2011 in spaceflight

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2011 in spaceflight
STS-135 landing cropped.jpg
Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Shuttle Landing Facility on 21 July 2011, completing the final mission of the Space Shuttle programme.
Orbital launches
First 20 January
Last 28 December
Total 84
Successes 78
Failures 6
Catalogued 80
Rockets
Maiden flights Zenit-3F
Long March 2F/G
Atlas V 541
Retirements Space Shuttle
Delta II Heavy
Manned flights
Orbital 7
Total travellers 28
EVAs 10

The year 2011 saw a number of significant events in spaceflight, including the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle after its final flight in July 2011, and the launch of China's first space station module, Tiangong-1, in September. A total of 84 orbital launches were conducted over the course of the year, of which 78 were successful. Russia, China and the United States conducted the majority of the year's orbital launches, with 35, 19 and 18 launches respectively; 2011 marked the first year that China conducted more successful launches than the United States.[1] Seven manned missions were launched into orbit during 2011, carrying a total of 28 astronauts to the International Space Station. Additionally, the Zenit-3F and Long March 2F/G carrier rockets made their maiden flights in 2011, while the Delta II Heavy made its last.

Overview of orbital spaceflight[edit]

A total of 84 orbital launches were attempted in 2011, with 78 being reported as successful; 80 launches reached orbit. 35 launches were conducted using Russian and former Soviet rockets, whilst China launched 19 rockets, and the United States launched 18. Europe conducted five launches, India and Japan launched three rockets each, and Iran conducted one launch.

Manned launches[edit]

Seven manned spaceflights – four Soyuz and three Space Shuttle missions – were launched in 2011, carrying a total of 28 astronauts and cosmonauts into orbit. At the beginning of the year, the Expedition 26 crew was aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The first manned flight of 2011 was STS-133, the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center on 24 February. STS-133 carried Leonardo, the final American pressurised module of the ISS, for installation. Discovery returned to Earth on 9 March.

On 16 March, Expedition 27 began aboard the ISS with the departure of the Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft, which had been docked since October 2010. On 4 April, Soyuz TMA-21 launched to the space station, delivering a further three crewmembers. On 16 May, Space Shuttle Space Shuttle Endeavour launched to the station on its final mission, STS-134, delivering and installing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, before returning to Earth on 1 June. Expedition 28 began aboard the ISS on 23 May with the departure of Soyuz TMA-20, which had been launched in December 2010, and landed in the early morning of 24 May. Three more crewmembers were launched to the space station aboard Soyuz TMA-02M on 7 June.

The final Space Shuttle mission, STS-135, began on 8 July with the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, carrying supplies for the ISS aboard the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM). After resupplying the space station, Atlantis returned to Earth, landing at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at 09:57 UTC on 21 July, and concluding thirty years of Space Shuttle operations. Two days before landing, Atlantis deployed PSSC-2, the last satellite to be launched from a Space Shuttle.

On 29 September, China launched its first space station module, Tiangong-1, which was placed into orbit by a Long March 2F/G carrier rocket flying from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. Although no manned missions to Tiangong-1 were conducted in 2011, the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft, which was launched on 31 October, docked twice with the module to test its systems in preparation for a successful 2012 manned docking.

ISS Expedition 28 ended, and Expedition 29 began, with the undocking of Soyuz TMA-21 on 16 September. The launch of Soyuz TMA-22 did not take place until 14 November, having been delayed by reliability concerns surrounding the Soyuz rocket after an unmanned launch failure in August. A week later, Soyuz TMA-02M undocked, beginning Expedition 30, with the Soyuz spacecraft landing on 22 November. The final manned launch of the year took place on 21 December, when Soyuz TMA-03M was launched to bring a further three crewmembers to the ISS.

Ten spacewalks were conducted in 2011, all of them by ISS or Space Shuttle astronauts. The final spacewalk by a Space Shuttle crew was conducted on 27 May, during the STS-134 mission.

Unmanned exploration[edit]

Numerous scientific exploration missions were begun in 2011. In March 2011, the MESSENGER probe became the first artificial satellite of the planet Mercury. In July, the Dawn spacecraft became the first artificial satellite of the asteroid 4 Vesta. The Mars Science Laboratory – at the time, the largest Mars rover ever constructed – was launched in November, conducting a successful landing on Mars in August 2012.[2]

Launch failures[edit]

Six orbital launches failed in 2011, four of which failed to achieve orbit and the remaining two reached lower orbits than expected. The first failure occurred on 1 February, when a Rokot with a Briz-KM upper stage placed Kosmos 2470 into a useless orbit, from which it could not recover. The failure was later traced to a software problem on the Briz-KM.

The next failure occurred on 4 March, when the payload fairing of a Taurus-XL failed to separate, resulting in the rocket being too heavy to reach orbit. The Glory climate research satellite was lost in the failure, along with the KySat-1, Hermes and Explorer-1 [PRIME] CubeSats. The previous Taurus-XL launch, carrying the Orbiting Carbon Observatory in February 2009, also failed due to the fairing not separating.

No more launch failures occurred until mid-August when, over the space of a week, three consecutive orbital launches failed. On 17 August, a Proton-M/Briz-M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying the Ekspress-AM4 communications satellite. In the morning of 18 August, the rocket's upper stage failed to conduct the fourth of five planned burns due to an attitude control system malfunction, leaving the spacecraft in a parking orbit. Later that same day, a Long March 2C launched from Jiuquan carrying the Shijian XI-04 satellite. The second stage vernier engine's mounting suffered a structural failure, resulting in a loss of control, and the rocket failed to reach orbit. Finally, on 24 August, a Soyuz-U carrying the Progress M-12M cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station suffered a third-stage engine failure and also failed to attain orbit.

The final launch failure of 2011 occurred on 23 December, when a Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat carrying the Meridian 5 satellite failed to achieve orbit due to a third-stage malfunction. Debris fell over Novosibirsk Oblast, with one piece hitting a house; however, no casualties were reported.

