2017 in spaceflight

Notable spaceflight activities in 2017 included the maiden flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (also called LVM3) on 5 June and the first suborbital test of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket, inaugurating the Mahia spaceport in New Zealand. The rocket is named for its innovative Rutherford engine which feeds propellants via battery-powered electric motors instead of the usual gas generator and turbopumps.

2017 in spaceflight
Highlights from spaceflight in 2017[lower-alpha 1]
Orbital launches
First5 January
Last26 December
Total91
Successes83
Failures6
Partial failures2
Catalogued86
National firsts
Satellite
Rockets
Maiden flights
Retirements
Crewed flights
Orbital4
Total travellers11
EVAs10

Overview

China launched its new missile-derived Kaituozhe-2 variant on 2 March. The Japanese SS-520, a suborbital sounding rocket modified for orbital flight, failed to reach orbit in January.[1] If successful, it would have become the smallest and lightest vehicle to ever put an object in orbit.[2]

The venerable Russian Soyuz-U workhorse was retired after its 786th mission on 22 February. On 30 March, the SES-10 mission was launched with a previously-flown Falcon 9 first stage, achieving a key milestone in the SpaceX reusable launch system development program; several other Falcon 9 first-stage boosters were re-used since then.

After a record-breaking 13-year mission observing Saturn, its rings and moons, the Cassini space probe was deliberately destroyed by plunging into Saturn's atmosphere, on 15 September 2017.[3]

A record number of 466 satellites were attempted to be launched thanks to an increase in the number of small satellites. 289 of all satellites weighted less than 10 kg.[4] The number of small satellites launched exceeded even the most optimistic forecasts.[5]

Orbital launches

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

January

5 January
15:18
Long March 3B/E 3B-Y39[6] Xichang LC-2[6] CASC
TJS 2 CNSA Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
9 January
04:11:12
Kuaizhou 1A Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 CASIC
Jilin-1 Video-03 (Lingqiao 1-03)[8] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Caton-1 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Xingyun Shiyan 1 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
14 January
17:54:39
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-029 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Iridium NEXT 1–10 Iridium Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Return to flight mission for Falcon 9 after an accident in September 2016. First stage landed on a drone ship.
14 January
23:33
SS-520[9] Uchinoura JAXA
TRICOM-1 University of Tokyo Low Earth Technology demonstration14 JanuaryLaunch failure
Contact lost at +20 sec after launch. Aborted ignition of 2nd stage.[1]
21 January
00:42
Atlas V 401 AV-066 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United Launch Alliance
USA-273 / SBIRS GEO-3 US Air Force Geosynchronous Missile warningIn orbitOperational
24 January
07:44
H-IIA 204 F32 Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
DSN-2 DSN / JSDF Geosynchronous Communications (military)In orbitOperational
28 January
01:03:34
Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT Kourou ELS Arianespace
Hispasat AG1 Hispasat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
First GTO launch by Soyuz at the Guiana Space Centre

February

14 February
21:39
Ariane 5 ECA VA235 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Intelsat 32e /
SkyBrasil-1
Intelsat / SKY Brasil Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Telkom-3S Telkom Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
15 February
03:58
PSLV-XL C37 Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
Cartosat-2D ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
INS-1A, 1B ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Flock-3p × 88 Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2 × 8 Spire Global Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
BGUSAT Ben Gurion University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
DIDO-2 SpacePharma Low Earth (SSO) Microgravity researchIn orbitOperational
/// PEASS PEASS Consortium Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Al-Farabi 1 KazGU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Nayif 1 EIAST/AUS Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Largest flock of spacecraft ever launched on a single rocket (104 satellites)
19 February
14:38:59
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-030 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
SpaceX CRS-10 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics19 March 2017, 14:46Successful
Carries the SAGE III and Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) Earth-observation instruments to the ISS. First stage returned to Landing Zone 1.
22 February
05:58
Soyuz-U Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Progress MS-05 / 66P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics20 JulySuccessful
786th and final flight of Soyuz-U.

