2010 in spaceflight

The year 2010 in spaceflight saw a number of notable events in worldwide spaceflight activities. These included the first test flight of the SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply spacecraft, which is intended to resupply the International Space Station (ISS), and the maiden flights of the Falcon 9 and Minotaur IV rockets. In June 2010, South Korea conducted a second Naro-1 launch, after the failure of the rocket's maiden flight in 2009; however, the second attempt also failed. The Kosmos-3M was retired from service, making its final flight in April. The Molniya-M was also retired from service, making its final flight in September.[1]

2010 in spaceflight
The Dragon capsule's maiden launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on 8 December 2010.
Orbital launches
First16 January
Last29 December
Total74
Successes70
Failures4
Partial failures0
Catalogued70
Rockets
Maiden flightsAtlas V 501
Atlas V 531
Falcon 9 v1.0
GSLV Mk. II
Minotaur IV
RetirementsDelta II 7420
Molniya-M
Kosmos-3M
Crewed flights
Orbital7
Total travellers31

Overview

The first suborbital launch of 2010 was conducted at 23:00 GMT on 10 January, when a Black Brant IX sounding rocket was launched as a target for the Boeing YAL-1 airborne-laser platform. On 11 January, China conducted an ABM test, involving two missiles. The first orbital launch occurred at 16:12 UTC on 16 January, when a Long March 3C launched the Compass-G1 navigation satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.

Seventy-four orbital launches were attempted in 2010, with seventy being successful and four ending in failure. The last orbital launch was made on 29 December, when an Ariane 5ECA launched the Hispasat-1E and Koreasat 6 spacecraft from Guiana Space Centre, near Kourou.

Space exploration

Akatsuki, the first Japanese mission to Venus, was launched on an H-IIA carrier rocket in May. It is intended to look for lightning and volcanoes on Venus.[2] Despite a successful launch,[3] the spacecraft failed to enter Cytherocentric orbit in December, but it managed to enter the orbit around Venus five years later in December 2015. IKAROS, the first operational solar sail, was launched on the same rocket as Akatsuki.

The first Japanese asteroid probe, Hayabusa, returned to Earth on 13 June, having landed on 25143 Itokawa in an effort to collect samples.[4] It was also the world's first successful sample return mission from an asteroid.[5]

On 1 October at 10:59:57 UTC, China successfully launched the Chang'e-2 spacecraft, the nation's second mission to explore the Moon. A Long March 3C rocket was used for the launch, which occurred from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. The spacecraft conducted a mission similar to that of the earlier Chang'e-1 spacecraft, but with a focus on mapping potential landing sites in preparation for the Chang'e-3 unmanned lunar lander.[6]

Manned spaceflight

Seven manned launches were planned for 2010, with three Space Shuttle missions and four Soyuz flights for International Space Station (ISS) crew rotation. STS-130, using orbiter Endeavour, was the first manned flight of the year, launching on 8 February with the Tranquility node and Cupola for the ISS. On 5 April, Discovery launched on mission STS-131, with the Leonardo MPLM to resupply the outpost.

Soyuz TMA-18 launched the Expedition 23 crew to the ISS on 2 April; it was scheduled to spend around six months docked to the station to facilitate crew escape in an emergency. Shortly before, Soyuz TMA-16 undocked, transporting former ISS crewmembers back to Earth. On 14 May, Space Shuttle Atlantis launched on its second-to-last flight, STS-132, carrying the Rassvet module to the ISS. Soyuz TMA-19 launched with Expedition 24 on 15 June. Soyuz TMA-01M, the first flight of a modernised Soyuz-TMA spacecraft, launched on 8 October with the Expedition 25 crew for the ISS. Then, to end the year, Expedition 26 launched aboard Soyuz TMA-20 on 15 December.