In November 2011, Russia's Fobos-Grunt Martian sample return probe launched successfully, but experienced a malfunction post-launch and became stranded in orbit. The spacecraft, which was Russia's first attempt at an interplanetary mission since the 1996 Mars 96 mission, disintegrated over the Pacific Ocean on 15 January 2012.[3][4] China's first Mars probe, Yinghuo-1, which was being carried by the same rocket as Fobos-Grunt, was also lost in the incident.

Launches[edit]

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Launch site LSP
Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks

January[edit]

20 January
12:29:01
UkraineZenit-3F KazakhstanBaikonur Site 45/1 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaElektro-L No.1 Roskosmos Geostationary Weather In orbit Operational[5]
Maiden flight of Zenit-3F
20 January
21:10[7]
United StatesDelta IV-H United StatesVandenberg SLC-6 United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesUSA-224 (KH-11) NRO Low Earth Optical imaging In orbit Operational
NRO Launch 49, first Delta IV Heavy launch from Vandenberg[6]
22 January
05:37:57[8]
JapanH-IIB 304 JapanTanegashima LA-Y2 JapanJAXA[citation needed]
JapanKounotori 2 (HTV-2) JAXA Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 30 March Successful
22 January
06:10[9]
United States Terrier-Oriole United StatesWallops Island United StatesMDA
United StatesAegis Radar Test MDA Suborbital Radar target 22 January Successful
Aegis Radar target, not intercepted, Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
28 January
01:31:41
RussiaSoyuz-U KazakhstanBaikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaProgress M-09M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 26 April
13:22:53
Successful
RussiaKedr RKK Energia Low Earth Amateur radio 4 January 2012[10] Successful
28 January
10:46:00[11]
CanadaBlack Brant IX United StatesPoker Flat United StatesNASA

February[edit]

1 February
14:00
RussiaRokot/Briz-KM RussiaPlesetsk Site 133/3 RussiaVKS
RussiaKosmos 2470 (Geo-IK-2 No.11) VKS Low Earth Geodesy In orbit Launch failure
Upper stage malfunctioned due to problems with the flight software,[12] reached lower orbit than planned
5 February
08:11:11[11]
CanadaBlack Brant IX United StatesPoker Flat United StatesNASA
United StatesPolar NOx VPI Suborbital Geospace 5 February Spacecraft failure[11]
6 February
12:26
United StatesMinotaur I United StatesVandenberg SLC-8 United StatesOrbital
United StatesUSA-225 (RPP) NRO Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational[13]
NRO Launch 66
16 February
21:50[14]
EuropeAriane 5ES FranceKourou ELA-3 FranceArianespace
EuropeJohannes Kepler ATV ESA Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 21 June Successful
24 February
21:53:24
United StatesSpace Shuttle Discovery United StatesKennedy LC-39A United StatesUnited Space Alliance
United StatesSTS-133 NASA Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 9 March
16:57:17
Successful
United NationsLeonardo (PMM)[15] ASI/NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS module In orbit Operational
United NationsExPRESS-4 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics In orbit Operational
Manned flight, final flight of Discovery.
26 February
03:07
RussiaSoyuz-2.1b/Fregat RussiaPlesetsk Site 43/4 RussiaRVSN
RussiaKosmos 2471 (Glonass-K1) VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Successful
February[9] IranShahab-3 Iran IranIRGC
IGRC Suborbital Missile test February Successful
Two missiles with a range of 1,900 kilometres were fired into the Indian Ocean prior to 19 February[citation needed]
February[9] IranSejjil-2 Iran IranIRGC
IGRC Suborbital Missile test February Successful
Two missiles with a range of 1,900 kilometres were fired into the Indian Ocean prior to 19 February[citation needed]

March[edit]

1 March
21:00[9]
United StatesUGM-133 Trident II D5 United StatesUSS Nevada, Pacific Ocean United StatesUS Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 1 March Successful
Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 22 (DASO-22)
2 March
13:40[9]
United StatesJuno United StatesFort Wingate LC-96 United StatesUS Army
US Army Suborbital Target 2 March Successful
Target for MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 MSE test, successfully intercepted
4 March
10:09:43
United StatesTaurus-XL 3110 United StatesVandenberg LC-576E United StatesOrbital Sciences
United StatesGlory NASA Intended: Sun-synchronous Climatology 4 March Launch failure
United StatesKySat-1 Kentucky Space Intended: Low Earth Technology
United StatesHermes Colorado Intended: Low Earth Technology
United StatesExplorer-1 [PRIME] Montana State Intended: Low Earth Radiation
All payloads CubeSats except Glory, which would have been part of the A-train constellation. Fairing failed to separate.
5 March
22:46
United StatesAtlas V 501 United StatesCape Canaveral SLC-41 United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesUSA-226 (X-37B FLT-2) US Air Force Low Earth Technology 16 June 2012
12:48[16][17]
Successful
9 March[9] United StatesTerrier-Oriole United StatesKauai United StatesMDA
United States ARAV-B MDA Suborbital Radar target 9 March Successful
Tracked by STSS satellites
11 March IndiaDhanush IndiaSea launch from Indian Ocean IndiaDRDO
DRDO Suborbital Target 11 March Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
11 March IndiaPrithvi II India Integrated Test Range IC-3 IndiaDRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 11 March Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
11 March
23:38
United StatesDelta IV-M+ (4,2) United StatesCape Canaveral SLC-37B United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesUSA-227 (SDS) NRO Geosynchronous In orbit Operational
NRO Launch 27
15 March[9] IranKavoshgar IranSemnan IranISA
IranKavoshgar-4 ISA Suborbital Biological 15 March Successful
Apogee: 120 kilometres (75 mi)
16 March[9] United StatesTerrier-Oriole United StatesKauai United StatesMDA
United States ARAV-B MDA Suborbital Radar target 16 March Successful
Tracked by both STSS Demo satellites
23 March
18:50:00[11]
CanadaBlack Brant IX United StatesWhite Sands United StatesNASA
United States Colorado Suborbital SDO calibration 23 March Successful[11]
29 March
04:01[18]
BrazilVSB-30 SwedenEsrange EuropeEuroLaunch
GermanyEuropeTEXUS-49 DLR/ESA Suborbital Microgravity 29 March Successful
Apogee: 268 kilometres (167 mi)