March

1 March
17:50
Atlas V 401 AV-068 Vandenberg SLC-3E United Launch Alliance
NROL-79 / Intruder 8 / USA-274 NRO Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
2 March
23:53
Kaituozhe-2 Jiuquan CASIC
Tiankun-1 CASIC Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Maiden flight.
7 March
01:49:24
Vega Kourou ELV Arianespace
Sentinel-2B ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
16 March
06:00
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-031 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
Echostar 23 EchoStar Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Due to the satellite's heavy mass (~5,600 kg),[10] the rocket flew in its expendable configuration and the first-stage booster was not recovered.[11]
17 March
01:20:00
H-IIA 202 F33 Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
IGS-Radar 5 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
19 March
00:18
Delta IV M+(5,4) Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United Launch Alliance
WGS-9 / USA-275 US Air Force Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
30 March
22:27
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-032 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
SES-10 SES S.A. Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
First flight of a Falcon 9 re-used first stage.[12] SpaceX recovered the stage again.

April

12 April
11:04
Long March 3B/E 3B-Y43[6] Xichang LC-2[6] CASC
Shijian 13[13] CNSA Geosynchronous Communications
Technology demonstration
In orbitOperational
18 April
15:11
Atlas V 401 AV-070 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United Launch Alliance
Cygnus CRS OA-7
SS John Glenn[15]
NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics12 June 2017Successful
Altair 1 Millennium Space Systems Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
IceCube GSFC Low Earth Technology demonstration
Atmospheric research
3 October 2018[17]Successful
CSUNSat 1 CSUN Low Earth Technology demonstration5 May 2019[19]Successful
CXBN 2 MSU Low Earth X-ray astronomy1 March 2019[21]Successful
/// SHARC (Biarri-Point) Project Biarri / AFRL Low Earth Technology demonstration4 May 2019[23]Successful
  QB50 x 31 Various Low Earth Technology demonstration
Atmospheric research
In orbitOperational
QB50 mission includes first Finnish satellite Aalto-2, Greek satellite UPSat
20 April
07:13:44
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-04 / 50S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 51/523 September 2017
01:22
Successful
Crewed flight with two cosmonauts.[24]
20 April
11:41:35
Long March 7 Y2[25] Wenchang LC-2 CASC
Tianzhou 1 CNSA Low Earth (Tiangong 2) Tiangong 2 resupply22 September 2017
10:00
Successful
SilkRoad-1 / Silu 1[26] Xi'an Institute of Surveying and Mapping Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
SilkRoad-1 was released on 1 August from Tianzhou 1.[26]

May

1 May
11:15
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-033 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
NROL-76 / USA-276 NRO Low Earth[27] ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
First stage returned to Landing Zone 1.
4 May
21:50
Ariane 5 ECA VA236 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Koreasat-7 KT Corporation Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
SGDC-1 Telebras Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
5 May
11:27
GSLV Mk II F09 Satish Dhawan SLP ISRO
GSAT-9 ISRO Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
15 May
23:21
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-034 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
Inmarsat-5 F4 Inmarsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Due to the satellite's heavy mass (6,070 kg),[28] the rocket flew in its expendable configuration and the first-stage booster was not recovered.[11]
18 May
11:54:53
Soyuz ST-A / Fregat-MT[29] Kourou ELS Arianespace
SES-15 SES S.A. Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
25 May
04:20:00
Electron Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 Rocket Lab
It's a Test Rocket Lab Low Earth Flight test25 MayLaunch failure
Flight terminated by range safety after an error in ground tracking equipment.[30]
25 May
06:33
Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Plesetsk Site 43/4 RVSN RF
EKS-2 VKS Molniya Missile early warningIn orbitOperational