Launch failures

Four orbital launch failures occurred in 2010, two affecting Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles, one affecting a Naro-1 rocket, and one affecting a Proton rocket. The first occurred on 15 April, when the GSLV Mk.II launched on its maiden flight. The rocket's third stage malfunctioned, resulting in the stage, and the GSAT-4 satellite, failing to achieve orbit and falling into the sea. The second failure occurred during the second launch of the Naro-1 rocket, carrying the STSAT-2B spacecraft. The rocket exploded 137 seconds into the flight.[7]

The third failure occurred on 5 December, when a Proton-M with the first Blok DM-03 upper stage failed to inject three Glonass-M satellites into orbit. Before launch, the Blok DM was fuelled incorrectly, resulting in the rocket being too heavy to reach its parking orbit.[8] The fourth failure occurred on 25 December 2010, when a GSLV Mk.I exploded during the launch of GSAT-5P. The rocket was destroyed by range safety, after control of the liquid-fuelled boosters attached to the first stage was lost.[9]

Launches

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

January

16 January
16:12
Long March 3C Xichang LC-2 CNSA
Compass-G1 CNSA Geosynchronous NavigationIn orbitOperational
28 January
00:18
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 81/24 Khrunichev
Globus-1M #12L (Raduga-1M 2) VKS Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational

February

3 February
03:45
Soyuz-U Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Progress M-04M / 36P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics1 July
14:40
Successful
ISS flight 36P
8 February
09:14
Space Shuttle Endeavour Kennedy LC-39A United Space Alliance
STS-130 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS assembly22 February
03:22
Successful
Tranquility[10] NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS assemblyIn orbitOperational
Cupola NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS assemblyIn orbitOperational
Manned flight with six astronauts.
11 February
15:23
Atlas V 401 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United Launch Alliance
Solar Dynamics Observatory NASA Geosynchronous HeliophysicsIn orbitOperational
12 February
00:39
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
Intelsat 16 Intelsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational

March

1 March
21:19
Proton-M / DM-2 Enhanced Baikonur Site 81/24 Khrunichev
Kosmos 2459
(Glonass-M 731)
VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
Kosmos 2460
(Glonass-M 732)
VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
Kosmos 2461
(Glonass-M 733)
VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
4 March
23:57
Delta IV-M+ (4,2) Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United Launch Alliance
GOES-P (GOES-15) NOAA / NASA Geosynchronous MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
5 March
04:55
Long March 4C Jiuquan SLS-2 CNSA
Yaogan 9 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) ELINTIn orbitOperational
Yaogan 9 subsatellite CNSA Low Earth (SSO) ELINTIn orbitOperational
Yaogan 9 subsatellite CNSA Low Earth (SSO) ELINTIn orbitOperational
First Long March 4 series launch from Jiuquan.
20 March
18:27
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
Echostar XIV Echostar Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational

April

2 April
04:04
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz TMA-18 Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 2325 September
05:23
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts.
5 April
10:21
Space Shuttle Discovery[11] Kennedy LC-39A United Space Alliance
STS-131 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics20 April
13:08:35
Successful
Leonardo MPLM ASI / NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics]Successful
Manned flight with seven astronauts.
8 April
13:57
Dnepr Baikonur Site 109/95 ISC Kosmotras
Cryosat-2[13] ESA Low Earth ClimatologyIn orbitOperational
15 April
10:57
GSLV Mk II Satish Dhawan SLP ISRO
GSAT-4 (HealthSat) ISRO Intended: Geosynchronous Communications
Navigation
15 AprilLaunch failure
Maiden flight of GSLV Mk. II, third stage failure.
16 April
15:00[14]
Soyuz-U Plesetsk Site 16/2 VKS
Kosmos 2462 (Kobal't-M) VKS Low Earth Reconnaissance21 JulySuccessful
22 April
23:52[15]
Atlas V 501 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United Launch Alliance
USA-212 (X-37B OTV-1)[15] U.S. Air Force Low Earth Technology demonstration3 December
09:16
Successful
Maiden flight of Atlas V 501 and Boeing X-37B.
24 April
11:19
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
SES-1 (OS-1) SES World Skies Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
27 April
01:05
Kosmos-3M Plesetsk Site 132/1 VKS
Kosmos 2463 (Parus) VKS Low Earth Navigation
Communications
In orbitOperational
Final flight of Kosmos-3M.
28 April
17:15
Soyuz-U Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Progress M-05M / 37P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics15 November
09:35:39
Successful
ISS flight 37P