April[edit]

4 April
22:18:20[19][20]
RussiaSoyuz-FG KazakhstanBaikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaSoyuz TMA-21 Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS Expedition 27/28 16 September
03:59:39
Successful
9 April
20:47:04
ChinaLong March 3A ChinaXichang LA-3 ChinaCNSA
ChinaCompass-IGSO3 CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
14 April
04:24
United StatesAtlas V 411[21] United StatesVandenberg SLC-3E United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesUSA-229 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth In orbit Operational
United StatesUSA-229 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth In orbit Operational
NRO Launch 34
15 April
06:52[9]
United StatesUGM-96 Trident I C4 (LV-2)[22] Marshall IslandsMeck United StatesMDA
MDA Suborbital ABM target 15 April Successful
15 April
07:03[9]
United States RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 United States USS O'Kane, Pacific Ocean United States US Navy
United States FTM-15 US Navy Suborbital ABM test 15 April Successful
First intercept of an IRBM by an SM-3 (FTM-15 Stellar Charon)
20 April
04:42[23][24][25]
IndiaPSLV IndiaSatish Dhawan FLP IndiaISRO
IndiaResourcesat-2 ISRO Low Earth Remote sensing In orbit Operational
IndiaRussiaYouthSat ISRO/MGU Low Earth Scientific In orbit Operational
SingaporeX-Sat CREST Low Earth In orbit Operational
22 April
21:37
European UnionAriane 5ECA[26] FranceKourou ELA-3 FranceArianespace
United Arab EmiratesYahsat 1A Yahsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
United NationsNew Dawn[27] Intelsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Partial spacecraft failure
New Dawn's C-Band antenna failed to deploy
26 April[9] RussiaR-29RMU Sineva RussiaK-84 Ekaterinburg, Barents Sea RussiaVMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 26 April Successful
27 April
08:00:00[11]
CanadaBlack Brant IX United StatesPoker Flat United StatesNASA
United States WFF Suborbital Test flight 27 April Successful[11]
27 April
13:05:21
RussiaSoyuz-U KazakhstanBaikonur 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaProgress M-10M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 29 October
13:00:31
Successful

May[edit]

4 May
17:41:33[28]
RussiaSoyuz-2.1a/Fregat RussiaPlesetsk Site 43/4 RussiaRVSN
RussiaMeridian 4 VKS Medium Earth Communication In orbit Operational
6 May[29]
23:02[30]
China Tianying 3C China Hainan China CNSA
China Kunpeng-1 CSSAR Suborbital Environment monitoring 23:09 Successful
Apogee: 196.6 kilometres (122.2 mi).
7 May
18:10
United StatesAtlas V 401 United StatesCape Canaveral SLC-41 United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesUSA-230 (SBIRS-GEO 1) US Air Force Geosynchronous Missile defence In orbit Operational
11 May
18:00[9]
United States Improved Orion Brazil Barreira do Inferno Brazil AEB
INPE Suborbital Microgravity 11 May Successful
16 May
12:56
United StatesSpace Shuttle Endeavour United StatesKennedy LC-39A United StatesUnited Space Alliance
United StatesSTS-134 NASA Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 1 June
06:35
Successful
United NationsAMS-02[15] NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS component In orbit Operational
United NationsExPRESS-3 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics In orbit Operational
Manned flight, final flight of Endeavour.
20 May
13:21[31]
United StatesSpaceLoft XL United StatesSpaceport America United StatesUP Aerospace
Suborbital Technology 20 May Successful
United States Goddard Celestis Suborbital Space burial Successful
Apogee: 118.3 kilometres (73.5 mi), successfully recovered.
20 May
14:50[9]
Russia R-29RMU2.1 Layner Russia K-84 Ekaterinburg, Barents Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 20 May Successful
Maiden flight of Layner missile
20 May
19:15[33]
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M Enhanced KazakhstanBaikonur 200/39 RussiaUnited StatesInternational Launch Services
CanadaTelstar 14R Telesat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Partial spacecraft failure
Second solar panel failed to deploy due to tangled cable[32]
20 May
20:38[34]
European UnionAriane 5ECA FranceKourou ELA-3 FranceArianespace
SingaporeTaiwanST-2 SingTel/Chunghwa Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
IndiaINSAT-4G/GSAT-8[35] ISRO Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational

June[edit]