June

1 June
00:17:46
H-IIA 202 F34 Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
QZS-2 CAO Tundra/Quasi-Zenith Orbit[31] NavigationIn orbitOperational
1 June
23:45
Ariane 5 ECA VA237 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
ViaSat-2 ViaSat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Eutelsat 172B Eutelsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
This mission carried the heaviest and most expensive commercial payload ever launched, valued at $800 million[32] with a combined payload mass of 9,969 kg for both satellites (10,865 kg total launch mass with dual-deployment hardware).[33]
3 June
21:07
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-035 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
SpaceX CRS-11 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics3 July 2017Successful
NICER[34] NASA Low Earth (ISS) X-ray astronomyIn orbitOperational
TOKI KIT Low Earth Technology demonstration3 May 2019[36]Successful
GhanaSat-1 All Nations University Low Earth Technology demonstration22 May 2019[38]Successful
Mazaalai National University of Mongolia Low Earth Technology demonstration11 May 2019[40]Successful
BRAC ONNESHA BRACU Low Earth Technology demonstration6 May 2019[42]Successful
Nigeria EduSat-1 FUTA Low Earth Technology demonstration13 May 2019[44]Successful
First stage returned to Landing Zone 1. TOKI, GhanaSat-1, Mazaalai, BRAC ONNESHA, and Nigeria EduSat-1 were carried to ISS as the cargo of SpaceX CRS-11 and deployed into orbit on 7 July 2017.
5 June
11:58
GSLV Mk III D1 Satish Dhawan SLP ISRO
GSAT-19 ISRO Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Maiden orbital flight.
8 June
03:45
Proton-M / Briz-M 935-61[45] Baikonur Site 81/24 International Launch Services
Echostar 21 EchoStar Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
14 June
09:20
Soyuz-2.1a Baikonur Site 31/6 Roscosmos
Progress MS-06 / 67P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics28 DecemberSuccessful
Tanyusha-YuZGU 1 South-West State University Low Earth Technology demonstration30 July 2019[47]Successful
Tanyusha-YuZGU 2 South-West State University Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Sfera-53 2 Low Earth Radar calibration target29 November 2018[49]Successful
TNS-0 2 RISDE Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Tanyusha-YuZGU, Sfera-53 2, TNS-O No.2 are small satellites deployed into orbit from ISS by cosmonauts during EVA on 17 August 2017.[50][51]
15 June
03:15
Long March 4B 4B-Y31[52] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
HXMT CAS / IHEP Low Earth (SSO) X-ray astronomyIn orbitOperational
Zhuhai-1 01 Zhuhai Orbital Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Zhuhai-1 02 Zhuhai Orbital Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
ÑuSat 3 Satellogic Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
CAS-4A CNSA Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
CAS-4B CNSA Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
18 June
16:12
Long March 3B/E 3B-Y28[6] Xichang LC-2 CASC
ChinaSat 9A (Zhongxing-9A)[53] China Satcom Geosynchronous (intended) CommunicationsIn orbitPartial launch failure Operational
Payload was inserted into a wrong orbit.[54][55] After 16 days of orbit raising maneuvers, the satellite raised its orbit from 16,420 km to 36,000 km, and corrected its longitude to 101.4°E.
23 June
03:59
PSLV-XL C38 Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
Cartosat-2E[57] ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
NIUSAT Noorul Islam University Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
CE-SAT-1 Canon Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Max Valier Sat Max Valier school, Bozen Low Earth (SSO) X-ray astronomy
Technology demonstration
In orbitOperational
D-SAT D-Orbit Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Blue Diamond Sky and Space Global Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Green Diamond Sky and Space Global Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Red Diamond Sky and Space Global Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Pegasus QB-50 FH Wiener Neustadt Low Earth (SSO) Thermosphere researchIn orbitOperational
InflateSail QB-50 University of Surrey Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration3 September 2017, 01:27Operational
UCLSat QB-50 University College London Low Earth (SSO) Ionosphere researchIn orbitOperational
NUDTSat QB-50 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Ionosphere researchIn orbitOperational
COMPASS-2 QB-50 FH Aachen Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Lituanica SAT-2 QB-50 Vilnius University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
URSA MAIOR QB-50 Sapienza University Low Earth (SSO) Thermosphere researchIn orbitOperational
VZLUSat-1 QB-50 VZLU Low Earth (SSO) Thermosphere researchIn orbitOperational
SUCHAI-1 University of Chile Low Earth (SSO) Ionosphere researchIn orbitOperational
Venta 1 Ventspils University College Low Earth (SSO) AIS ship trackingIn orbitOperational
Aalto-1 Aalto University Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
ROBUSTA-1B University of Montpellier Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
skCUBE University of Zilina Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CICERO-6 GeoOptics Inc Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Tyvak-53b Tyvak Nanosatellite Systems, Inc Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2 × 8 Spire Global Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
23 June
18:04
Soyuz-2-1v / Volga Plesetsk Site 43/4 RVSN RF
Kosmos 2519 VKS Low Earth GeodesyIn orbitOperational
Napryazhenie / 14F150 / Nivelir[58]
23 June
19:10
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-036 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
BulgariaSat-1 Bulsatcom Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Second flight of a Falcon 9 re-used first stage.[59]
25 June
20:25:14
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-037 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Iridium NEXT 11–20 Iridium Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
28 June
20:59
Ariane 5 ECA VA238 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
EuropaSat /
Hellas Sat 3
Inmarsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
GSAT-17 ISRO Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational

July

2 July
11:23:23
Long March 5 Y2[60] Wenchang LC-1 CASC
Shijian 18[13] CAST Geosynchronous Communications
Technology demonstration
2 July 2017Launch failure
The cause of the failure was confirmed by CASC later, related to the anomaly happened on one of the YF-77 engine in the first stage.[61]
5 July
23:38
Falcon 9 Full Thrust[62] F9-038 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
Intelsat 35e Intelsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Due to the satellite's heavy mass (6,761 kg),[63] the rocket flew in its expendable configuration and the first-stage booster was not recovered.[11]
14 July
06:36:49
Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat-M Baikonur Site 31/6 Roscosmos
Kanopus-V-IK[65] Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Flying Laptop Institute of Space Systems Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TechnoSat microsat TU Berlin Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
WNISAT-1R microsat Weathernews Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
NORSAT-1 microsat Norsk Romsenter Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
NORSAT-2 microsat Norsk Romsenter Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Flock-2k × 48 Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
CICERO × 3 GeoOptics Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Corvus-BC 1, 2 Astro Digital Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitFailure[66]
Lemur-2 × 8 Spire Global Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
NanoACE Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Mayak MPU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitPartial failure
Iskra-MAI-85 MAI Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
/ Ecuador-UTE-YuZGU UTE / YuZGU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
MKA-N × 2 Roscosmos / Dauria Aerospace Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitFailure[67][68]
Delivery of 73 satellites in three orbital altitudes with a single launch.[69] Some cubesats were deployed into unintended orbit or having communication problem.[67] Mayak fails to deploy solar reflector.[70] Glavcosmos has later confirmed upper stage anomaly during the launch.[71][72]
27 July Simorgh Semnan ISA
ISA Low Earth 27 July 2017Launch failure
The first orbital attempt for Simorgh.[73] Iranian official sources state that the rocket has reached orbit.[74][75] U.S. Strategic Command confirmed that no satellite deployed from the rocket as the rocket suffered a "catastrophic failure" shortly after liftoff.[76][77] The U.S. Air Force's Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base reported that it had not detected any satellite released into low-Earth orbit by the Simorgh SLV.[78] Finally, the United States, France, Germany and Britain have condemned Iran's test of a satellite-launching rocket.[79]
28 July[80]
15:41[81]
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-05 / 51S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 52/5314 December 2017
08:48
Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts.

