LA-2 WRE
WRE Suborbital Aeronomy Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)

June

2 June R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test2 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
3 June
20:09:20
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-4 US Air Force
Discoverer 3 (KH-1 Prototype) CIA DST Intended: Low Earth Technology3 JuneLaunch failure
Loss of signal after upper stage ignition
5 June
04:15
Trailblazer 1 Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital REV test6 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 260 kilometres (160 mi)
6 June
17:39
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test6 JuneLaunch failure
Apogee: 80 kilometres (50 mi)
8 June WS-199B Bold Orion I B-47, Cape Canaveral US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test8 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
9 June
20:34
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test9 JuneLaunch failure
Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
10 June
16:40
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 10 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 225 kilometres (140 mi)
11 June
06:44
Thor DM-18 Able-II Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
RVX-1 US Air Force Suborbital REV test11 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
11 June
13:03
Black Knight 201 Woomera LA-5A RAE
RAE Suborbital Test flight11 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 803 kilometres (499 mi)
12 June
18:57
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test12 JuneLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
15 June R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test15 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
16 June
21:45
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-2-7 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test16 JuneLaunch failure
Guidance system failed to engage as remove before flight safety wires had not been removed. Vehicle ascended vertically before being destroyed by range safety.[3]
17 June R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test17 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
18 June
08:08
Luna 8K72 Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
Luna-E1A-1 MVS Intended: Heliocentric Lunar impactor18 JuneLaunch failure
Internal guidance system failed 153 seconds after launch
19 June WS-199B Bold Orion I B-47, Cape Canaveral US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test19 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
21 June R-5V Pobeda Kapustin Yar AN
AN Suborbital Solar21 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 400 kilometres (250 mi)
22 June
14:32
Aerobee Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Solar22 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 110 kilometres (68 mi)
22 June
20:16:09
Vanguard Cape Canaveral LC-18A US Navy
20in Radiation Balance[1] NRL Intended: Medium Earth Radiation22 JuneLaunch failure
Second stage propulsion system malfunctioned, failed to reach orbit
23 June
01:26
Skylark-1 Woomera LA-2 RAE
RAE Suborbital Test flight23 JuneLaunch failure
Apogee: 91 kilometres (57 mi)
24 June
12:10
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Holloman LC-A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 24 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
25 June
22:47:45
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-5 US Air Force
Discoverer 4 (KH-1 9001) CIA DST Intended: Low Earth Optical imaging25 JuneLaunch failure
Upper stage underperformed, failed to reach orbit
26 June PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test26 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
26 June Terrier-ASROC-Cajun Point Arguello US Navy
US Navy Suborbital 26 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
29 June
11:33
Black Knight 201 Woomera LA-5A RAE
RAE Suborbital Test flight29 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 442 kilometres (275 mi)
30 June
02:37
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test30 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
29 June
15:42
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test29 JuneSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
June R-13 Kapustin Yar VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test Successful
Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)

July

2 July
06:40
R-2 Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital 2 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 220 kilometres (140 mi)
7 July
11:15
Javelin Wallops Island US Air Force
AFSWC Suborbital Test flight7 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 1,045 kilometres (649 mi)
10 July
01:01
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test10 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
10 July
04:47
R-2 Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital 10 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
14 July
03:40
R-2 Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital 14 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 203 kilometres (126 mi)
14 July
17:45
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
NASA Suborbital Solar14 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
15 July
16:59
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test15 JulyLaunch failure
Apogee: 2 kilometres (1.2 mi)
16 July
17:37:03
Juno II Cape Canaveral LC-5 ABMA
Explorer S-6 NASA Intended: Low Earth Scientific+5.5 secondsLaunch failure
Destroyed by range safety after rocket went out of control
17 July
17:40
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital 17 JulyLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
18 July
18:15
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test18 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
20 July R-11A Zemlya Kapustin Yar AN
AN Suborbital 20 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
21 July
02:00
R-11A Zemlya Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital 21 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)
21 July
05:22
SM-65C Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-12 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test21 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 900 kilometres (560 mi)
21 July
07:33
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test21 JulyLaunch failure
Apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)
21 July
14:00
Aerobee-150 (Hi) White Sands LC-35 US Navy
NRL Suborbital 21 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 197 kilometres (122 mi)
21 July
14:00
R-11A Zemlya Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital 21 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)
21 July R-2 Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital 21 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 105 kilometres (65 mi)
21 July Javelin Wallops Island US Air Force
AFSWC Suborbital Test flight21 JulyLaunch failure
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
22 July
01:14
R-11A Zemlya Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital 22 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 211 kilometres (131 mi)
24 July
12:47
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test24 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
24 July
16:34
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Solar24 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 227 kilometres (141 mi)
24 July R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test24 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
25 July R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test25 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
26 July R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test26 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
28 July R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test28 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
29 July
04:10
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-11 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test29 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
30 July
04:00
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test30 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
31 July R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test31 JulySuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)

