2018 in spaceflight

This article lists achieved spaceflight events in 2018. For the first time since 1990, more than 100 orbital launches were performed globally.

2018 in spaceflight
Highlights from spaceflight in 2018[lower-alpha 1]
Orbital launches
First8 January
Last29 December
Total114
Successes111
Failures2
Partial failures1
Catalogued112
National firsts
Satellite
Rockets
Maiden flights
Retirements
Crewed flights
Orbital3 (+1 failed)
Suborbital1 (private)
Total travellers11 (+2 failed)
EVAs8

Overview

Planetary exploration

The NASA InSight seismology probe was launched in May 2018 and landed on Mars in November. The Parker Solar Probe was launched to explore the Sun in August 2018, and reached its first perihelion in November, traveling faster than any prior spacecraft. On 20 October the ESA and JAXA launched BepiColombo to Mercury, on a 10-year mission featuring several flybys and eventually deploying two orbiters in 2025 for local study. The asteroid sampling mission Hayabusa2 reached its target Ryugu in June,[1] and the similar OSIRIS-REx probe reached Bennu in December.[2] China launched its Chang'e 4 lander/rover in December which performed the first ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon in January 2019;[3][4] a communications relay was sent to the second Earth-Moon Lagrange point in May. The Google Lunar X Prize expired on 31 March without a winner for its $20 million grand prize, because none of its five finalist teams were able to launch a commercial lunar lander mission before the deadline.[5]

Human spaceflight

The Soyuz MS-10 October mission to the International Space Station (ISS) was aborted shortly after launch, due to a separation failure of one of the rocket's side boosters. The crew landed safely, and was rescheduled for March 2019 on Soyuz MS-12.[6] The United States returned to spaceflight on December 13 with the successful suborbital spaceflight of VSS Unity Flight VP-03. The flight did not reach the Kármán line (100 km) but it did cross the US definition of space (50 mi). As per United States convention, it was the first human spaceflight launched from the U.S. since the last Space shuttle flight STS-135 in 2011. Astronauts Mark P. Stucky and Frederick W. Sturckow both received their FAA Commercial Astronaut Wings on February 7, 2019. The return of the United States to human orbital spaceflight was further delayed to 2019, as Boeing and SpaceX, under NASA supervision, performed further tests on their commercial crew spacecraft under development: Starliner on Atlas V and Dragon 2 on Falcon 9.

Rocket innovation

After a failed launch in 2017, the Electron rocket reached orbit with its second flight in January; manufactured by Rocket Lab, it is the first orbital rocket equipped with electric pump-fed engines.[7] On 3 February, the Japanese SS-520-5 rocket (a modified sounding rocket) successfully delivered a 3U CubeSat to orbit, thus becoming the lightest and smallest orbital launch vehicle ever.[8] On 6 February, SpaceX performed the much-delayed test flight of Falcon Heavy,[9] carrying a car and a mannequin to a heliocentric orbit beyond Mars.[10] Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket currently operational.[11] On 27 October, LandSpace launched Zhuque-1, the first privately developed rocket in China; it failed to reach orbit.[12] On 13 December Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo reached 82.7 km, below the internationally recognized Kármán line but above the 50-mile definition of space used by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.[13][14]

Accelerating activity

The global activity of the launch industry grew significantly in 2018. 114 launches were conducted over the full year, compared with 91 in 2017, a 25% increase. Only three missions failed fully or partially in 2018, compared with eight failures in 2017. In August, China surpassed its previous record of 22 launches in 2016, and ended the year with a total 39 launches. The 100th orbital launch of the year occurred on 3 December,[15] exceeding all yearly tallies since the end of the Cold War space race in 1991.