August

2 August
01:58
Vega Kourou ELV Arianespace
OPTSAT-3000 Italian Defense Ministry Low Earth (SSO) IMINT (Reconnaissance)In orbitOperational
/ VENµS ISA / CNES Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
14 August
16:31
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-039 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
SpaceX CRS-12 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics17 September 2017Successful
OSIRIS-3U Penn State Low Earth Space weather7 March 2019[83]Successful
Kestrel Eye 2M U.S. Army Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Dellingr/RBLE GSFC Low Earth Technology demonstration / HeliophysicsIn orbitOperational
ASTERIA MIT/JPL Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
First flight of Falcon 9 "block 4" upgrade.[84] Last flight of a newly-built Dragon capsule; further missions will use refurbished spacecraft.[85] Carried cosmic-ray detector ISS-CREAM to be installed on the station, and several cubesats to be later deployed from the ISS. Kestrel Eye was deployed into orbit from ISS on 24 October 2017.[86] ASTERIA and Dellingr/RBLE were deployed on 20 November 2017,[87] and OSIRIS-3U was deployed on 21 November 2017.[88]
16 August
22:07
Proton-M / Briz-M ?[45] Baikonur Site 81/24 RVSN RF
Blagovest-11L[90] VKS Geosynchronous Communications (military)In orbitOperational
18 August
12:29
Atlas V 401 AV-074 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United Launch Alliance
TDRS-M NASA Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
19 August
05:29
H-IIA 204 F35 Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
QZS-3 CAO Geosynchronous NavigationIn orbitOperational
24 August
18:50
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-040 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
FormoSat-5 NSPO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
26 August
06:04
Minotaur IV / Orion 38 Cape Canaveral SLC-46 Orbital ATK
ORS-5 ORS Low Earth Space surveillanceIn orbitOperational
31 August
13:30
PSLV-XL C39 Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
IRNSS-1H ISRO Geosynchronous Navigation2 March 2019Launch failure
Payload fairing failed to separate, leaving the satellite adrift within the fairing after internally separating from the fourth stage of the rocket.[91] The stage, along with IRNSS-1H, re-entered the atmosphere together on 2 March 2019.[92]

September

7 September
14:00
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-041 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
X-37B / OTV-5 / USA-277 U.S. Air Force Low Earth Technology demonstration (classified)27 October 2019
07:51
Successful[93]
11 September
19:23:41
Proton-M / Briz-M 935-65[45] Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
Amazonas 5 Hispasat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
12 September
21:17:02
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-06 / 52S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 53/54In orbitOperational
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts.[24][94]
22 September
00:02:32
Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Plesetsk Site 43/4 RVSN RF
Kosmos 2522 / GLONASS-M 752 VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
24 September
05:49:47
Atlas V 541 AV-072 Vandenberg SLC-3E United Launch Alliance
NROL-42 / Trumpet / USA-278 NRO Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
28 September
18:52:16
Proton-M / Briz-M 937-03[45] Baikonur Site 200/39 International Launch Services
AsiaSat 9 AsiaSat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
29 September
04:21
Long March 2C 2C-Y29[95] Xichang LC-3 CASC
Yaogan-30 A CAS Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Yaogan-30 B CAS Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Yaogan-30 C CAS Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
29 September
21:47
Ariane 5 ECA VA239 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Intelsat 37e Intelsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
BSAT-4a BSAT Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational

October

9 October
04:13
Long March 2D 2D-Y30[95] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
VRSS-2 ABAE / MPPCTII Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
9 October
12:37
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-042 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Iridium NEXT 21–30 Iridium Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
9 October
22:01:37
H-IIA 202 F36 Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
QZS-4 CAO Tundra NavigationIn orbitOperational
11 October
22:53
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-043 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
SES-11 /
EchoStar 105
SES S.A. / EchoStar Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Third time a Falcon 9 first stage is re-used.[96]
13 October
09:27:44
Rokot / Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 / Eurockot
Sentinel-5 Precursor ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
14 October
08:46:53
Soyuz-2.1a Baikonur Site 31/6 Roscosmos
Progress MS-07 / 68P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics26 April 2018Successful
/ Iskra 5 Moscow Aviation Institute / Space Kidz India Low Earth Communications 
Originally intended to debut a new two-orbit rendezvous profile, profile reverted to standard 34-orbit profile after the first launch attempt was scrubbed.[97]
15 October
07:28
Atlas V 421 AV-075 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United Launch Alliance
NROL-52 / Quasar 21 / USA-279 NRO Geosynchronous (TBC)[98] Communications (military)In orbitOperational
30 October
19:34
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-044 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
Koreasat 5A KT Corporation Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
31 October
21:37
Minotaur-C Vandenberg LC-576E Orbital ATK
SkySat x 6 Terra Bella Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Flock-3m x 4 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Return to flight mission for Minotaur-C after a failed launch in March 2011.