May

14 May
18:20
Space Shuttle Atlantis[11] Kennedy LC-39A United Space Alliance
STS-132 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics26 May
12:48:11
Successful
Rassvet (MRM-1) Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS assemblyIn orbitOperational
Manned flight with six astronauts.
20 May
21:58:22[16]
H-IIA 202 Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
Akatsuki (Planet-C) JAXA Intended: Cytherocentric
Actual: Heliocentric, corrected to Cytherocentric
Venus orbiterIn orbitOperational after partial spacecraft failure
IKAROS JAXA Heliocentric Solar sailIn orbitSuccessful
Waseda-SAT2 Waseda Low Earth Earth observation15 August[18]Spacecraft failure[19][20]
Hayato (K-Sat)[24] Kagoshima Low Earth Earth observation28 June[25] – 14[26] JulyPartial spacecraft failure
Negai☆'' Soka Low Earth Technology demonstration26 June[28]Successful
Shin'en (UNITEC-1)[30] UNISEC Heliocentric Technology demonstrationIn orbitSpacecraft failure[19][31]
DCAM-1 JAXA Heliocentric Technology demonstrationIn orbitSuccessful
DCAM-2 JAXA Heliocentric Technology demonstrationIn orbitSuccessful
Waseda-SAT2 never contacted ground, Hayato affected by communications problems, contact lost with Shin'en on 21 May, unclear if data has been received since.[19] DCAM spacecraft deployed from IKAROS and used to observe deployment of the solar sail.[32] Akatsuki malfunctioned during Cytherocentric orbit insertion, and failed to enter orbit. It managed to orbit around Venus five years later.
21 May
22:01
Ariane 5 ECA Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Astra 3B SES Astra Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
COMSATBw-2 Bundeswehr Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
28 May
03:00
Delta IV-M+ (4,2) Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United Launch Alliance
USA-213 (GPS IIF SV-1) U.S. Air Force Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational

June

2 June
01:59
Rokot / Briz-KM[33] Plesetsk Site 133/3 Eurockot[34]
SERVIS-2 USEF Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
2 June
15:53:04
Long March 3C Xichang LC-2 CNSA
Compass-G3 CNSA Geosynchronous NavigationIn orbitOperational
3 June
22:00:08
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
Badr-5 ARABSAT Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
4 June
18:45[35]
Falcon 9 v1.0[36][37][38] Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX[39]
DSQU SpaceX Low Earth Boilerplate27 June
00:50[40]
Successful
Maiden flight of Falcon 9.[41][42]
10 June
08:01[43]
Naro-1 Naro LC-1[44] Khrunichev / KARI
STSAT-2B KARI Intended: Low Earth Technology demonstration+137 secondsLaunch failure
Exploded during first stage burn.[7]
15 June
01:39[45]
Long March 2D Jiuquan SLS-2 CNSA
Shijian XII[47] CNSA Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
15 June
14:42
Dnepr[48] Dombarovsky Site 13 ISC Kosmotras
Prisma-Mango SSC Low Earth (SSO)[49] Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Prisma-Tango SSC Low Earth (SSO)[49] Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Picard CNES Low Earth (SSO)[49] HelioseismologyIn orbitOperational
BPA-1 Hartron-Arkos Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
BPA-1 intentionally remained attached to upper stage.
15 June
21:35
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz TMA-19 Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 2426 November
04:46:53
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts
21 June
02:14
Dnepr Baikonur Site 109/95 ISC Kosmotras
TanDEM-X DLR Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
22 June
19:00
Shavit-2 Palmachim Israel Aerospace Industries
Ofek-9[51] IAI / Israeli Defense Forces Low Earth (retrograde) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational[52]
Known as Ofek-8 before launch.[53]
26 June
21:41
Ariane 5 ECA[54] Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
ArabSat-5A ARABSAT Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Chollian (COMS-1) KARI Geosynchronous[55] Communications
Meteorology
Oceanography
In orbitOperational[56]
30 June
15:35
Soyuz-U Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Progress M-06M / 38P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics6 September
12:53:20
Successful
ISS flight 38P