7 June
02:12:45
RussiaSoyuz-FG KazakhstanBaikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaSoyuz TMA-02M Roskosmos Low Earth orbit (ISS) ISS Expedition 28/29 22 November
02:26
Successful
10 June
11:11:16[11]
United States Terrier-Orion United States Wallops Island United States NASA
United States SubTec IV[9] GSFC Suborbital Technology 10 June Successful[11]
10 June
14:20
United StatesDelta II 7320 United StatesVandenberg SLC-2W United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
ArgentinaUnited StatesSAC-D CONAE/NASA Low Earth Oceanography In orbit Operational
Final scheduled flight of Delta II 7300 series, spacecraft carrying NASA Aquarius instrument
15 June
09:14[36]
IranSafir IranSemnan IranISA
IranRasad 1 ISA Low Earth Optical imaging 6 July 2011 Successful
20 June
16:13[37]
ChinaLong March 3B ChinaXichang LA-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaChinasat-10 China Satcom Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
21 June
14:38
RussiaSoyuz-U KazakhstanBaikonur 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaProgress M-11M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 1 September
10:21:41
Successful
22 June
13:35
United StatesLGM-30G Minuteman III United StatesVandenberg LF-10 United StatesUS Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 22 June Successful
23 June
10:18:00[11]
United StatesTerrier-Orion United StatesWallops Island United StatesNASA
United StatesRockOn Colorado Suborbital Student experiments 23 June Successful[11]
27 June
16:00[38]
RussiaSoyuz-U RussiaPlesetsk 16/2 RussiaVKS
RussiaKosmos 2472 (Kobalt-M No.7) VKS Low Earth Optical surveillance 24 October Successful
28 June
11:55[9]
RussiaRSM-56 Bulava RussiaK-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy, White Sea RussiaVMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 28 June Successful
28 June[9] IranShahab-1 IranIran IranIRGC
IGRC Suborbital Missile test 28 June Successful
Part of an exercise with 14 missile launches, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
28 June[9] IranShahab-1 IranIran IranIGRC
IRGC Suborbital Missile test 28 June Successful
Part of an exercise with 14 missile launches, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
28 June[9] IranShahab-2 IranIran IranIRGC
IRGC Suborbital Missile test 28 June Successful
Part of an exercise with 14 missile launches, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
28 June[9] IranShahab-2 IranIran IranIRGC
IRGC Suborbital Missile test 28 June Successful
Part of an exercise with 14 missile launches, apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
28 June[9] IranGhadr-1[9] IranIran IranIRGC
IRGC Suborbital Missile test 28 June Successful
Part of an exercise with 14 missile launches, apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
30 June
03:09
United StatesMinotaur I United StatesMARS LP-0B Orbital Sciences
United StatesUSA-231 (ORS-1) ORSO Low Earth Optical imaging In orbit Operational

July[edit]

6 July
04:28[39]
ChinaLong March 2C ChinaJiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaShijian XI-03 CNSA Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
8 July
15:29
United StatesSpace Shuttle Atlantis United StatesKennedy LC-39A United StatesUnited Space Alliance
United StatesSTS-135 NASA Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 21 July 2011
09:57
Successful
ItalyUnited StatesRaffaelo MPLM NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics Successful
United StatesPSSC-2 US Air Force Low Earth Technology 8 December Successful
Manned flight, final flight of Atlantis and of Space Shuttle programme.
9 July
02:04[9]
United States SRALT United States C-17, Pacific Ocean United States MDA
United States FTX-17 MDA Suborbital Radar target 9 July Successful
Tracked by STSS Demo satellites
9 July
09:00:00[11]
CanadaBlack Brant VB United StatesWallops LA-2[9] United StatesNASA
United StatesDaytime Dynamo NASA Suborbital Geospace 9 July Successful[11]
9 July
09:00:15[11]
United StatesTerrier-Orion United StatesWallops LA-2[9] United StatesNASA
United StatesDaytime Dynamo NASA Suborbital Geospace 9 July Successful[11]
11 July
15:35[9]
ArgentinaGradicom II ArgentinaChamical ArgentinaCITEFA
CITEFA Suborbital Test flight 11 July Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)
11 July
15:41[40][41]
ChinaLong March 3C ChinaXichang LA-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaTianlian 1B CNSA Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
13 July
02:27[42][43]
RussiaSoyuz-2.1a/Fregat KazakhstanBaikonur Site 31/6 European UnionRussiaStarsem
United StatesGlobalstar M081 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M083 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M085 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M088 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M089 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M091 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
15 July
11:18
IndiaPSLV-XL IndiaSatish Dhawan FLP IndiaISRO
IndiaGSAT-12 ISRO Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
15 July
23:16
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M Enhanced KazakhstanBaikonur 200/39 RussiaUnited StatesInternational Launch Services
NetherlandsSES-3 SES World Skies (July–September)
SES (September—)
Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
KazakhstanKazSat-2 Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
16 July
06:41
United StatesDelta IV-M+ (4,2) United StatesCape Canaveral SLC-37B United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesUSA-232 (GPS-IIF-2) US Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
18 July
02:31[44]
UkraineRussia Zenit-3F Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 45/1 Russia Roskosmos
RussiaSpektr-R (RadioAstron) Roskosmos High Earth Radio astronomy In orbit Operational
21 July
07:00[45]
United StatesNike-Improved Orion SwedenEsrange European UnionEuroLaunch
SwedenPHOCUS Stockholm/SSC Suborbital Atmospheric 21 July Successful
21 July
11:58:00[11]
United States Terrier-Orion United States Wallops Island United States NASA
United States RockSat-X Wallops Flight Facility Suborbital Student experiments 21 July Successful[11]
26 July
21:44[46]
ChinaLong March 3A ChinaXichang LA-3 ChinaCNSA
ChinaCompass-IGSO4 CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
27 July
10:01[9]
United StatesLGM-30G Minuteman III United StatesVandenberg LF-04 United StatesUS Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 27 July Launch failure
An anomaly was detected five minutes after launch and the flight was terminated
27 July[9] RussiaR-29RMU Sineva RussiaK-84 Ekaterinburg, Barents Sea RussiaVMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 27 July Successful
29 July
07:42[47]
ChinaLong March 2C ChinaJiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaShijian XI-02 CNSA Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
July[48] IsraelBlue Sparrow IsraelF-15 Eagle, Israel IsraelIAF
Israeli Air Force Suborbital ABM target July Successful
Arrow-3 target, successfully intercepted
July[48] IsraelArrow III IsraelNegev IsraelIAI
IAI/IDF Suborbital ABM Test July Successful
First test of the Arrow-III, successful intercept of a target over the Mediterranean

August[edit]