August

3 August
21:41
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-1-1 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test3 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
6 August
02:48
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test6 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
6 August UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test6 AugustLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
7 August
14:24:20
Thor DM-18 Able-III Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
Explorer 6 US Air Force Highly elliptical Radiation
Imaging
30 June 1961Successful
7 August
17:05
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Solar7 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 225 kilometres (140 mi)
7 August R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test7 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
7 August Arcon Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Test flight7 AugustLaunch failure
Apogee: 20 kilometres (12 mi)
7 August Arcon Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Test flight7 AugustLaunch failure
Apogee: 50 kilometres (31 mi)
7 August Arcon Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Test flight7 AugustLaunch failure
Apogee: 104 kilometres (65 mi)
11 August
18:01
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test11 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
12 August Terrier-ASROC-Cajun Point Arguello US Navy
US Navy Suborbital 12 AugustLaunch failure
13 August
19:00:08
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-4 US Air Force
Discoverer 5 (KH-1 9002) CIA DST Low Earth Optical imaging11 February 1961Spacecraft failure
Electrical system malfunction. Deorbit burn conducted in incorrect direction, raising orbit
13 August
23:14
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test13 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
13 August R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test13 AugustLaunch failure
14 August
09:00
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test14 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
14 August
16:00
HGM-25A Titan I Cape Canaveral LC-19 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test+0 secondsLaunch failure
First all-up test of Titan I, hold-down bolts released prematurely, rocket exploded on launch pad[4]
14 August
16:00
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Solar14 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 237 kilometres (147 mi)
14 August
19:30
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25B US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test14 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
14 August
19:36:04
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-2-6 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test14 AugustLaunch failure
15 August
00:31:00
Juno II Cape Canaveral LC-26B ABMA
Beacon 2 NASA/US Army Intended: Low Earth Technology15 AugustLaunch failure
Premature cutoff of first stage, failed to reach orbit
17 August
09:18
Nike-Asp Wallops Island NASA
US Navy Suborbital Aeronomy17 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 236 kilometres (147 mi), released sodium
19 August
00:20
Skylark-2 Woomera LA-2 RAE
UCL Suborbital Ionospheric19 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 144 kilometres (89 mi)
19 August
00:34
Nike-Asp Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Aeronomy19 AugustLaunch failure
Apogee: 30 kilometres (19 mi), released sodium
19 August
19:24:44
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-5 US Air Force
Discoverer 6 (KH-1 9003) CIA DST Low Earth Optical imaging20 OctoberSpacecraft failure
Retrorocket malfunctioned
22 August
00:45
Aerobee-150 (Hi) White Sands LC-35 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 22 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 230 kilometres (140 mi)
22 August
02:30
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Solar22 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
24 August
15:33
SM-65C Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-12 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test24 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 1,400 kilometres (870 mi)
24 August
22:47
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital 24 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
25 August UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test25 AugustLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
26 August
17:35
Nike-Zeus A White Sands LC-38 US Army
US Army Suborbital Test flight26 AugustLaunch failure
26 August R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test26 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
27 August
01:30
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-5 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test27 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
27 August
16:57
UGM-27 Polaris AX USNS Observation Island, ETR US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test27 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
28 August
16:10
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Solar28 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 214 kilometres (133 mi)
27 August
12:30
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test27 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
28 August
18:45
Aerobee-150 (Hi) White Sands LC-35 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital 28 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 235 kilometres (146 mi)
28 August R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test28 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
31 August
22:53
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
Sunflare II US Navy Suborbital Solar31 AugustSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)