July

10 July
18:40
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
EchoStar XV Echostar Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
12 July[57]
03:53
PSLV-CA Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
Cartosat-2B ISRO Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
AlSat-2A ASAL Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
StudSat StudSat Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
AISSat-1 NDRE Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TIsat-1 SUPSI Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
AISSat and TIsat cubeSats to be launched as NLS-6, coordinated by UTIAS
31 July
21:30
Long March 3A Xichang LC-3 CNSA
Compass IGSO-1 CNSA IGSO NavigationIn orbitOperational

August

4 August
20:59
Ariane 5 ECA Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Nilesat-201 Nilesat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
RASCOM-QAF 1R RASCOM-QAF Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
9 August
22:49[58]
Long March 4C Taiyuan LC-2 CNSA
Yaogan 10 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
14 August
11:07
Atlas V 531 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United Launch Alliance
USA-214 (AEHF-1) U.S. Air Force Intended: Geosynchronous
Actual: GTO
CommunicationsIn orbitPartial spacecraft failure[59]
Operational
Maiden flight of Atlas V 531; liquid apogee motor failed to operate during orbital insertion process.[59]
24 August
07:10
Long March 2D Jiuquan SLS-2 CNSA
Tian Hui 1 CNSA Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational

September

2 September
00:53:43
Proton-M / DM-2 Enhanced Baikonur Site 81/24 Roscosmos
Kosmos 2464
(Glonass-M 736)
VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
Kosmos 2465
(Glonass-M 737)
VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
Kosmos 2466
(Glonass-M 738)
VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
4 September
16:14
Long March 3B Xichang LC-2 CNSA
Chinasat-6A Sinosat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
8 September
03:30
Rokot / Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 RVSN RF
Gonets-M No.2 Gonets Satellite System[60] Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Kosmos 2467 (Strela-3) VKS Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Kosmos 2468 (Strela-3) VKS Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
10 September
10:22
Soyuz-U Baikonur Site 31/6 Roscosmos
Progress M-07M / 39P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics20 February 2011
16:12
Successful
ISS flight 39P
11 September[61]
11:17
H-IIA 202[62] Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
QZSS-1 (Michibiki) JAXA Tundra NavigationIn orbitOperational
21 September
04:03:30
Atlas V 501 Vandenberg SLC-3E United Launch Alliance
USA-215 NRO Low Earth (retrograde) In orbitOperational
NRO Launch 41
22 September
02:42[63]
Long March 2D Jiuquan SLS-2 CNSA
Yaogan 11 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Zheda Pixing 1B CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Zheda Pixing 1C CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
26 September
04:41
Minotaur IV Vandenberg SLC-8 Orbital Sciences
USA-216 (SBSS) U.S. Air Force Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration
Space surveillance
In orbitOperational
First orbital launch of Minotaur IV.
30 September[64]
17:01[1]
Molniya-M / 2BL Plesetsk Site 16/2 RVSN RF
Kosmos 2469 (Oko) VKS Molniya Missile defenseIn orbitSuccessful
Final flight of Molniya-M.[1]