5 August
16:25[49]
United StatesAtlas V 551 United StatesCape Canaveral SLC-41 United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesJuno NASA Current: Heliocentric
Planned: Zenocentric
Jupiter orbiter In orbit Operational
6 August
22:52[50]
European UnionAriane 5ECA FranceKourou ELA-3 FranceArianespace
LuxembourgAstra 1N SES Astra (August–September)
SES (September—)
Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
JapanBSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R BSAT/JSAT Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
11 August
14:45[9]
United StatesMinotaur IV Lite United StatesVandenberg SLC-8 United StatesOrbital
United StatesHTV-2b US Air Force Suborbital Technology 11 August Spacecraft failure
Second flight of the HTV-2, loss of contact approximately 20 minutes after launch at Mach 20.
11 August
16:15[51]
ChinaLong March 3B/E ChinaXichang LA-2 ChinaCNSA
PakistanPaksat-1R SUPARCO Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
15 August
22:57[52]
ChinaLong March 4B ChinaTaiyuan LC-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaHai Yang 2A CAST Low Earth Oceanography In orbit Operational
17 August
07:12[53]
UkraineDnepr-1 RussiaDombarovsky Site 13 RussiaISC Kosmotras
UkraineSich-2 NKAU Low Earth Remote sensing In orbit Operational
NigeriaNigeriaSat-2 NASRDA Low Earth Remote sensing In orbit Operational
NigeriaNigeriaSat-X NASRDA Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
TurkeyRasat TÜBİTAK Low Earth Remote sensing In orbit Operational
ItalyEduSat GAUSS[clarification needed] Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
CanadaAprizeSat-5 exactEarth Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
CanadaAprizeSat-6 exactEarth Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
UkraineBPA-2 Hartron-Arkos Low Earth Technology In orbit Successful
17 August
21:25[55]
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M Enhanced KazakhstanBaikonur 200/39 RussiaKhrunichev
RussiaEkspress AM-4 RSCC Intended: Geosynchronous
Achieved: Transfer
Communication 25 March 2012 Launch failure
Briz-M upper stage failed before the planned fourth burn. An insufficient time slot was allocated for re-setting the gyroscopes of the upper stage control system before launch, which led to loss of adequate attitude control in flight.[54]
18 August
09:28[57]
ChinaLong March 2C ChinaJiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaShijian XI-04 CNSA Intended: Low Earth Technology 18 August Launch failure
Failed to reach orbit. Second stage's vernier engine support structure failed in flight, led to loss of attitude control.[56]
24 August
13:00[59]
RussiaSoyuz-U KazakhstanBaikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaProgress M-12M Roskosmos Intended: Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 24 August Launch failure
Third stage engine failure 325 seconds after launch due to the gas generator fuel supply pipeline being blocked by contaminants.[58]
27 August
03:20[9]
RussiaRSM-56 Bulava RussiaK-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy, White Sea RussiaVMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 27 August Successful

September[edit]

1 September
13:53[9]
United States Terrier-Oriole United States Kauai United States MDA
MDA Suborbital ABM target 1 September Successful
SM-3 Block 1B target
1 September
13:54[9]
United States RIM-161C Standard Missile 3 Block 1B United States USS Lake Erie, Pacific Ocean United States US Navy
US Navy Suborbital ABM test 1 September Spacecraft failure
First launch of SM-3 Block 1B, intercept failed
3 September
09:46[9]
RussiaRS-12M Topol RussiaPlesetsk RussiaRVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 3 September Successful
10 September
13:08:52[60]
United StatesDelta II 7920H United StatesCape Canaveral SLC-17B United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesGRAIL-A (Ebb) NASA Selenocentric Lunar orbiter 17 December 2012
22:28:51[61]
Successful
United StatesGRAIL-B (Flow) NASA Selenocentric Lunar orbiter 17 December 2012
22:29:21[61]
Successful
Final launch of Delta II Heavy, final Delta II launch from Cape Canaveral, and last launch from SLC-17
15 September[62] Iran Kavoshgar Iran Semnan Iran ISA
Iran Kavoshgar-5 ISA Suborbital Biological 15 September Launch failure
First Iranian attempt to launch a monkey into space; failed to reach orbit
18 September
16:33[63]
ChinaLong March 3B/E ChinaXichang LA-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaChinasat-1A China Satcom Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
20 September
22:47
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M KazakhstanBaikonur Site 81/24 RussiaKhrunichev
RussiaKosmos 2473 (Garpun #1) VKS Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
21 September
21:38
European UnionAriane 5ECA FranceKourou ELA-3 FranceArianespace
Saudi ArabiaArabsat 5C Arabsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
NetherlandsSES-2 SES Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
23 September
04:36:50
JapanH-IIA JapanTanegashima LA-Y1 JapanMitsubishi
JapanIGS Optical 4 CSICE Low Earth Imaging In orbit Operational
24 September
20:18
UkraineZenit-3SL NorwayOcean Odyssey United NationsSea Launch
United StatesAtlantic Bird 7 Eutelsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
26 September[64]
03:20[9]
IndiaPrithvi II India Integrated Test Range IC-3[9] IndiaDRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 27 September Successful
27 September
07:08[62]
RussiaRS-26 Rubezh RussiaPlesetsk RussiaRVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 27 September Launch failure
27 September
15:49
United StatesMinotaur IV+ United StatesKodiak LP-1 United StatesOrbital Sciences
United StatesTacSat-4 US Air Force Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
29 September
13:16:03[65]
ChinaLong March 2F/G ChinaJiuquan LA-4/SLS-1 ChinaCNSA
ChinaTiangong-1 CNSA Low Earth Space station In orbit Operational
Maiden flight of Long March 2F/G, first Chinese space station
29 September
18:32[66]
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M Enhanced KazakhstanBaikonur 200/39 RussiaUnited StatesInternational Launch Services
Isle of ManQuetzSat 1 SES Satellite Leasing Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
Intended for lease to QuetzSat
29 September[67] Russia R-29RMU2.1 Layner Russia K-114 Tula, Barents Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 30 September Successful
30 September
04:02[68]
IndiaAgni-II IndiaITR IC-4[9] IndiaIndian Army
Indian Army Suborbital Missile test 30 September Successful
Travelled 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) downrange

October[edit]