Orbital launches

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

January

8 January
01:00
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-047 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
Zuma / USA-280[16] Unnamed U.S. government agency Low Earth Classified8 JanuaryLaunch success, payload separation failure
After an initial lack of official comment on the mission, a preliminary report concludes that the payload adapter manufactured by Northrop Grumman failed to separate the satellite from the second stage, resulting in its re-entry shortly after launch.[17] SpaceX and the United States Air Force reviewed the Falcon 9 flight data and saw no issues with the launch vehicle itself that would affect future launches.[18][19]
9 January
03:24
Long March 2D 2D-Y40[20] Taiyuan LC-9 CASC
SuperView / Gaojing-1 03 Beijing Space View Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
SuperView / Gaojing-1 04 Beijing Space View Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
11 January
23:18
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y45[21] Xichang LC-2 CASC
BeiDou-3 M7 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M8 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
12 January
03:58
PSLV-XL C40[22] Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
Cartosat-2F ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
MicroSat-TD ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Arkyd-6A Planetary Resources Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CANYVAL-X 1, 2 Yonsei University, NASA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Carbonite-2 Surrey Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CICERO 7 GeoOptics Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
CNUSail-1 CNU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
DemoSat 2 Astranis Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (radio)In orbitOperational
Flock-3p' × 4 Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Fox-1D AMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
ICEYE X1 Iceye Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
INS-1C ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
KAUSAT 5 Korea Aerospace University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Landmapper-BC 3 v2 Astro Digital Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2 × 4 Spire Global Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
LEO Vantage 1 Telesat Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
MicroMAS 2a MIT SSL Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
PicSat Paris Observatory Low Earth (SSO) AstronomyIn orbitOperational
SpaceBEE 1–4 Swarm Technologies[23] Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
STEP Cube Lab Chosun University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Tyvak 61C Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth (SSO) AstronomyIn orbitOperational
Deployed 31 satellites.[24][25][26]
12 January
22:11
Delta IV M+(5,2) D-379 Vandenberg SLC-6 ULA
NROL-47 / Topaz-5[27] / USA-281 US Air Force LEO (retrograde) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Last flight of Delta IV M+(5,2) variant.
13 January
07:20
Long March 2D 2D-Y49[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
LKW-3 CAS Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
17 January
21:06:11
Epsilon Uchinoura JAXA
ASNARO-2 NEC Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
19 January
04:12
Long March 11 Y3[28] Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 CASC
Jilin-1 Video-07 (Deqing 1)[29] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Jilin-1 Video-08 (Linye 2)[29] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Star of Enlai
Huai'an Hao
Huai'an Youth Comprehensive Development Base Low Earth (SSO) Technology/EducationIn orbitOperational
Xiaoxiang 2 SpaceTY Aerospace Co. Low Earth (SSO) Stabilization technologyIn orbitOperational
Quantutong-1
(QTT-1)
Full-chart Location Network Co.
(Quan Tu Tong Co.)
Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
KIPP[30] Kepler Communications Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
100th launch from Jiuquan. Carried and deployed 6 satellites in total.
20 January
00:48
Atlas V 411 AV-076 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 ULA
SBIRS GEO-4 (USA-282) U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Missile warningIn orbitOperational
21 January
01:30
Electron "Still Testing" Mahia LC-1 Rocket Lab
Flock-2 (Dove Pioneer)[33] Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation22 September 2019[34]Successful
Humanity Star Rocket Lab Low Earth Dummy satellite22 March 2018Successful
Lemur-2-72[35] Spire Global Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2-73 Spire Global Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
First successful launch of the Electron rocket.
25 January
05:39
Long March 2C 2C-Y36[20] Xichang LC-3 CASC
Yaogan 30 K CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Yaogan 30 L CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Yaogan 30 M CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Weina 1A[36] / NanoSat-1A[37] Shanghai Micro Satellite Engineering Center Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
25 January
22:20
Ariane 5 ECA VA241 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
SES-14 / GOLD SES S.A. Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitPartial launch failure / Operational[38]
Al Yah-3 Yahsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitPartial launch failure / Operational
Due to programming errors in the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC)[39] the satellites were placed on an off-nominal orbit.[40] Both payloads are undergoing corrective maneuvers and will be on line in August 2018.[41] These failures have ended the Ariane 5 record series of 82 successful launches in a row from April 2003 to December 2017.[42]
31 January
21:25
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-048 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
SES-16 / GovSat-1 SES S.A. Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
This flight re-used booster B1032 recovered from the NROL-76 mission in May 2017, and landed the first stage in the ocean with the intent to expend it. The booster unexpectedly remained intact, but was not recovered, and it was subsequently destroyed.[43]

February

1 February
02:07
Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat-M Vostochny Site 1S[44] Roscosmos
Kanopus-V No.3 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Kanopus-V No.4 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
S-Net 1–4[46] TU Berlin Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (inter-satellite communications)In orbitOperational
Lemur-2 × 4 Spire Global Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
D-Star One v.1.1 Phoenix German Orbital Systems Low Earth (SSO) Communications (experimental) 
2 February
07:50
Long March 2D 2D-Y13[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
CSES / Zhangheng-1[47] CNSA / ASI Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Fengmaniu 1 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
GOMX 4A GOMSpace, Danish Ministry of Defence Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
GOMX 4B GOMSpace, ESA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
ÑuSat 4 Satellogic Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
ÑuSat 5 Satellogic Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Shaonian Xing[48] China Association for Science and Technology Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
3 February
05:03
SS-520 Uchinoura JAXA
TRICOM-1R University of Tokyo Low Earth Technology demonstration21 August 2018Successful
The smallest rocket to successfully launch a satellite. Re-flight after a launch failure in January 2017
6 February
20:45
Falcon Heavy FH-001 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster SpaceX Heliocentric Flight testIn orbitSuccessful
Maiden test flight of Falcon Heavy re-using two first-stage boosters. The two side boosters successfully touched down at the landing zones in Cape Canaveral, however the middle booster failed to land on the automated drone ship.[49] The test payload was launched in a heliocentric orbit with an aphelion of 1.70 AU, just beyond the orbit of Mars.[50]
12 February
05:10
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y47[21] Xichang LC-2 CASC
BeiDou-3 M3 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M4 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
13 February
08:13
Soyuz-2.1a Baikonur Site 31/6 Roscosmos
Progress MS-08 / 69P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics30 AugustSuccessful
Tanyusha-YuZGU 3, 4 South-West State University Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Tanyusha-YuZGU satellites were deployed on 15 August 2018 during a spacewalk.[51]
22 February
14:17
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-049 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Paz Hisdesat Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Tintin A SpaceX Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Tintin B SpaceX Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Flew with a re-used first-stage booster that was expended at sea. One half of the payload fairing splashed down in the ocean and was recovered, but it did not land on a ship as attempted. Last flight of Block 3 version rocket.
27 February
04:34:00
H-IIA 202 F38[52] Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
IGS-Optical 6 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational

March

1 March
22:02:00
Atlas V 541 AV-077 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 ULA
GOES-17 (GOES-S) NESDIS Geosynchronous MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
6 March
05:33
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-050 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
Hispasat 30W-6[53] Hispasat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
PODSAT[55] NovaWurks/DARPA Geosynchronous transfer orbit Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
First-stage booster was expended at sea and was not recovered.
9 March
17:10:06
Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT VS18 Kourou ELS Arianespace
O3b × 4 SES S.A. Medium Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
17 March
07:10
Long March 2D 2D-Y50[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
LKW-4 CAS Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
21 March
17:44:23
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-08 / 54S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 55/564 October 2018
11:45
Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts
29 March
11:26
GSLV Mk II F08[56] Satish Dhawan SLP ISRO
GSAT-6A ISRO Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitSpacecraft failure[57]
29 March
16:45
Soyuz-2-1v Plesetsk Roscosmos
EMKA / Kosmos 2525 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (military)In orbitOperational
29 March
17:50
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y48[21] Xichang LC-2 CASC
BeiDou-3 M9 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M10 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
30 March
14:14
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-051 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Iridium NEXT 41–50 Iridium Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Re-used first-stage booster B1041.[58] First stage was not recovered, did a simulated landing test at sea. Fairing recovery attempt failed due to parafoil issues.
31 March
03:22
Long March 4C 4C-Y26[59] Taiyuan LC-9 CASC
Gaofen-1 02 CNSA SSO Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Gaofen-1 03 CNSA SSO Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Gaofen-1 04 CNSA SSO Earth observationIn orbitOperational

April

2 April
20:30
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-052 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
SpaceX CRS-14 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics5 May 2018Successful
RemoveDEBRIS University of Surrey Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Overview 1A SpaceVR Low Earth (ISS) Virtual Space Tourism 
/ Ubakusat ITU/JPF/KIT Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
1KUNS-PF UoN Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Proyecto Irazú CAAE/ITCR Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Re-used first-stage booster B1039, used to launch CRS-12 in 2017; and the Dragon capsule from CRS-8 in 2016.[60] First stage was not recovered. Ubakusat, 1KUNS-PF, and Proyecto Irazú were deployed from the ISS on 11 May 2018.[61] RemoveDEBRIS was deployed into orbit on 20 June 2018.[62]
5 April
21:34
Ariane 5 ECA VA242 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Superbird-B3 / DSN-1 JSAT / DSN / JSDF Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
HYLAS-4 Avanti Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
First flight of Ariane 5 since off-target launch of VA241 in January 2018.
10 April
04:25
Long March 4C[63] 4C-Y25[59] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
Yaogan 31 A CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Yaogan 31 B CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Yaogan 31 C CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Weina 1B Shanghai Micro Satellite Engineering Center[36] Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
11 April
22:34
PSLV-XL C41 Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
IRNSS-1I ISRO Geosynchronous Satellite navigation (IRNSS)In orbitOperational
14 April
23:13
Atlas V 551 AV-079 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 ULA
AFSPC-11 / CBAS (USA-283)[64][66] U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military)In orbitOperational
EAGLE (USA-284 + USA-285/286/287)[67] Air Force Research Laboratory Geosynchronous Technology experiments (Space Test Program)In orbitOperational
18 April
22:12
Proton-M / Briz-M ? Baikonur RVSN RF
Blagovest-12L / Kosmos 2526 VKS Geosynchronous Communications (military)In orbitOperational
18 April
22:51
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-053 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
TESS NASA HEO Space observatoryIn orbitOperational
Block 4 first-stage booster, serial number B1045.
25 April
17:57
Rokot / Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 / Eurockot
Sentinel-3B ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
26 April
04:42
Long March 11 Y4[28] Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 CASC
Zhuhai-1 OHS 2A–2D[68] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Zhuhai-1 OVS 2A[69] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational

May

3 May
16:05
Long March 3B/G2 3B-Y55[21] Xichang LC-2 CASC
Apstar 6C APT Satellite Holdings Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
5 May
11:05
Atlas V 401 AV-078 Vandenberg SLC-3E ULA
InSight NASA / JPL TMI to Martian Surface Mars lander26 November
19:52:59
Successful
MarCO A (WALL-E)[70] NASA / JPL Heliocentric CommunicationsIn orbitSuccessful
MarCO B (Eva)[70] NASA / JPL Heliocentric CommunicationsIn orbitSuccessful
12th mission of the Discovery program. Mars lander mission dedicated to geological and seismological studies of the planet.[71]
8 May
18:28
Long March 4C 4C-Y20[59] Taiyuan LC-9 CASC
Gaofen 5 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
11 May
20:14
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-054 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
Bangabandhu-1 BTRC Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
First launch of a Falcon 9 Block 5 first-stage booster, serial number B1046. The booster was recovered.[72]
20 May
21:28
Long March 4C 4C-Y27[59] Xichang LC-3[59] CASC
Queqiao CNSA Earth–Moon L2, halo orbit CommunicationsIn orbitOperational[73][74]
Longjiang-1 CNSA Selenocentric, elliptical orbit Radio astronomyIn orbitSpacecraft Failure[75][76]
Longjiang-2 CNSA Selenocentric, elliptical orbit Radio astronomy31 July 2019[78]
14:20
Successful
The relay satellite Queqiao, or "Magpie Bridge" will stay in a halo orbit around the second Earth-Moon Lagrange point (E-M L2) and support communications from the Chang'e 4 rover exploring the far side of the Moon.[79]
21 May
08:44
Antares 230 MARS LP-0A Orbital ATK
Cygnus CRS OA-9E
S.S. J.R. Thompson
NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics15 July 2017Successful
CubeRRT OSU Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
HaloSat UI Low Earth (ISS) X-ray astronomyIn orbitOperational
Radix Analytical Space Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
RainCube JPL Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
SORTIE ASRA LLC. Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TEMPEST-D CSU/JPL Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Aerocube 12A, 12B The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CaNOP Carthage College Low Earth (ISS) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
RadSat-g MSU Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
EQUiSat Brown University Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
MemSat Rowan University Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
EnduroSat One Space Challenges Program Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2 (× 4) Spire Global Low Earth Aircraft trackingIn orbitOperational
RainCube, Radix, CubeRRT, HaloSat, TEMPEST-D, EnduroSat One, EQUISat, MEMSat, RadSat-g are carried aboard Cygnus to be deployed from ISS later.[80] CubeRRT, EQUISat, HaloSat, MemSat, RadSat-g, RainCube, TEMPEST-D, EnduroSat One, Radix were deployed on 13 July 2018.[81] Four Lemur-2s and two Aerocubes were carried in the external deployer of Cygnus and deployed into orbit on 16 July 2018 after it departed from ISS.[82]
22 May
19:47:58[83]
Falcon 9 Full Thrust[84] F9-055 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Iridium NEXT 51–55 Iridium Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
GRACE-FO 1, 2 DLR Low Earth Gravitational scienceIn orbitOperational
DLR arranged a rideshare of GRACE-FO on a Falcon 9 with Iridium following the cancellation of their Dnepr launch contract in 2015.[85] Iridium CEO Matt Desch disclosed in September 2017 that GRACE-FO would be launched on the sixth Iridium NEXT mission.[86] Re-used a first-stage booster.[87]