September

1 September
01:01
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Solar1 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
1 September
19:00
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital 1 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 210 kilometres (130 mi)
2 September
00:03
Nike-Asp Point Arguello LC-A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Solar2 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
2 September R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test2 SeptemberLaunch failure
5 September
15:27
Black Brant I Churchill CARDE
CARDE Suborbital Test flight5 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi), maiden flight of Black Brant
5 September R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test5 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
8 September
15:14
Black Brant I Churchill CARDE
CARDE Suborbital Test flight8 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 130 kilometres (81 mi)
9 September
08:19
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-14 US Air Force
Big Joe 1 NASA Suborbital Test flight08:32Partial launch failure
Apogee: 153 kilometres (95 mi), Boilerplate Mercury test, booster engines failed to separate, spacecraft recovered
9 September
17:50:42
SM-65D Atlas Vandenberg LC-576A-2 SAC
SAC Suborbital Missile test9 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
10 September
21:48
Black Brant I Churchill CARDE
CARDE Suborbital Test flight10 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 127 kilometres (79 mi)
11 September
19:12
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Churchill NASA
NASA Suborbital 11 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 227 kilometres (141 mi)
12 September
06:39:42
Luna 8K72 Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
Luna 2 (E-1A-2) MVS Heliocentric Lunar impactor14 September
22:02
Successful
First spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon
12 September PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test12 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
14 September
17:27
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Churchill NASA
NASA Suborbital 14 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 218 kilometres (135 mi)
15 September
21:45
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
Bioflight 3 US Air Force Suborbital Biological
Missile test
15 SeptemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
15 September R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test15 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
15 September Aerobee White Sands LC-35 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight15 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
17 September
00:12
Skylark-2 Woomera LA-2 RAE
Birmingham
UCL
Suborbital Ionospheric
Solar
17 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 132 kilometres (82 mi)
17 September
02:09
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test17 SeptemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
17 September
14:34
Thor DM-18 Able-II Cape Canaveral LC-17A US Air Force
Transit 1A US Air Force Intended: Low Earth Navigation
Technology
17 SeptemberLaunch failure
Third stage malfunctioned
17 September
18:37
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Churchill NASA
DRTE.01 NASA Suborbital Ionospheric17 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 256 kilometres (159 mi)
17 September
21:09
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-1-2 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test17 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
18 September
05:20:07
Vanguard/Altair Cape Canaveral LC-18A US Navy
Vanguard 3 (20in MXE)[1] NRL Medium Earth ScientificIn orbitPartial launch failure
Final flight of Vanguard rocket, satellite failed to separate from carrier rocket, otherwise successful, spacecraft operated until 11 December
18 September
16:02
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test18 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
18 September
16:55
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy18 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
20 September
17:35
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Churchill NASA
DRTE.02 NASA Suborbital Ionospheric20 SeptemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
21 September UGM-27 Polaris A1 Cape Canaveral LC-29A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test21 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
22 September
18:00
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test22 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
22 September Aerobee-100 White Sands LC-35 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight22 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 110 kilometres (68 mi)
24 September
00:29
Skylark-2 Woomera LA-2 RAE
Birmingham
UCL
Suborbital Ionospheric24 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 158 kilometres (98 mi)
25 September R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test25 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
28 September R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test28 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
28 September UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test28 SeptemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
29 September
10:59
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy29 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 124 kilometres (77 mi)
30 September
10:57
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy30 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 122 kilometres (76 mi)
30 September Terrier-Asp Point Arguello US Navy
US Navy Suborbital 30 SeptemberSuccessful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)