2 October
20:15
RussiaSoyuz-2.1b/Fregat RussiaPlesetsk Site 43/4 RussiaRVSN
RussiaKosmos 2474 (Glonass-M) VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
5 October
05:56[9]
United States SRALT United States C-17, Pacific Ocean United States MDA
US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM target 5 October Successful
Intercepted by THAAD missile
5 October
05:56[9]
Russia R-17 Elbrus United States MLP, Barking Sands United States US Army
US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM target 5 October Successful
Intercepted by THAAD missile
5 October
06:00[9]
United States THAAD United States Barking Sands United States US Army
United States FTT-12 US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM test 5 October Successful
Intercepted target missile
5 October
06:00[9]
United States THAAD United States Barking Sands United States US Army
United States FTT-12 US Army/MDA Suborbital ABM test 5 October Successful
Intercepted target missile
5 October
21:00
UkraineZenit-3SLB KazakhstanBaikonur Site 45/1 United NationsLand Launch
United NationsIntelsat 18 Intelsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
7 October
08:21
ChinaLong March 3B/E ChinaXichang LA-2 ChinaCNSA
FranceEutelsat W3C Eutelsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
8 October
10:25:01[11]
CanadaBlack Brant IX United StatesWhite Sands United StatesNASA
United StatesPICTURE Boston Suborbital Astronomy 8 October Spacecraft failure[11]
11 October
21:15:00[11]
United StatesTerrier-Orion NorwayAndøya United StatesNASA
12 October
05:31
IndiaPSLV-CA IndiaSatish Dhawan IndiaISRO
IndiaFranceMegha-Tropiques[69] ISRO/CNES Low Earth Climatology In orbit Operational
IndiaSRMSAT SRM Low Earth Climatology In orbit Operational
IndiaJugnu IITK Low Earth Remote sensing In orbit Operational
Luxembourg VesselSat1 Luxspace Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
13 October
13:50:00[11]
United StatesTerrier-Orion NorwayAndøya United StatesNASA
19 October
18:48
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M Enhanced KazakhstanBaikonur 200/39 RussiaUnited StatesInternational Launch Services
United StatesViaSat-1 ViaSat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
21 October[70][71]
10:30
RussiaSoyuz-STB/Fregat-MT FranceKourou ELS FranceArianespace
European UnionGalileo-IOV 1 ESA Medium Earth Navigation/Technology In orbit Operational
European UnionGalileo-IOV 2 ESA Medium Earth Navigation/Technology In orbit Operational
First Soyuz launch from Kourou
28 October
03:40[9]
RussiaRSM-56 Bulava RussiaK-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy, White Sea RussiaVMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 28 October Successful
28 October
09:48:01
United StatesDelta II 7920-10 United StatesVandenberg SLC-2W United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesNPP NASA/NOAA Low Earth Weather
Technology
In orbit Operational
United StatesE1P-U2 Montana State Low Earth Radiation In orbit Operational
United StatesRAX-2 University of Michigan Low Earth Auroral In orbit Operational
United StatesM-Cubed University of Michigan Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United StatesDICE-1 Space Dynamics Laboratory Low Earth Magnetosphere research In orbit Operational
United StatesDICE-2 Space Dynamics Laboratory Low Earth Magnetosphere research In orbit Operational
United StatesAubieSat 1 Auburn University Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
Final scheduled flight of Delta II rocket and Thor family
30 October
10:11
RussiaSoyuz-U KazakhstanBaikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaProgress M-13M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Logistics 25 January 2012 Successful
RussiaChibis-M (RS-39) IKI Low Earth Ionospheric In orbit Operational
31 October
21:58:10
ChinaLong March 2F/G ChinaJiuquan LA-4/SLS-1 ChinaCNSA
ChinaShenzhou 8 CNSA Low Earth (Tiangong-1) Technology 17 November
11:36
Successful
ChinaShenzhou-8-GC CNSA Low Earth (Tiangong-1) Technology 2 April 2012 Successful
Unmanned flight, first Chinese orbital docking

November[edit]

2 November
07:50[9]
IsraelJericho III IsraelPalmachim IsraelIsraeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force Suborbital Missile test 2 November Successful
3 November
06:45[9]
RussiaRS-12M Topol RussiaPlesetsk RussiaRVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 3 November Successful
4 November
12:51:41[72]
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M KazakhstanBaikonur Site 81/24 RussiaKhrunichev
RussiaKosmos 2475 (Glonass-M) VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
RussiaKosmos 2476 (Glonass-M) VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
RussiaKosmos 2477 (Glonass-M) VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
6 November
07:00[11]
CanadaBlack Brant IX United StatesWhite Sands United StatesNASA
XQC F5 Wisconsin Suborbital Astronomy 6 November Successful[11]
8 November
20:16
UkraineZenit-2M KazakhstanBaikonur Site 45/1 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaFobos-Grunt Roskosmos Intended: Areocentric
Achieved: Low Earth
Phobos sample return 15 January 2012 Spacecraft failure
ChinaYinghuo-1 CNSA Intended: Areocentric
Achieved: Low Earth
Mars orbiter
First Russian attempt at an interplanetary mission since 1996[73]
First Chinese Mars probe
Spacecraft stranded in low Earth orbit, as telemetry was lost soon after launch and the two trans-Martian injection burns by the payload did not take place[74]
9 November
03:21[75]
ChinaLong March 4B ChinaTaiyuan LC-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaYaogan 12 CNSA Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
ChinaTian Xun 1 Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
14 November
04:14[76]
RussiaSoyuz-FG KazakhstanBaikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaSoyuz TMA-22 Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS Expedition 29/30 27 April 2012 Successful
15 November
03:30[77]
India Agni IV India Integrated Test Range IC-4 India DRDO
Indian Army Suborbital Missile test 15 November Successful
17 November
11:30
United States UGM-27 Polaris (STARS) United States Barking Sands LC-42 United States US Air Force
United States AHW Flight 1A US Army Suborbital Technology 17 November Successful
20 November
00:15[78]
ChinaLong March 2D ChinaJiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaShiyan Weixing 4 CNSA Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
ChinaChuang Xin 1C CNSA Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
25 November
19:10:34
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M Enhanced KazakhstanBaikonur Site 200/39 RussiaUnited StatesInternational Launch Services
ChinaAsiaSat 7 AsiaSat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
25 November
23:00[9]
United States Improved Orion Brazil Barreira do Inferno Brazil AEB
INPE Suborbital Microgravity 25 November Successful
26 November
15:02
United StatesAtlas V 541 United StatesCape Canaveral SLC-41 United StatesUnited Launch Alliance
United StatesMSL (Curiosity) NASA Heliocentric Mars rover 6 August 2012
05:18
Successful[2]
Maiden flight of Atlas V 541, largest Mars rover yet launched
27 November
09:10[79]
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange Europe EuroLaunch
GermanyEurope TEXUS-48 DLR/ESA Suborbital Microgravity 27 November Successful
28 November
08:25:57
RussiaSoyuz-2.1b/Fregat RussiaPlesetsk Site 43/4 RussiaRVSN
RussiaKosmos 2478 (Glonass-M) VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
29 November
18:50[80]
ChinaLong March 2C ChinaTaiyuan LC-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaYaogan 13 CNSA Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