June

2 June
04:13
Long March 2D 2D-Y20[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
Gaofen 6 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Luojia 1 Wuhan University Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
4 June
04:45
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-056 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
SES-12 SES S.A. Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
5 June
13:07[88]
Long March 3A 3A-Y25[21] Xichang LC-2 CAST
Fengyun 2H CMA Geosynchronous MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
6 June
11:12:41
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-09 / 55S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 56/5720 December 2018
01:42
Successful
SiriusSat 1, 2 SPUTNIX Low Earth (ISS) Space research, EducationIn orbitOperational
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts. SiriusSat satellites were deployed on 15 August 2018 during a spacewalk.[89] Crew return was delayed due to the launch failure of Soyuz MS-10; it was rescheduled for 20 December, after the MS-11 crew arrives on 3 December.
12 June
04:20[90]
H-IIA 202 F39[52] Tanegashima MHI
IGS Radar-6 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
16 June
21:30
Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Plesetsk Site 43/4 RVSN RF
GLONASS-M 756 / Kosmos 2527 VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
27 June
03:30
Long March 2C 2C-Yxx[20] Xichang LC-3 CASC
XJSS A CAST[91] Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
XJSS B CAST Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
29 June
09:42
Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-057 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
SpaceX CRS-15 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics3 August 2018Successful
Biarri-Squad 1-3 Project Biarri Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration 
Bhutan 1 Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Maya-1 Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
UiTMSAT-1 UiTM Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Last orbital flight of a Block 4 booster version. Bhutan-1, Maya-1, UiTMSAT-1 were deployed into orbit from ISS on 10 August 2018.

July

9 July
03:56
Long March 2C / SMA 2CSMA-Y3[20] Jiuquan LC-43/94 CASC
PRSS-1 SUPARCO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
PakTES-1A SUPARCO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
9 July
20:58
Long March 3A 3A-Y27[21] Xichang LA-2 CASC
BeiDou IGSO-7 CNSA IGSO NavigationIn orbitOperational
9 July
21:51:34
Soyuz-2.1a Baikonur Roscosmos
Progress MS-09 / 70P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics25 January 2019Successful
Fastest rendezvous with the ISS, with a new two-orbit procedure taking less than four hours.[92]
22 July
05:50
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-058 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
Telstar 19V Telesat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
25 July
11:25:01
Ariane 5 ES VA244 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Galileo FOC 19, 20, 21, 22 ESA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
Third Galileo launch with Ariane 5 (10th overall), carrying Tara, Samuel, Anna, and Ellen. Last flight of Ariane 5 ES variant; further Galileo launches will be carried by Ariane 6.
25 July
11:39:26
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-059 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
Iridium NEXT 56-65 Iridium Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
29 July
01:48
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y49[21] Xichang CASC
BeiDou-3 M5 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M6 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
31 July
03:00
Long March 4B 4B-Y37[59] Taiyuan LC-9 CASC
Gaofen 11 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational

August

7 August
05:18
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-060 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
Telkom 4 / Merah Putih[93] Telkom Indonesia Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
12 August
07:31
Delta IV Heavy D-380 Cape Canaveral SLC-37B ULA
Parker Solar Probe NASA Heliocentric HeliophysicsIn orbitOperational
Heliophysics observation mission planned to make in situ studies of the Sun's outer corona at a perihelion distance of 8.5 solar radii (5.9 million kilometers) – the closest any spacecraft will come to the Sun to date.
22 August
21:20:09
Vega VV12 Kourou ELV Arianespace
ADM-Aeolus ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
24 August
23:52
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y50[21] Xichang CASC
BeiDou-3 M11 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M12 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational

September

7 September
03:15
Long March 2C 2C-Y48[20] Taiyuan LC-9 CAST
HaiYang 1C CAST Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
10 September
04:45
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-061 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
Telstar 18V Telesat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
15 September
13:02
Delta II 7420 D-381 Vandenberg SLC-2W ULA
ICESat-2 NASA Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
ELFIN x 2 (ELFIN, ELFIN-STAR) UCLA Low Earth Magnetospheric ResearchIn orbitOperational
DAVE Cal Poly Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
SurfSat UCF Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Last flight of the Delta II series; final flight of the Thor rocket family.
16 September
16:37
PSLV-CA C42[22] Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
SSTL S1-4 SSTL Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
NovaSAR-S SSTL / British Government Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
19 September
14:07[94]
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y51[21] Xichang LC-3 CASC
BeiDou-3 M13 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M14 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
22 September
17:52:27
H-IIB F7[52] Tanegashima LA-Y2 MHI
HTV-7 JAXA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics10 November 2018Successful
/ SPATIUM-I Kyushu Institute of Technology / Nanyang Technological University Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
RSP-00 Ryman Sat Project Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
STARS-Me Shizuoka University Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
SPATIUM-1, RSP-00, and STARS-Me are carried by HTV-7 to be deployed into orbit from the International Space Station. They were deployed into orbit on 6 October 2018.
25 September
22:38
Ariane 5 ECA VA243 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
Azerspace-2 / Intelsat 38[95] Azercosmos / Intelsat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
/ Horizons-3e Intelsat / JSAT Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Hundredth Ariane 5 mission.[96] Flight VA243 was delayed from 25 May due to issues with GSAT-11.[97]
29 September
04:13
Kuaizhou 1A F2 Jiuquan SLS-E2[98] CASIC
Centispace-1-S1[99] Beijing Future Navigation Technology Low Earth (SSO) NavigationIn orbitOperational

October

8 October
02:21
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-062 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
SAOCOM 1A[100][101] CONAE Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
First RTLS at Vandenberg
9 October
02:43
Long March 2C / YZ-1S 2C-Y38[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
Yaogan 32 A CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
Yaogan 32 B CAS Low Earth ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
First flight of the Yuanzheng-1S upper stage variant
11 October
08:40
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-10 / 56S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 57/5811 October 2018Launch failure
Crewed flight with two cosmonauts. Launch failure, astronauts landed safely in Soyuz capsule.
15 October
04:23
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y52[21] Xichang CASC
BeiDou-3 M15 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M16 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
17 October
04:15
Atlas V 551 AV-073 Cape Canaveral SLC-41 ULA
AEHF-4[102] (USA-288)[103] U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military)In orbitOperational
20 October
01:45
Ariane 5 ECA VA245 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
BepiColombo ESA / JAXA Mercurian orbit Mercury probesIn orbitEn route
Third and final cornerstone mission of the Horizon 2000+ programme. Joint ESA / JAXA Mercury mission consisting of two orbiters, the ESA Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the JAXA Mio (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter)
24 October
22:57[104]
Long March 4B 4B-Y34[105] Taiyuan LC-9 CAST
HaiYang 2B CAST Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
25 October
00:15[106]
Soyuz-2.1b Plesetsk Site 43/4 RVSN RF
Lotos-S1 №3 / Kosmos 2528 VKS Low Earth ELINTIn orbitOperational
27 October
08:00[12]
Zhuque-1 Jiuquan (mobile launcher) LandSpace
Weilai 1 / Future 1 (CCTV) China Central Television[107] Low Earth (SSO) Space science / remote sensing27 October 2018Launch failure[12]
Maiden flight of the Zhuque-1 solid-propellant rocket[108]
29 October
00:43[109]
Long March 2C 2C-Y22[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
/ CFOSAT CNSA / CNES Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Xiaoxiang-1 (2)[110] LaserFleet Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (laser communications)In orbitOperational
Zhaojin-1 (Tongchuan-1)[110] Tsinghua University Low Earth (SSO) Gamma ray detector (gravitational wave research)In orbitOperational
Tianfuguoxing-1 (Xinghe)[110] Guoxing Yuhang (ADA Space) Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (remote sensing)In orbitOperational
Changshagaoxin[110] Changsha City Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radioIn orbitOperational
CubeBel-1 (BSUSat-1)[110] Belarusian State University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
29 October
04:08[111]
H-IIA 202 F40[52] Tanegashima LA-Y1 MHI
GOSAT-2 (Ibuki 2) JAXA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
KhalifaSat EIAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
AUTcube2 Aichi University of Technology Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
/ Diwata-2b DOST / TU Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Stars-AO Shizuoka University Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Ten-Koh[113] Kyushu Institute of Technology Low Earth Magnetosphere observation / Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational

November

1 November
15:57[114]
Long March 3B/E 3B-Y41[21] Xichang CASC
BeiDou-3 G1Q CNSA Geosynchronous NavigationIn orbitOperational
3 November
20:17[115]
Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Plesetsk Site 43/4 RVSN RF
GLONASS-M 757 / Kosmos 2529 VKS Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
7 November
00:47:27[116]
Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-M VS19 Kourou ELS Arianespace
MetOp-C Eumetsat Low Earth (SSO) MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
11 November
03:50[117]
Electron "It's Business Time" Mahia LC-1 Rocket Lab
Lemur-2-74[119] Spire Global Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2-75 Spire Global Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Cicero 4 GeoOptics Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
IRVINE01 Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Low Earth EducationIn orbitOperational
Proxima 1 Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Proxima 2 Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
NABEO HPS GmbH Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
14 November
11:38[120]
GSLV Mk III D2[121] Satish Dhawan SLP ISRO
GSAT-29 ISRO Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Second orbital flight of GSLV Mk III
15 November
20:46[122]
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-063 Kennedy LC-39A SpaceX
Es'hail 2[123] Es'hailSat Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
16 November
18:14:08[124]
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Roscosmos
Progress MS-10 / 71P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics4 June 2019Successful
Return to flight of the Soyuz-FG variant involved in the Soyuz MS-10 launch failure.[125]
17 November
09:01:22[126]
Antares 230 MARS LP-0A Northrop Grumman
Cygnus NG-10
SS John Young
NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics25 February 2019Successful
SEOPS-Quantum Radar-1 (CONFIRM?) SEOPS, LLC Low Earth EducationIn orbitOperational
SEOPS-Quantum Radar-2 (CONFIRM?) SEOPS, LLC Low Earth EducationIn orbitOperational
MySat-1 Masdar Institute of Science and Technology Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CHEFSat NRL Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
KickSat-2 Cornell University Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CubeSats were carried aboard Cygnus and deployed into orbit after the departure of Cygnus from ISS.[127] KickSat-2 carries 100[128] or 104[129] Sprite "ChipSats" to deploy into orbit.
18 November
18:00[130]
Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Yxx[21] Xichang CASC
BeiDou-3 M17 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
BeiDou-3 M18 CNSA Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
19 November
23:40[131]
Long March 2D 2D-Y28[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 (LC34) CASC
Jiading-1 (OKW-1)[133] Shanghai OK Space Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Tianzhi-1[135] Chinese Academy of Sciences Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
As of 19 November 2018, several other payloads were not yet identified.
21 November
01:42:31[136]
Vega VV13 Kourou ELV Arianespace
Mohammed VI-B Morocco Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
29 November
04:27:30[137]
PSLV-CA C43[22] Satish Dhawan FLP ISRO
HySIS ISRO Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
BlackSky Global 1 Spaceflight Industries Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
CASE Kepler Communications Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
3Cat-1 Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Centauri 1[138] Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CICERO-8 GeoOptics Inc. Low Earth MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
FACSAT-1 Colombian Air Force Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
(Flock 3r) x16 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Hiber 1 Hiber Global Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
HSAT 1 Harris Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
InnoSat 2 Astronautic Technology Sdn Bhd Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2 x4 Spire Global Satellite Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Reaktor Hello World Reaktor Radio Actives Ry Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
30 November
02:27[139]
Rokot / Briz-KM Plesetsk Site 133/3 RVSN RF
Strela-3M 16–18 / Kosmos 2530–2532[141] VKS Low Earth Communications (military)In orbitOperational