November

5 November
11:45:00
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y46[6] Xichang CASC
BeiDou-3 M1 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M2 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
8 November
01:42:30
Vega Kourou ELV Arianespace
Mohammed VI-A (MN35-13) Morocco Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
12 November
12:19
Antares 230 MARS LP-0A Orbital ATK
Cygnus CRS OA-8E
SS Gene Cernan[100]
NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics18 December 2017Successful
ISARA JPL Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
EcAMSat NASA Low Earth MicrobiologyIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2 x 3 Spire Global Low Earth Earth ObservationIn orbitOperational
CHEFsat NRL Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Asgardia 1 Asgardia Space Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
AeroCube (OSCD) x 2 The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
PropCube 2 NPS Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TechEdSat 6 SJSU/UI/NASA Ames Low Earth Technology demonstration15 May 2018[102]Successful
EcAMSat was deployed into orbit from ISS on 20 November 2017,[87] and TechEdSat-6 was deployed on 21 November 2017.[88] Other small satellites were deployed from Cygnus after it departed from ISS.[103]
14 November
18:35
Long March 4C 4C-Y21[52] Taiyuan LA-9[52] CAST
Fengyun 3D[104] CMA Low Earth (polar) MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
Head-1[104] Head Aerospace Low Earth (polar) AIS ship trackingIn orbitOperational
18 November
09:47:36
Delta II 7920 Vandenberg SLC-2W United Launch Alliance
NOAA-20 NOAA Low Earth (SSO) MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
Buccaneer RMM UNSW, DSTO Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
EagleSat ERAU Low Earth (SSO) EducationIn orbitOperational
MakerSat 0 NNU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
MiRaTA MIT Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
RadFxSat (Fox 1B) AMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Last flight of the Delta II 7920 configuration, penultimate flight of Delta II
21 November
04:50
Long March 6 Y2[105] Taiyuan LA-16 CASC
Jilin-1 Video-04 (Lingqiao 1-04)[106] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Jilin-1 Video-05 (Lingqiao 1-05)[106] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Jilin-1 Video-06 (Lingqiao 1-06)[106] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
24 November
18:10
Long March 2C 2C-Y30[95] Xichang CASC
Yaogan-30 D CNSA Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Yaogan-30 E CNSA Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Yaogan-30 F CNSA Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
28 November
05:41:46[81]
Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Vostochny Site 1S[107] Roscosmos
Meteor-M No.2-1 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Meteorology28 November 2017Launch failure
Baumanets 2 Bauman University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration28 November 2017Launch failure
LEO Vantage 2 TeleSat Canada Low Earth (SSO) Communications (experimental)28 November 2017Launch failure
IDEA-OSG 1 Astroscale Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration28 November 2017Launch failure
AISSat-3 NSC Low Earth (SSO) Traffic monitoring28 November 2017Launch failure
Corvus-BC 3 Astro Digital Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation28 November 2017Launch failure
Lemur-2 x 10 Spire Global Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation28 November 2017Launch failure
D-Star One German Orbital Systems Low Earth (SSO) Communications (experimental)28 November 2017Launch failure
SEAM Multiple users Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration28 November 2017Launch failure
The Fregat upper stage suffered an apparent programming failure resulting in the loss of all 19 satellites.[108]