October

1 October
01:28
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-6 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test1 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
1 October
10:49
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy1 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 138 kilometres (86 mi)
2 October
11:00
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy2 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 143 kilometres (89 mi)
2 October
18:11
UGM-27 Polaris AX Cape Canaveral LC-25A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test2 OctoberLaunch failure
Apogee: 2 kilometres (1.2 mi)
3 October
11:03
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy3 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 122 kilometres (76 mi)
4 October
00:43:39
Luna 8K72 Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
Luna 3 (E-2A-1) MVS High Earth Lunar flyby29 April 1960Successful
Placed on a circumlunar trajectory, returned first images of the far side of the Moon
5 October
11:01
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy5 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 127 kilometres (79 mi)
6 October
05:55
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-11 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test6 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
6 October
16:41
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test6 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
6 October
18:26
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-2-8 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test6 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
8 October R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test8 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
9 October
08:40
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy9 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 143 kilometres (89 mi)
9 October
11:17
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy9 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 143 kilometres (89 mi)
9 October R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test9 OctoberLaunch failure
9 October R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test9 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
10 October
03:10
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test10 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
10 October
12:00
Aerobee AJ10-34 White Sands LC-35 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Meteorite research10 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 111 kilometres (69 mi)
12 October
09:00
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy12 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 123 kilometres (76 mi)
12 October
10:12
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy12 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 123 kilometres (76 mi)
12 October
18:18
UGM-27 Polaris A1 Cape Canaveral LC-29A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test12 OctoberLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
13 October
11:17
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy13 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 116 kilometres (72 mi)
13 October
15:30:04
Juno II Cape Canaveral LC-5 ABMA
Explorer 7 (S-1A) NASA Low Earth ScientificIn orbitSuccessful
Broadcast data until 24 August 1961
13 October WS-199B Bold Orion II B-47, Cape Canaveral US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test13 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
14 October
04:15
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test14 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
15 October
11:05
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy15 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 122 kilometres (76 mi)
16 October
11:17
Nike-Cajun Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy16 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 139 kilometres (86 mi)
15 October R-11A Zemlya Ostrov Kheysa AN
AN Suborbital 15 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
15 October R-11A Zemlya Ostrov Kheysa AN
AN Suborbital 15 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
20 October
14:25
Aerobee AJ10-34 White Sands US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Ionospheric20 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 113 kilometres (70 mi)
21 October
22:57
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-1-1 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test21 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
22 October
03:20
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26A US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test22 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
22 October
17:30
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test22 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
22 October OPd-56-39-22D (Antares) CERES ONERA
ONERA Suborbital REV test22 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
24 October R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test24 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
25 October
17:32
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test25 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
25 October
17:44
Aerobee-300 Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force/Utah Suborbital Ionospheric25 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 386 kilometres (240 mi)
26 October
17:00
Nike-Cajun Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Ionospheric26 AugustLaunch failure
27 October R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test27 OctoberLaunch failure
28 October
14:47
Aerobee-300 Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force/Utah Suborbital Ionospheric28 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 135 kilometres (84 mi)
28 October
22:40
Shotput Wallops Island NASA
Echo E60 NASA/ARPA Suborbital Technology28 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 400 kilometres (250 mi)
29 October
02:12
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test29 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
29 October
07:20
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-11 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test29 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
30 October
11:49
Black Knight 201 Woomera LA-5A RAE
RAE Suborbital REV test30 OctoberSuccessful
Apogee: 732 kilometres (455 mi)