December

3 December
11:31[15]
Soyuz-FG Baikonur Site 1/5 Roscosmos
Soyuz MS-11 / 57S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 58/5925 June 2019
02:47
Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts
3 December
18:34[142]
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-064 Vandenberg SLC-4E SpaceX
SSO-A / SHERPA
65 small satellites[143]
Spaceflight Industries Low Earth (SSO) Satellite dispenserIn orbitSuccessful
Aistechsat 2[144] Aistech Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
Astrocast 0.1[144] Astrocast Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Audacy Zero[144] Audacy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
BlackHawk [144] ViaSat Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
BlackSky Global 2[144] Spaceflight Industries Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
BRIO[144] SpaceQuest, Ltd., Myriota Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Capella 1[144] Capella Space Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (radar) 
Centauri 2[138] Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
CSIM-FD[144] University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth (SSO) Heliophysics 
Eaglet 1[144] OHB Italia Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
Enoch [144] Los Angeles County Museum of Art Low Earth (SSO) Art 
Elysium Star 2[144] Elysium Space Low Earth (SSO) Space burial 
ESEO[144] ALMASpace Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Eu:CROPIS[144] DLR Low Earth (SSO) Life sciences 
eXCITe[145] + SeeMe constellation DARPA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (satlets) 
ExseedSat 1[144] Exseed Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio 
FalconSat 6[145] U.S. Air Force Academy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Flock-3s 1–3[144] Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
Fox 1C[144] AMSAT, VPI, Vanderbilt University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Hawk 1–3[144] HawkEye 360 Low Earth (SSO) SIGINT, traffic monitoring[146] 
Hiber 2[144] Hiber Global Low Earth (SSO) Communications 
ICE-Cap[144] US Navy PEO Space Systems Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
ICEYE X2 Iceye Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (radar) 
ITASAT-1[148] ITA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
IRVINE02[150] Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Low Earth (SSO) Education 
JY1-Sat[144] Jordanian universities Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio 
K2SAT[144] KAIST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
KazSTSAT[152] Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary, Astrium Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
KazSciSat[154] Institute of space technique and technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Al-Farabi 2 KazGU Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
KNACKSAT[144] KMUTNB Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Landmapper-BC 4 Astro Digital Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
MinXSS 2[144] University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth (SSO) Heliophysics 
MOVE II[144] TUM Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
NEXTSat 1[144] KAIST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Orbital Reflector[144] Nevada Museum of Art Low Earth (SSO) Art 
OrbWeaver 1, 2 [144] Tethers Unlimited, Inc., DARPA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
ORS 7A, 7B (Polar Scout 1, 2)[156] USCG, DHS Low Earth (SSO) Communications 
PW-Sat 2[144] Warsaw University of Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
RAAF M1[144] Australian Defence Force Academy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
RANGE A, B[144] Georgia Institute of Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
ROSE 1[144] Phase Four Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
SeaHawk 1[144] University of North Carolina Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
Sirion Pathfinder 2[144] Sirion Global Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
SkySat 14, 15[157] Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
SNUGLITE[144] Seoul National University Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio, Technology demonstration 
SNUSAT 2[144] Seoul National University Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 
SpaceBEE 5-7[144] Swarm Technologies Low Earth (SSO) Communications 
SPAWAR-CAL O, R, OR [144] United States Navy Low Earth (SSO) Calibration 
STPSat 5[144] USAF STP Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
Suomi-100[144] Aalto University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
THEA[144] SpaceQuest, Ltd., Aurora Insight Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
VESTA[144] exactEarth Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
VisionCube[144] Korea Aerospace University Low Earth (SSO) Thermospheric research 
WeissSat 1[144] The Weiss School Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration 
The SSO-A "dedicated rideshare" mission delivered 64 small payloads with custom-made dispensers.[145][143]
4 December
20:37[158]
Ariane 5 ECA VA246 Kourou ELA-3 Arianespace
GSAT-11 ISRO Geosynchronous CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
GEO-KOMPSAT-2A KARI Geosynchronous MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
5 December
18:16[159]
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-065 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
SpaceX CRS-16 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics14 January 2019Successful
Delphini 1 AU Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TechEdSat 8 SJSU, UIdaho, NASA Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CAT 1, 2 APL Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
UNITE USI Low Earth Ionospheric ScienceIn orbitOperational
First stage tumbled during descent, and did not make it to Landing Zone 1. It achieved a water landing in the Atlantic Ocean.[159][160] CubeSat payloads were carried in the CRS-16, and deployed into orbit from the ISS on 31 January 2019.[161]