October

1 October
10:59:57[65]
Long March 3C Xichang LC-2 CNSA
Chang'e 2 CNSA Selenocentric[66] Lunar orbiterIn orbitOperational
6 October
00:49
Long March 4B Taiyuan LC-2 CNSA
Shijian 6G CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Shijian 6H CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
7 October
23:10:57
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz TMA-01M Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 2519 March 2011
07:54
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts, maiden flight of modernised Soyuz-TMA spacecraft.
14 October
18:53[67]
Proton-M / Briz-M Baikonur Site 81/24 International Launch Services
XM-5 XM Satellite Radio Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
19 October
17:10:59
Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat Baikonur Site 31/6 Starsem
Globalstar-2 #1 Globalstar Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Globalstar-2 #2 Globalstar Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Globalstar-2 #3 Globalstar Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Globalstar-2 #4 Globalstar Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Globalstar-2 #5 Globalstar Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Globalstar-2 #6 Globalstar Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
27 October
15:11:53
Soyuz-U Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Progress M-08M / 40P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics24 January 2011Successful[68]
ISS flight 40P.
28 October[69]
21:51
Ariane 5 ECA Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Eutelsat W3B Eutelsat Intended: Geosynchronous
Actual: GTO
CommunicationsIn orbitSpacecraft failure[70]
BSAT-3b[71] BSAT Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational[72]
Eutelsat W3B written-off as a total loss immediately after launch due to an oxidizer leak in the satellite's main propulsion system.[73]
31 October
16:26
Long March 3C Xichang LC-2 CNSA
Compass-G4 CNSA Geosynchronous NavigationIn orbitOperational

November

2 November
00:59[74]
Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat Plesetsk Site 43/4 RVSN RF
Meridian 3 VKS Molniya CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
4 November
18:37[75]
Long March 4C Taiyuan LC-2 CNSA
Feng Yun 3B CNSA Low Earth (SSO) MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
6 November
02:20
Delta II 7420-10 Vandenberg SLC-2W United Launch Alliance
COSMO-4 ASI Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Final flight of Delta II 7420.[76]
14 November
17:29
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
SkyTerra-1 SkyTerra Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational[77]
20 November
01:25
Minotaur IV / HAPS Kodiak LP-1 Orbital Sciences
STPSat-2 STP Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
RAX University of Michigan Low Earth AuroralIn orbitOperational
O/OREOS NASA AMES Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
FASTSAT NASA Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitPartial spacecraft failure
NanoSail-D2 NASA Low Earth Technology demonstration17 September 2011[79]Successful
FalconSat-5 USAFA Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Sara-Lily (FASTRAC 1) Texas Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Emma (FASTRAC 2) UT Austin Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Maiden flight of Minotaur IV/HAPS. NanoSail-D2 should have been deployed from FASTSAT seven days after launch, immediate deployment failed but ejection was confirmed almost two months later on 19 January 2011
21 November
22:58[80]
Delta IV Heavy Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United Launch Alliance
USA-223 (Mentor) NRO Geosynchronous ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
NRO launch 32
24 November
16:09[81]
Long March 3A Xichang LC-3 CNSA
Chinasat 20A CNSA Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
26 November
18:39
Ariane 5 ECA Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Intelsat 17 Intelsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
HYLAS-1[83] Avanti[84] Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
40th consecutive Ariane 5 launch success.

December

5 December
10:25
Proton-M / DM-03 Enhanced Baikonur Site 81/24 Roscosmos
Glonass-M 739 VKS Intended: Medium Earth Navigation5 DecemberLaunch failure
Glonass-M 740 VKS Intended: Medium Earth Navigation
Glonass-M 741 VKS Intended: Medium Earth Navigation
Maiden flight of Blok DM-03. Incorrect fuelling of upper stage led to mass being too great to achieve parking orbit, reentered over the Pacific Ocean.[8]
8 December
15:43
Falcon 9 v1.0 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
Dragon C1 SpaceX / NASA Low Earth Flight test8 December
19:02
Successful
SMDC-ONE 1 U.S. Army Low Earth Communications12 January 2011Successful
Mayflower Northrop Grumman / USC Low Earth Technology demonstration22 DecemberSuccessful
QbX-1 NRO Low Earth Technology demonstration6 January 2011Successful
QbX-2 NRO Low Earth Technology demonstration16 January 2011Successful
Perseus 000 LANL Low Earth Technology demonstration30 DecemberSuccessful
Perseus 001 LANL Low Earth Technology demonstration31 DecemberSuccessful
Perseus 002 LANL Low Earth Technology demonstration30 DecemberSuccessful
Perseus 003 LANL Low Earth Technology demonstration31 DecemberSuccessful
COTS Demo 1; maiden flight of the SpaceX Dragon; Mayflower included Caerus payload operated by USC.
15 December
19:09[85]
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz TMA-20 Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 2624 May 2011
02:27
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts.
17 December
20:04
Long March 3A Xichang LC-3 CNSA
Compass IGSO-2 CNSA IGSO NavigationIn orbitOperational
25 December
10:34
GSLV Mk.I Satish Dhawan SLP ISRO
GSAT-5P ISRO Intended: Geosynchronous Communications25 DecemberLaunch failure
Disintegrated during first stage flight.
26 December
22:51
Proton-M / Briz-M Enhanced Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
KA-SAT Eutelsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
29 December
21:27
Ariane 5 ECA Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Hispasat-1E Hispasat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Koreasat 6[86][88] Koreasat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational

Suborbital flights

Deep space rendezvous

Date Spacecraft Event Remarks
12 JanuaryCassini65th flyby of TitanClosest approach: 1,073 km (667 mi)
28 JanuaryCassini66th flyby of TitanClosest approach: 7,490 km (4,654 mi)
31 JanuaryArtemis P1Lunar flybyClosest approach: 11,992 km (7,451 mi) at 08:13 UTC[127]
1 FebruaryArtemis P2Lunar flybyClosest approach: 69,222 km (43,013 mi) at 14:44 UTC[127]
13 FebruaryArtemis P1Lunar flybyClosest approach: 2,958 km (1,838 mi) at 10:06 UTC[127]
13 FebruaryCassiniFlyby of MimasClosest approach: 9,520 km (5,915 mi)
16 FebruaryMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 991 km (616 mi)
22 FebruaryMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 574 km (357 mi)
25 FebruaryMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 398 km (247 mi)
28 FebruaryMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 226 km (140 mi)
1 MarchArtemis P2Lunar flybyClosest approach: 68,036 km (42,276 mi) at 04:11 UTC[127]
2 MarchCassini2nd flyby of RheaClosest approach: 100 km (62 mi)
3 MarchCassiniFlyby of HeleneClosest approach: 1,803 km (1,120 mi)
3 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 67 km (42 mi)
7 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 107 km (66 mi)
10 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 286 km (178 mi)
13 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 476 km (296 mi)
16 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 662 km (411 mi)
19 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 848 km (527 mi)
23 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 1,341 km (833 mi)
26 MarchMars ExpressFlyby of PhobosClosest approach: 1,304 km (810 mi)
28 MarchArtemis P2Lunar flybyClosest approach: 9,366 km (5,820 mi) at 07:34 UTC[127]
5 AprilCassini67th flyby of TitanClosest approach: 7,462 km (4,637 mi)
7 AprilCassini2nd flyby of DioneClosest approach: 504 km (313 mi)
28 AprilCassini9th flyby of EnceladusClosest approach: 103 km (64 mi)
18 MayCassini10th flyby of EnceladusClosest approach: 201 km (125 mi)
20 MayCassini68th flyby of TitanClosest approach: 1,400 km (870 mi)
5 JuneCassini69th flyby of TitanClosest approach: 2,044 km (1,270 mi)
13 JuneHayabusaFirst sample return mission from asteroidSample canister successful recovered to Earth
21 JuneCassini70th flyby of TitanClosest approach: 955 km (593 mi)
7 JulyCassini71st flyby of TitanClosest approach: 1,005 km (624 mi)
10 JulyRosettaFlyby of 21 LutetiaClosest approach: 3,100 km (1,926 mi)[128]
13 AugustCassini11th flyby of EnceladusClosest approach: 2,554 km (1,587 mi)
25 AugustArtemis P1LL2 orbit insertion
24 SeptemberCassini72nd flyby of TitanClosest approach: 8,175 km (5,080 mi)
6 OctoberChang'e 2Lunar orbit insertion
16 OctoberCassiniFlyby of PalleneClosest approach: 36,000 km (22,369 mi)
22 OctoberArtemis P2LL1 orbit insertion
4 NovemberDeep ImpactFlyby of Hartley 2Closest approach: 700 km (435 mi)[129]
11 NovemberCassini73rd flyby of Titan
30 NovemberCassini12th flyby of EnceladusClosest approach: 47.9 km (30 mi)
7 DecemberAkatsuki1st flyby of VenusCytherocentric orbit insertion failure
Closest approach: 550 km (342 mi)
8 DecemberIKAROSFlyby of VenusClosest approach: 80,800 km (50,207 mi)
21 DecemberCassini13th flyby of EnceladusClosest approach: 50 km (31 mi)
DecemberShin'enFlyby of Venusnot confirmed.
Distant, non-targeted flybys of Dione, Enceladus, Mimas, Rhea, Tethys and Titan by Cassini will occur throughout the first half of the year.

