1961 in spaceflight

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For launches in the first half of the year, see 1961 in spaceflight (January–June), for launches in the second half, see 1961 in spaceflight (July–December)
1961 in spaceflight
Vostok 1 after landing.jpg
The Vostok 1 spacecraft, aboard which Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth on 12 April 1961
Orbital launches
First 31 January
Last 22 December
Total 50
Successes 28
Failures 20
Partial failures 2
Catalogued 36
National firsts
Spaceflight  Italy
Space traveller  Soviet Union
 United States
Rockets
Maiden flights Atlas LV-3A Agena-B
Kosmos-2I 63S1
Saturn I (suborbital test)
Retirements Atlas LV-3A Agena-A
Juno II
Manned flights
Orbital 2
Suborbital 2
Total travellers 4


Deep Space Rendezvous[edit]

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
19 May Venera 1 Flyby of Venus Spacecraft was already non-functional as communication had been lost en route, closest approach: 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi)

Orbital launch summary[edit]

By country[edit]

1961 Launches.svg
  Soviet Union
  United States
Orbital launch attempts by country in 1961
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 Soviet Union 9 5 4 0
 United States 41 23 16 2


By rocket[edit]

Rocket Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Atlas LV-3A Agena-A  United States 1 1 0 0 Retired
Atlas LV-3A Agena-B  United States 7 2 4 1 Maiden flight
Atlas LV-3B  United States 3 2 1 0 First orbital launch
RM-90 Blue Scout II  United States 1 0 1 0 First orbital launch
Juno II  United States 3 1 2 0 Retired
Kosmos-2I 63S1  Soviet Union 2 0 2 0 Maiden flight
Molniya 8K78  Soviet Union 2 1 1 0
Scout X-1  United States 3 1 2 0
Thor DM-21 Ablestar  United States 3 2 0 1
Thor DM-21 Agena-B  United States 17 11 6 0
Thor DM-19 Delta  United States 3 3 0 0
Vostok-K 8K72K  Soviet Union 5 4 1 0

By orbit[edit]

Orbital regime Launches Achieved Not Achieved Accidentally Achieved Remarks
Low Earth 41 28 13 3
Medium Earth 1 1 0 0
High Earth 6 2 4 0 Including Highly elliptical orbits
Heliocentric 2 1 1 0

References[edit]

Generic references:

Footnotes[edit]