November

1 November
21:23
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test1 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
3 November PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test3 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
4 November
21:37
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test4 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
5 November
00:38
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-6 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test5 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
6 November
07:25
Aerobee-150 (Hi) White Sands LC-35 US Navy
NRL Suborbital Aeronomy6 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 142 kilometres (88 mi)
6 November
16:36
Aerobee-300 Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force/Utah Suborbital Ionospheric6 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 393 kilometres (244 mi)
7 November
20:28:41
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-4 US Air Force
Discoverer 7 (KH-1 9004) CIA DST Low Earth Optical imaging26 NovemberSpacecraft failure
Satellite tumbled out of control
10 November
12:00
Strongarm Wallops Island US Army
BRL Suborbital Ionospheric10 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi), maiden flight of Strongarm
12 November
19:24
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-1-2 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test12 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
14 November
22:38
Aerobee-300 Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy14 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 138 kilometres (86 mi)
18 November
19:30
Nike-Asp Elgin US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Ionospheric18 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 206 kilometres (128 mi)
18 November
22:17
Nike-Asp Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Aeronomy18 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi), released sodium
18 November Strongarm Wallops Island US Army
BRL Suborbital Ionospheric18 NovemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 20 kilometres (12 mi)
19 November
01:31
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test19 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
19 November
07:44
Aerobee-150 (Hi) Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Ionospheric19 NovemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 106 kilometres (66 mi)
19 November
10:36
Nike-Cajun Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy19 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 119 kilometres (74 mi)
19 November
10:51
Nike-Asp Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Aeronomy19 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 255 kilometres (158 mi), released sodium
19 November PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test19 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
20 November
10:51
Nike-Asp Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Aeronomy20 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 236 kilometres (147 mi), released sodium
20 November
17:11
UGM-27 Polaris A1 Cape Canaveral LC-29A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test20 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
20 November
18:16
Nike-Cajun Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Aeronomy20 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 119 kilometres (74 mi)
20 November
19:25:24
Thor DM-18 Agena-A Vandenberg LC-75-3-5 US Air Force
Discoverer 8 (KH-1 9005) CIA DST Low Earth Optical imaging8 March 1960Launch failure
Inserted into useless orbit with greater eccentricity than planned
20 November
21:06
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test20 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
22 November
18:35
Aerobee-300 Churchill US Air Force
US Air Force/Utah Suborbital Ionospheric22 NovemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 35 kilometres (22 mi)
24 November
19:48
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test24 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
26 November
07:26
Atlas-Able Cape Canaveral LC-14 US Air Force
Pioneer P-3 NASA Intended: Selenocentric Lunar orbiter+45 secondsLaunch failure
Payload fairing separated prematurely, rocket disintegrated
27 November
01:12:33
R-7 Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test27 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
30 November
09:58
Aerobee White Sands US Navy
NRL Suborbital UV Astronomy30 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)
30 November
10:16
Skylark-2 Woomera LA-2 RAE
Queen's Suborbital Aeronomy30 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 151 kilometres (94 mi), released sodium
30 November
12:35
Skylark-2 Woomera LA-2 RAE
UCL Suborbital Aeronomy30 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 163 kilometres (101 mi)
30 November R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test30 NovemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
November R-13 Project 611 submarine VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test Successful
Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)