7 December
04:12[162]
Long March 2D 2D-Y38[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 (LC-34/pad 94) CASC
SaudiSat 5A[20] KACST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
SaudiSat 5B KACST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
TY/DF-1 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TFSTAR (Douyu-666) CAST Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Xinjiang Jiaotong 01 (TY3-01) CAST Low Earth (SSO) CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Piao Chong (Ladybeetle) 1-7 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Communications, IoTIn orbitOperational
7 December
18:24[163]
Long March 3B/E 3B-Y30[105] Xichang LC-2 CASC
Chang'e 4 CNSA Selenocentric Lunar landerIn orbitOperational
China's second lunar lander (back-up to Chang'e 3), and the first spacecraft to attempt a soft landing on the far side of the Moon.[164]
16 December
06:33[165]
Electron "This One's For Pickering" Mahia LC-1 Rocket Lab
ALBus NASA Glenn Research Center Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CeREs NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
CHOMPTT NASA, UFL, Stanford University, KACST Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
CubeSail 1 University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
DaVinci North Idaho STEM Charter Academy Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
ISX Cal Poly[166] Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
NMTSat New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
RSat-P U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
SHFT-2 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Shields-1 NASA Langley Research Center Highly elliptical Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
STF-1 NASA's Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility, WVU, WVSGC Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TOMSat Eagle Scout The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
TOMSat R³ (AeroCube 11) The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Launch for NASA's Venture Class Launch Services program (VCLS-1), including ELaNa payloads
19 December
10:40[167]
GSLV Mk II F11[56] Satish Dhawan SLP ISRO
GSAT-7A Indian Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military)In orbitOperational
19 December
16:37:14[168]
Soyuz ST-A / Fregat-M VS20 Kourou ELS Arianespace
CSO 1 French Armed Forces Low Earth (SSO) ReconnaissanceIn orbitOperational
21 December
00:20[169]
Proton-M / Briz-M Baikonur RVSN RF
Blagovest-13L / Kosmos 2533 VKS Geosynchronous Communications (military)In orbitOperational
21 December
23:51[170]
Long March 11 Y5[28] Jiuquan CASC
Hongyun 1 CASIC Low Earth (SSO) Communications (test)In orbitOperational
First test flight for the planned Hongyun constellation of 156 broadband communications satellites.[171]
23 December
13:51[172]
Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-066 Cape Canaveral SLC-40 SpaceX
GPS IIIA-01 (USA-289) U.S. Air Force Medium Earth NavigationIn orbitOperational
24 December
16:53[173]
Long March 3C 3C-Y17[21] Xichang LC-2 CASC
TJSW-3 CNSA Geosynchronous Communications test (probably ELINT)In orbitOperational
27 December
02:07[174]
Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat-M Vostochny Site 1S[175] Roscosmos
Kanopus-V No.5 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Kanopus-V No.6 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
GRUS-1 Axelspace Low Earth (SSO) Earth observationIn orbitOperational
ZACube-2 Cape Peninsula University of Technology Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Lume-1 University of Vigo Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Lemur-2 × 8 Spire Global Low Earth Maritime tracking / AtmosphericIn orbitOperational
D-Star ONE iSat iSky Technology Low Earth Aircraft trackingIn orbitOperational
D-Star ONE Sparrow German Orbital Systems Low Earth Technology demonstration / Amateur radioIn orbitOperational
UWE-4 University of Würzburg Low Earth Technology demonstrationIn orbitOperational
Flock-3k × 12 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observationIn orbitOperational
Three Israeli payloads, SAMSON-1,2,3, were planned but they missed the deadline and were replaced with mass simulator payloads.[176]
29 December
08:00[177]
Long March 2D / YZ-3 2D-Y35[20] Jiuquan SLS-2 CASC
Hongyan 1 CAST Low Earth CommunicationsIn orbitOperational
Yunhai-2 01-06[179] CAST Low Earth MeteorologyIn orbitOperational
First test flight for the planned Hongyan constellation of 320 M2M communications satellites.[180]

Suborbital flights

Deep-space rendezvous

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
7 February Juno 11th perijove of Jupiter
1 April Juno 12th perijove
17 May TESS Gravity assist by the Moon Closest approach: 8,100 kilometres (5,000 mi)
24 May Juno 13th perijove
25 May Queqiao Moon flyby In Earth–Moon L2 halo orbit[206]
25 May Longjiang-1 Moon flyby Failed lunar orbital injection[75]
25 May Longjiang-2 Injection into Selenocentric orbit Preliminary orbit was 350 × 13800 km, inclined 21° to the equator[76]
27 June[1] Hayabusa2 Arrival at asteroid Ryugu
16 July Juno 14th perijove
7 September Juno 15th perijove
21 September HIBOU (ROVER-1A) Landing on Ryugu
21 September OWL (ROVER-1B) Landing on Ryugu
3 October MASCOT Landing on Ryugu
3 October Parker Solar Probe First gravity assist at Venus
29 October Juno 16th perijove
6 November Parker Solar Probe First perihelion Occurred at 03:28 UTC, a distance of 25 million km from the Sun. New record for the fastest spacecraft (95 km/s).
26 November InSight Arrival at Mars Successful landing[207]
26 November MarCO A, B Mars flyby Data relays for InSight lander
3 December OSIRIS-REx Arrival at asteroid Bennu[2] Approach phase operations began on 17 August
12 December Chang'e 4 Injection into Selenocentric orbit Preliminary orbit 100 × 400 km, en route to a landing attempt on the Lunar farside[208]
21 December Juno 17th perijove