EVAs

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
14 January
10:05
5 hours
44 minutes
15:49 Expedition 22
ISS Pirs
Oleg Kotov
Maksim Surayev
Prepared the Poisk module for future dockings.[130]
12 February
02:17
6 hours
32 minutes
08:49 STS-130
ISS Quest
Robert L. Behnken
Nicholas Patrick
Removed a protective cover on a port on the Unity node where Tranquility was berthed halfway through the spacewalk. The pair then transferred a spare parts platform for the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator from the shuttle to the station. Once that task is completed Behnken and Patrick made several connections on the newly installed Tranquility node to begin its activation.
14 February
02:20
5 hours
54 minutes
08:14 STS-130
ISS Quest
Robert L. Behnken
Nicholas Patrick
Installed ammonia plumbing and connectors between Unity, Destiny and Tranquility and covered them with thermal insulation. Prepared the nadir port on Tranquility for the relocation of the Cupola, and installed handrails on the exterior of Tranquility.
17 February
02:15
5 hours
48 minutes
08:03 STS-130
ISS Quest
Robert L. Behnken
Nicholas Patrick
Installed additional ammonia plumbing between Unity and Tranquility, removed insulation and launch locks from the Cupola, installed additional handrails on the exterior of Tranquility and performed get-ahead tasks to support the installation of a Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) on the exterior of Zarya with cable installation on Unity and the S0 truss.
9 April
05:31
6 hours
27 minutes
11:58 STS-131
ISS Quest
Richard Mastracchio
Clayton Anderson
Relocated new an ammonia tank from the Shuttle's payload bay to a temporary stowage location and disconnected the fluid lines to the old ammonia tank on the S1 truss. Retrieved a Japanese seed experiment from the exterior of the Kibo laboratory for return to earth and replaced a failed gyroscope on the S0 truss. Performed get-ahead tasks including the opening of a window flap on the zenith CBM of Harmony, and removed launch restraint bolts from a Flex Hose Rotary Coupler (FHRC) on the P1 truss.
11 April
05:30
7 hours
26 minutes
12:56 STS-131
ISS Quest
Richard Mastracchio
Clayton Anderson
The old ammonia tank was removed from the S1 truss and was replaced with the new tank. The electrical connections to the tank were made, but the fluid lines were deferred to the mission's third EVA due to time constraints since the installation was prolonged by a problem with the bolts that hold the tank to the truss. The old tank was relocated to a temporary stowage location on the station and a foot restraint was relocated in preparation for a future shuttle mission's spacewalk.
13 April
06:14
6 hours
24 minutes
12:36 STS-131
ISS Quest
Richard Mastracchio
Clayton Anderson
The fluid lines were connected to the new ammonia tank and the old tank was moved to the shuttle's payload bay for return to Earth. Micro-meteoroid debris shields from the Quest airlock which were no longer necessary were brought inside the airlock for return to Earth inside the Leonardo MPLM. The Z1 truss was prepared for the installation of a spare antenna on the next shuttle mission, and a foot restraint was relocated in preparation for a future spacewalk. The retrieval of an external carrier plate on Columbus was deferred to another shuttle mission due to time constraints after problems were encountered with attaching the old ammonia tank to a carrier in the payload bay, and several other tasks were deferred to later EVAs due to the replanning from the problems with the mission's second EVA.
17 May
11:54
7 hours
25 minutes
19:19 STS-132
ISS Quest
Garrett Reisman
Stephen G. Bowen
Installed a spare space-to-ground Ku-band antenna on the Z1 truss; installed new tool platform on Dextre, and broke torque on bolts holding replacement batteries to the ICC-VLD cargo carrier.
19 May
10:38
7 hours
9 minutes
17:47 STS-132
ISS Quest
Stephen G. Bowen
Michael T. Good
Repaired Atlantis' Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS); P6 battery replacement (4 of 6 units); and removed gimbal locks from the Ku-band antenna installed on the first EVA of the mission.
21 May
10:27
6 hours
46 minutes
17:13 STS-132
ISS Quest
Michael T. Good
Garrett Reisman
P6 battery replacement (final 2 of 6 units); installed ammonia "jumpers" at the P4/P5 interface; retrieved a spare PDGF from Atlantis' payload bay and stowed it inside the Quest airlock. The spacewalkers also replenished supplies of EVA tools in toolboxes on the exterior of the station.
27 July
04:11
6 hours
42 minutes
10:53 Expedition 24
ISS Pirs
Fyodor Yurchikhin
Mikhail Korniyenko
Replaced an ATV video camera on Zvezda, routed command and data handling lines from Zvezda and Zarya to the new Rassvet module as well as made KURS connections between Rassvet and Zarya to allow future automated dockings to the new module. Then the two cosmonauts jettisoned the old ATV video camera.
7 August
11:19
8 hours
3 minutes
19:22 Expedition 24
ISS Quest
Douglas H. Wheelock
Tracy Caldwell Dyson
Attempted to replace failed S1 ammonia pump module. The spacewalkers did not complete all of the planned tasks due to a quick disconnect that got stuck and would not release. The pair had to complete a "bake-out" in order to ensure there was no ammonia on their suits before re-entering the Space Station.[131]
11 August
12:27
7 hours
26 minutes
19:53 Expedition 24
ISS Quest
Douglas H. Wheelock
Tracy Caldwell Dyson
Completed removal of failed pump module from the S1 truss and began installation preparations on the replacement pump.[132]
16 August
10:20
7 hours
20 minutes
17:40 Expedition 24
ISS Quest
Douglas H. Wheelock
Tracy Caldwell Dyson
Installed new pump module on the S1 truss.[133]
15 November
14:55
6 hours
27 minutes
21:22 Expedition 25
ISS Pirs
Fyodor Yurchikhin
Oleg Skripochka
Install a multipurpose workstation on Zvezda, retrieve camera, retrieve kontur, install new materials experiment, collect samples below insulation.[134]