December[edit]

1 December
21:07[81]
ChinaLong March 3A ChinaXichang LA-3 ChinaCNSA
ChinaCompass-IGSO5 CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
2 December
22:00[9]
Brazil VS-30 Brazil Barreira do Inferno Brazil AEB
Brazil Brasil-Alemanha INPE Suborbital Microgravity 2 December Successful
3 December
07:21:31[9]
Brazil VS-30/Improved Orion Norway Ny-Aalesund Norway Andøya
SwedenNorway ICI-3 (CanoRock 4) Oslo/Andøya Suborbital Atmospheric 3 December Successful[82]
10 December
10:30:00[83]
CanadaBlack Brant IX United StatesWhite Sands United StatesNASA
Colorado Suborbital Astronomy 10 December Successful
11 December
11:17
RussiaProton-M/Briz-M Enhanced KazakhstanBaikonur Site 81/24 RussiaKhrunichev
RussiaLuch 5A Roskosmos Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
IsraelAmos-5 SCL Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
12 December
01:21
JapanH-IIA JapanTanegashima LA-Y1 JapanMitsubishi
JapanIGS Radar 3 CSICE Low Earth Reconnaissance (radar) In orbit Operational
17 December
02:03:08
RussiaSoyuz-STA/Fregat FranceKourou ELS FranceArianespace
FrancePléiades-HR 1A CNES Low Earth Optical imaging In orbit Operational
ChileSSOT MDN Low Earth Optical imaging In orbit Operational
FranceELISA 1 CNES/DGA Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
FranceELISA 2 CNES/DGA Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
FranceELISA 3 CNES/DGA Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
FranceELISA 4 CNES/DGA Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
19 December
14:48[84]
Japan S-310 Japan Uchinoura Japan JAXA
JAXA/TPU/TU Suborbital Ionospheric 19 December Successful
19 December RussiaMN-300 RussiaKapustin Yar Russia Rosgidromet
Russia MR-30 Rosgidromet Suborbital Meteorology
Test flight
19 December Successful
Maiden flight of MN-300
19 December
16:41[85]
ChinaLong March 3B/E ChinaXichang LA-2 ChinaCNSA
NigeriaNigComSat-1R NIGCOMSAT/NSRDA Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
21 December
13:16
RussiaSoyuz-FG KazakhstanBaikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
RussiaSoyuz TMA-03M Roskosmos Low Earth orbit (ISS) ISS Expedition 30/31 1 July 2012
08:14[86]
Successful
22 December
03:26
ChinaLong March 4B ChinaTaiyuan LC-2 ChinaCNSA
ChinaZi Yuan 1-02C CNSA Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
23 December
12:08
RussiaSoyuz-2.1b/Fregat RussiaPlesetsk Site 43/4 RussiaVKO
RussiaMeridian 5 VKO Intended: Molniya Communication 23 December Launch failure
Third stage engine malfunctioned 421 seconds after launch, failed to reach orbit; first launch conducted by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces
23 December RussiaRSM-56 Bulava RussiaK-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy, White Sea RussiaVMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 23 December Successful
23 December RussiaRSM-56 Bulava RussiaK-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy, White Sea RussiaVMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 23 December Successful
27 December
12:00
RussiaRS-18 UR-100N KazakhstanBaikonur RussiaRVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test 27 December Successful
28 December
17:09
Russia Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 31/6 European UnionRussia Starsem
United StatesGlobalstar M080 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M082 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M084 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M086 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M090 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United StatesGlobalstar M092 Globalstar Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
? United StatesUGM-133 Trident II D5 United StatesUSS ?, Pacific Ocean United StatesUS Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test ? Successful
Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Test 44

Deep space rendezvous[edit]