Extravehicular activities (EVAs)

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
23 January
11:49
7 hours
24 minutes
19:13 Expedition 54
ISS Quest
  • Replacement of Latching End Effector-B (LEE-B) for the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS)
2 February
15:34
8 hours
13 minutes
23:47 Expedition 54
ISS Pirs
  • Dismantling Lira Electronics Assembly
  • Installation of upgraded Electronics Unit
  • Jettisoning of removed Unit
  • Test Exposure Unit Retrieval
  • Biorisk Retrieval
  • Foot Restraint Relocation
16 February
12:00
5 hours
57 minutes
17:57 Expedition 54
ISS Quest
  • Finished removal and replacement of Latching End Effector on POA
  • Replaced LEE Camera, Installed Ground Strap on Canadarm2
  • Brought failed LEE inside
  • Lubricated Canadarm2
  • Moved Tool Platform on Dextre
  • Adjusted Struts on Flex Hose Rotary Coupler.
29 March
13:33
6 hours
10 minutes
19:43 Expedition 55
ISS Quest
  • Node 3 External Wireless Antenna Install
  • P1 Truss Ammonia Jumper Remove (P1-3-2 RBVM)
  • CP8 Camera Group Replacement
  • S0 Ammonia Jumper Relocate to ESP-1
  • APFR Relocate to ESP-1
  • Bolt Preps on ESP-2
16 May
11:39
6 hours
31 minutes
18:10 Expedition 55
ISS Quest
  • Relocation of two Pump Flow Control Subassembly (PFCS) units
  • Replace the Camera Port-13 (CP-13) External Television Camera Group (ETVCG)
  • Replacement of the Space to Ground Transmit/Receive Controller (SGTRC)
14 June
08:06[209]
6 hours
49 minutes
14:55 Expedition 56
ISS Quest
  • Installed new cameras to monitor the approach and docking maneuvers of commercial crew spacecraft
  • Replaced a defective camera and lighting on the right side of the station
  • Closed the cover of the Cloud Aerosol Transport System instrument
15 August
16:17
7 hours
46 minutes
00:03 on 16 August Expedition 56
ISS Pirs
  • Deployed four CubeSats built by Russian students
  • Installed antennas and cables for the Icarus animal-tracking device
  • Retrieved two materials exposure packages from the Zvezda hull[210]
11 December
15:59
7 hours
45 minutes
21:44 Expedition 57
ISS Pirs

Space debris events

Date/Time (UTC) Source object Event type Pieces tracked Remarks
22 December
07:12
Orbcomm
OG1 FM 16
Satellite breakup 34+ Orbcomm OG1 sat FM 16 disintegrated for unknown reasons.[212]

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. As examples, Soyuz launches by Arianespace in Kourou are counted under Russia because Soyuz-2 is a Russian rocket and Electron launches from Mahia in New Zealand count as USA launches.

Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 China393810China surpassed its previous record of 22 launches in 2016. The only failure was the maiden flight of private rocket Zhuque-1.
 Europe8701During Ariane 5 flight VA241 in January, two launched satellites were placed on an off-nominal orbit.
 India7700GSAT-6A launch was a success, but the satellite failed.
 Japan6600
 Russia201910Includes Soyuz launches from Kourou. Crewed Soyuz MS-10 launch failure, two cosmonauts landed safely.
 United States343400Includes Electron launches from Mahia. In January, Zuma launch was a success, satellite was reported lost but actual status is classified.
Total11411121

By rocket

By family

By type

By configuration

By spaceport

10
20
30
40
China
France
India
Japan
New Zealand
Russia +
Kazakhstan
United States
Site Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Baikonur Kazakhstan9810
Cape Canaveral United States171700
Jiuquan China161510
Kennedy United States3300
Kourou France111001
Mahia New Zealand3300
MARS United States2200
Plesetsk Russia6600
Satish Dhawan India7700
Taiyuan China6600
Tanegashima Japan4400
Uchinoura Japan2200
Vandenberg United States9900
Vostochny Russia2200
Wenchang China0000
Xichang China171700
Total11411121

By orbit

  •   Transatmospheric
  •   Low Earth
  •   Low Earth (ISS)
  •   Low Earth (SSO)
  •   Low Earth (retrograde)
  •   Geosychronous
    (transfer)
  •   Medium Earth
  •   High Earth
  •   Heliocentric
Orbital regime Launches Achieved Not achieved Accidentally
achieved
Remarks
Transatmospheric0000
Low Earth / Sun-synchronous676430Zuma, Soyuz MS-10 and Zhuque-1 lost
Geosynchronous / GTO272601Ariane VA241 underperformed
Medium Earth131300
High Earth / Lunar transfer3300
Heliocentric / Planetary transfer4400
Total11411031

References

Notes

  1. Clockwise from top

Citations

  1. Clark, Stephen (28 June 2018). "Japanese spacecraft reaches asteroid after three-and-a-half-year journey". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  2. Davenport, Justin (3 December 2018). "OSIRIS-REx Arrives at Asteroid Bennu". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  3. Lyons, Kate. "Chang'e 4 landing: China probe makes historic touchdown on far side of the moon". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
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