December

2 December
10:43:26
Soyuz-2.1b Plesetsk RVSN RF
Kosmos-2524 (Lotos No.2 803) Low Earth ELINTIn orbitOperational
3 December
04:11
Long March 2D 2D-Y47[95] Jiuquan LC-43 CASC
LKW-1[110] CAS Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
10 December
16:41 [111]
Long March 3B 3B-Y40[6] Xichang LC-2 CAST
Alcomsat-1 Algerian Space Agency Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
First Algerian geostationary communications satellite
12 December
18:36:07
Ariane 5 ES VA240 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Galileo FOC 15-18 ESA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
Second Galileo launch with Ariane 5 (9th overall), carrying Nicole, Zofia, Alexandre, and Irina.
15 December
15:36
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-045 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
SpaceX CRS-13 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics13 January 2018Successful
Re-used the first-stage booster from CRS-11 (2017) and the Dragon capsule from CRS-6 (2015)[112]
17 December
07:21
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-07 / 53S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 54/55In orbitOperational
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts.
23 December
01:26:22[113]
H-IIA 202 F37 Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
GCOM-C JAXA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
SLATS JAXA Low Earth Atmospheric sciences
Technology demonstration
1 October 2019Successful
23 December
01:27:23[81]
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-046 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Iridium NEXT 31–40 Iridium Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Re-using a first-stage booster.[114] This rocket flew in its expendable configuration so the first-stage booster was not recovered[115]
23 December
04:14[116]
Long March 2D 2D-Y48[95] Jiuquan LC-43 CASC
LKW-2 CAS Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
25 December
19:44
Long March 2C 2C-Y34[95] Xichang LC-3 CASC
Yaogan-30 G CAS Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Yaogan-30 H CAS Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Yaogan-30 J CAS Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
26 December
19:00:03
Zenit-3F / Fregat-SB Baikonur Site 45/1 S7 Space[117]
AngoSat 1 Republic of Angola Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitSpacecraft failure[118]
First satellite of Angola. Launch was successful but contact was lost quickly afterwards.[119] On 28 December 2017, communication was temporarily restored and telemetry was received.[120]

Suborbital flights

Deep-space rendezvous

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
2 February Juno 4th perijove of Jupiter A decision was made to cancel a period reduction maneuver and remain in a 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission over engine concerns.[152]
27 March Juno 5th perijove
22 April[153] Cassini 127th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 979 kilometres (608 mi).
19 May Juno 6th perijove
11 July Juno 7th perijove
1 September Juno 8th perijove
15 September Cassini End of mission Intentional destructive entry into Saturn's atmosphere
23 September OSIRIS-REx Flyby of Earth Gravity assist to accelerate the probe towards its destination
24 October Juno 9th perijove
16 December Juno 10th perijove

Extravehicular activities (EVAs)