December

1 December
11:36
Skylark-2 Woomera LA-2 RAE
UCL
Birmingham
Suborbital Aeronomy1 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 159 kilometres (99 mi)
1 December
17:00
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-18B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test1 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
1 December Trailblazer 1 Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital REV test1 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 260 kilometres (160 mi)
2 December
05:29
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-1-2 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test2 DecemberLaunch failure
3 December R-11A Zemlya Ostrov Kheysa AN
AN Suborbital 3 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
3 December R-11A Zemlya Ostrov Kheysa AN
AN Suborbital 3 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
12 December
17:11
HGM-25A Titan I Cape Canaveral LC-16 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test+0 secondsLaunch failure
Vibrations from ignition erroneously triggered self-destruct system whilst rocket was still on pad[4][5]
17 December
20:13
UGM-27 Polaris A1 Cape Canaveral LC-29A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test7 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
9 December
00:10
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test9 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
10 December
00:08
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-6 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test10 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
15 December
02:14
PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Vandenberg LC-75-1-1 Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force Suborbital Missile test15 DecemberLaunch failure
15 December OPd-56-39-22D (Antares) CERES ONERA
ONERA Suborbital REV test15 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
16 December
04:50
UGM-27 Polaris A1 Cape Canaveral LC-29A US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test16 DecemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
16 December R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test16 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
16 December Nike-Zeus A White Sands LC-38 US Army
US Army Suborbital Test flight16 DecemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 10 kilometres (6.2 mi)
17 December
00:03
PGM-19 Jupiter Cape Canaveral LC-26B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test17 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
17 December PGM-17 Thor DM-18A Cape Canaveral LC-17B US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test17 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 520 kilometres (320 mi)
18 December R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test18 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
19 December
00:48
SM-65D Atlas Cape Canaveral LC-13 US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Missile test19 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi)
21 December R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test21 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
22 December
07:56
Javelin Wallops Island NASA
NASA Suborbital Test flight22 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 901 kilometres (560 mi)
23 December
19:05
R-7A Semyorka Baikonur Site 1/5 MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test23 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 1,350 kilometres (840 mi)
23 December UGM-27 Polaris A1 Cape Canaveral LC-25B US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test23 DecemberLaunch failure
Apogee: 1 kilometre (0.62 mi)
26 December R-5A Pobeda Chelkar RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Target26 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
27 December R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test27 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
28 December R-12 Dvina Kapustin Yar MVS
MVS Suborbital Missile test28 DecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 402 kilometres (250 mi)
December R-5A Pobeda Chelkar RVSN
RVSN Suborbital TargetDecemberSuccessful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
Unknown R-11FM Zemlya B-67, Beloye More VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test Launch failure
Unknown ALSOR F-104, Edwards NASA
NASA Suborbital Test flight Successful
Apogee: 117 kilometres (73 mi)

Deep Space Rendezvous

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
4 JanuaryLuna 1First Lunar flybyFailed impactor, closest approach: 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi)
4 MarchPioneer 4Lunar flybyClosest approach: 60,200 kilometres (37,400 mi)
14 SeptemberLuna 2First Lunar impactLanded in Mare Imbrium, first spacecraft to reach the surface of a celestial body
6 OctoberLuna 3Lunar flybyFirst Circumlunar flight, returned 29 pictures including first images of the far side of the Moon; closest approach 6,200 kilometres (3,900 mi)

Orbital launch summary

By country

  Soviet Union
  United States
Orbital launch attempts by country in 1959
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 Soviet Union4220
 United States19892

By rocket

Rocket Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Atlas-Able United States1010Maiden flight
Juno II United States4121
Luna 8K72 Soviet Union4220
Thor DM-18 Agena-A United States8530Maiden flight
Thor DM-18 Able-II United States1010
Thor DM-18 Able-III United States1100
Vanguard United States4121Final flight

By orbit

Orbital regime Launches Successes Failures Accidentally
Achieved
Remarks
Low Earth12750
Medium Earth4130
High Earth2200Including Highly elliptical orbits
Heliocentric5320

References

  • 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).
Generic references:

Footnotes

  1. Krebs, Gunter. "Vanguard". Gunter's Space Page. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
  2. Lafleur, Claude. "Pioneer 4". Spacecrafts launched in 1959. The Spacecraft Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  3. Eleazer, Wayne (31 January 2011). "Launch failures: the "Oops!" factor". The Space Review. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  4. Powell, Joel W.; LeBrun, Art (2006). Go For Launch: An Illustrated History of Cape Canaveral. Canada: Apogee Books. p. 128. ISBN 1-894959-43-4.
  5. Powell, Joel W.; LeBrun, Art (2006). Go For Launch: An Illustrated History of Cape Canaveral. Canada: Apogee Books. pp. 81–85. ISBN 1-894959-43-4.
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