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, Dnepr rockets are counted under Ukraine even though they are launched from Russia.

Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 China151500
 Europe6600
 India3120
 Israel1100
 Japan2200
 South Korea1010With Russian assistance
 Russia282710
 Ukraine3300Launched from Russia
 United States151500
World747040

By rocket

By family

By type

By configuration

By spaceport

10
20
30
40
China
France
India
Israel
Japan
South Korea
Russia +
Kazakhstan
United States
Site Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Baikonur Kazakhstan   242310
Cape Canaveral United States   8800
Dombarovsky Russia   1100
Jiuquan China   4400
Kennedy United States   3300
Kodiak United States   1100
Kourou France   6600
Naro South Korea   1010
Palmachim Israel   1100
Plesetsk Russia   6600
Satish Dhawan India   3120
Taiyuan China   3300
Tanegashima Japan   2200
Vandenberg United States   3300
Xichang China   8800

By target orbit

  •   Transatmospheric
  •   Low Earth
  •   Low Earth (ISS)
  •   Low Earth (SSO)
  •   Low Earth (retrograde)
  •   Geosychronous
    (transfer)
  •   Medium Earth
  •   High Earth
  •   Heliocentric
Orbital regime Launches Successes Failures Accidentally
achieved
Remarks
Low Earth37361012 to ISS
Medium Earth4310
Geosynchronous/transfer282620
High Earth4400Including highly elliptical (Molniya, Tundra) and lunar transfer orbits
Heliocentric orbit1100Including planetary transfer orbits

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