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
6 January
12:23
6 hours
31 minutes
18:54 Expedition 50
ISS Quest
The crew completed the installation of new batteries on the Station's power channel 3A, and then executed a series of tasks to get ahead for the next EVA. Kimbrough collected photos of the AMS-02, then they removed a broken light on the S3 truss and routed ethernet cables on the Z1 truss.
13 January
11:22
5 hours
58 minutes
17:20 Expedition 50
ISS Quest
The crew completed the installation of new batteries on the Station's power channel 1A, and then executed a series of get ahead tasks. First they installed a new camera on the Mobile Transporter Relay Assembly, then Pesquet replaced a Worksite Interface Adapter on Canadarm-2 and collected photos of Z1 truss and S0 truss, meanwhile Kimbrough removed 2 handrails from the Destiny module. Then they picked up a bundle of covers and brought them to the Tranquillity module where will be installed when Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 will be moved from Node 3 to Node 2. When removed, the PMA's Common Berthing Mechanism will be covered up to protect it from the space environment.
24 March
11:24
6 hours
34 minutes
17:58 Expedition 50
ISS Quest
Kimbrough replaced the External Control Zone 2 (EXT-2) Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM) with an upgraded "EPIC MDM" and prepared PMA-3 for its robotic relocation on Sunday. Pesquet inspected the Radiator Beam Valve Module for ammonia leaks, then lubricated one of the Latching End Effectors of Dextre. Kimbrough then replaced a pair of cameras on the Kibo module, and a light on one of the CETA carts.
30 March
11:29
7 hours
4 minutes
18:33 Expedition 50
ISS Quest
Kimbrough replaced the External Control Zone 1 (EXT-1) Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM) with an upgraded "EPIC MDM" while Whitson connected heater power and heater feedback telemetry to enable PMA-3 to be repressurized, then released a series of straps to free up a cover that protected the APAS. The astronauts then installed axial shields on PMA-3's former location on Tranquillity module and installed covers on PMA-3. One of the shields was lost but the others were installed successfully.[154]
12 May
13:01 [155]
4 hours
13 minutes
17:21 Expedition 51
ISS Quest
  • EXT-1 MDM Remove & Replace
  • Lab EWC Antenna Install
23 May
11:20 [156]
2 hours
46 minutes
14:06 Expedition 51
ISS Quest
Throughout this hurriedly planned ‘contingency’ spacewalk, both Fischer and Whitson successfully replaced a failed multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM), and installed a pair of antennas on station to enhance wireless communication for future spacewalks.[157]
17 August
14:36 [158]
7 hours
34 minutes
22:10 Expedition 52
ISS Pirs
  • Test of an upgraded version of the Orlan space suit, the Orlan MKS
  • Restavratsiya retrieval
  • Deployment of 5 small satellites
  • Impakt installation
  • Adapter installation on Poisk sensors
  • BKDO (БКДО) reposition
  • Test sample collection
  • Hand rail and exposure init installation
5 October
12:05
6 hours
55 minutes
19:00 Expedition 53
ISS Quest
  • Removal of LEE-A from SSRMS
  • Removal of POA LEE via 6 EDF Bolts
  • Installation of POA LEE as new SSRMS LEE-A
  • Installation of former LEE-A on POA
  • SSRMS Power-Up & Checkout
10 October
11:56
6 hours
26 minutes
18:22 Expedition 53
ISS Quest
  • ESP-1 PFCS Rotate by 90°
  • CP9 Camera Group R/R
  • LEE-A Ballscrew Lubrication
  • POA LEE Socket Removal
  • MT Camera Lens Replacement
  • Hand Rail Removal (x2)
20 October
11:47
6 hours
49 minutes
18:36 Expedition 53
ISS Quest
  • Dextre EOTP Fuse Replacement
  • Canadarm2 LEE-A CLA Remove & Replace
  • CP3 HD Camera Installation
  • MLI Removal from ORUs (x2)

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.

Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 China181611
 Europe9900
 India5410
 Iran1010
 Japan7610
 Russia201811Includes 2 Soyuz launches from Kourou by Arianespace
 Ukraine11001 Zenit launch from Baikonur by S7 Space
 United States302910Includes 1 Electron launch failure from Mahia by Rocket Lab
Total918362

By rocket

By family

By type

By configuration

By spaceport

5
10
15
20
25
30
China
France
India
Iran
Japan
New Zealand
Russia +
Kazakhstan
United States
Site Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Baikonur Kazakhstan131201
Cape Canaveral United States7700
Jiuquan China6600
Kennedy United States121200
Kourou France111100
Mahia New Zealand1010First launch
MARS United States1100
Plesetsk Russia5500
Satish Dhawan India5410
Semnan Iran1010
Taiyuan China2200
Tanegashima Japan6600
Uchinoura Japan1010
Vandenberg United States9900
Vostochny Russia1010
Wenchang China2110
Xichang China8701
Total918362

By orbit

  •   Transatmospheric
  •   Low Earth
  •   Low Earth (ISS)
  •   Low Earth (SSO)
  •   Low Earth (polar)
  •   Geosychronous
    (transfer)
  •   Medium Earth
  •   High Earth
  •   Heliocentric
Orbital regime Launches Achieved Not achieved Accidentally
achieved
Remarks
Transatmospheric0000
Low Earth524840including 13 to ISS, 1 to Tiangong-2
Geosynchronous / transfer333120
Medium Earth3301IRNSS-1H did not separate from rocket's second stage, and was stuck in an elliptical orbit with 6000 km apogee
High Earth3300including highly elliptical Tundra orbits
Total918561

References

Notes

  1. Clockwise from top:

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