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
9 January Mars Express Flyby of Phobos Closest approach: 100 kilometres (62 mi). Mars Express made a total of 8 flybys of Phobos at a distance of less than 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) between 20 December and 16 January.
9 January Artemis P1 Spacecraft left LL2 orbit and joined Artemis P2 in LL1 orbit
11 January Cassini 3rd flyby of Rhea Closest approach: 76 kilometres (47 mi)[87]
15 February Stardust (NExT) Flyby of Tempel 1 Closest approach: 181 kilometres (112 mi). Observed changes since Deep Impact flyby and imaged crater created by Deep Impact impactor, as well as new terrain.
18 February Cassini 74th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 3,651 kilometres (2,269 mi)
18 March MESSENGER Mercurocentric orbit injection First artificial satellite of Mercury; elliptical orbit with a periapsis of 200 kilometers (120 mi) and an apoapsis of 15,000 km (9,300 mi).[88]
19 April Cassini 75th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 10,053 kilometres (6,247 mi)
8 May Cassini 76th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 1,873 kilometres (1,164 mi)
8 June Chang'e 2 Departed lunar orbit Travelled to L2 Lagrangian point, which it reached in August 2011.[89]
20 June Cassini 77th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 1,359 kilometres (844 mi)
27 June Artemis P1 Lunar orbit insertion Initial orbital parameters were: apogee 3,543 kilometres (2,202 mi), perigee 27,000 kilometres (17,000 mi). Over the following three months, the orbit was lowered to an apogee of 97 kilometres (60 mi) and a perigee of 18,000 kilometres (11,000 mi), with an inclination of 20 degrees; retrograde orbit.
16 July Dawn Vestiocentric orbit injection First artificial satellite of 4 Vesta.[90] Initial orbit was 16,000 kilometres (9,900 mi) high and was reduced to 2,700 kilometres (1,700 mi) until 11 August.
17 July Artemis P2 Lunar orbit insertion Initial orbital parameters were similar to Artemis P1. Over the following three months the orbit was lowered to an apogee of 97 kilometres (60 mi) and a perigee of 18,000 kilometres (11,000 mi), with an inclination of 20 degrees; prograde orbit.
25 August Cassini Second-closest flyby of Hyperion[91] Closest approach: 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi)
12 September Cassini 78th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 5,821 kilometres (3,617 mi)
16 September Cassini Flyby of Hyperion Closest approach: 58,000 kilometres (36,000 mi)
1 October Cassini 14th flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 99 kilometres (62 mi)
19 October Cassini 15th flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 1,231 kilometres (765 mi)
6 November Cassini 16th flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 496 kilometres (308 mi)
12 December Cassini 3rd flyby of Dione Closest approach: 99 kilometres (62 mi)
13 December Cassini 79th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 3,586 kilometres (2,228 mi)
31 December GRAIL-A Lunar orbit insertion Twin satellite Grail-B's insertion occurred a day later, on 1 January 2012.

EVAs[edit]

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
21 January
10:05
5 hours
23 minutes
15:49 Expedition 26
ISS Pirs
RussiaDmitri Kondratyev
RussiaOleg Skripochka
Prepared the ISS Poisk module for future dockings.[92]
16 February
13:15
6 hours
23 minutes
18:15 Expedition 26
ISS Pirs
RussiaDmitri Kondratyev
RussiaOleg Skripochka
Installed a radio antenna, deployed a nanosatellite, installed two experiments and retrieved two exposure panels on a third experiment.
28 February
15:46
6 hours
34 minutes
22:20 STS-133
ISS Quest
United StatesStephen Bowen
United StatesAlvin Drew
Removed a failed coolant pump and routed a power extension cable.
2 March
15:41
6 hours
14 minutes
21:55 STS-133
ISS Quest
United StatesStephen Bowen
United StatesAlvin Drew
Removed or repaired thermal insulation, swapped out an attachment bracket on the Columbus module, installed a camera assembly on Dextre and installed a light on a cargo cart.
20 May
07:10
6 hours
19 minutes
13:29 STS-134
ISS Quest
United StatesAndrew Feustel
United StatesGregory Chamitoff
Completed installation of a new set of MISSE experiments, started installing a new wireless video system, installed an ammonia jumper, a new light on the CETA cart on the S3 truss segment, and a cover on the starboard SARJ.
22 May
06:05
8 hours
07 minutes
14:12 STS-134
ISS Quest
United StatesAndrew Feustel
United StatesMichael Fincke
Hooked up a jumper to transfer ammonia to the Port 6 PVTCS, lubricated the SARJ and one of the "hands" on Dextre, and installed a stowage beam on the S1 truss.
25 May
05:43
6 hours
54 minutes
12:37 STS-134
ISS Quest
United StatesAndrew Feustel
United StatesMichael Fincke
Installed PDGF (except for data cable), routed power cables from Unity to Zarya, finished installation of wireless video system, took pictures of Zarya's thrusters and captured infrared video of an experiment in ELC 3.
27 May
04:15
7 hours
24 minutes
11:39 STS-134
ISS Quest
United StatesGregory Chamitoff
United StatesMike Fincke
Installed OBSS on S1 truss, removed the EFGF and replaced it with a spare PDGF, and released some torque on the bolts that were holding the spare arm for Dextre down against ELC 3. Final shuttle spacewalk.[93]
12 July
13:22
6 hours
31 minutes
19:53 Expedition 28
ISS Quest
United StatesRonald Garan
United StatesMichael Fossum
Moved a failed cooling pump from the station to the shuttle Atlantis, transferred a robotic refuelling apparatus from the shuttle to the ISS, installed a materials science experiment on the station's truss, serviced a robot arm attachment fitting, installed a thermal cover over the unused docking port PMA-3, and fixed a protruding wire on a grapple fixture on the Zarya module.
3 August
14:51
6 hours
22 minutes
21:22 Expedition 28
ISS Pirs
RussiaSergei Volkov
RussiaAleksandr Samokutyayev
Launched Kedr satellite, installed BIORISK experiment outside Pirs, and installed laser communication equipment to transmit scientific data from the Russian Orbital Segment.

Orbital launch summary[edit]

By country[edit]

2011 Launches.svg
  China (PRC)
  Europe
  India
  Iran
  Japan
  Russia/CIS
  United States
Orbital launch attempts by country in 2011
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 Europe 5 5 0 0
 India 3 3 0 0
 Iran 1 1 0 0
 Japan 3 3 0 0
 People's Republic of China 19 18 1 0
 Russia/ CIS 35 31 4 0 Includes Sea Launch (1), Land Launch (1) and Soyuz from Kourou (2). Fobos-Grunt launched successfully, but failed post-launch[94]
 United States 18 17 1 0


By rocket[edit]

By family[edit]

Family Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Ariane  Europe 5 5 0 0
Atlas  United States 5 5 0 0
Delta  United States 6 6 0 0
Energia  Ukraine/ Russia 5 5 0 0
H-II  Japan 3 3 0 0
Long March  People's Republic of China 19 18 1 0
Minotaur  United States 3 3 0 0
R-7  Russia 19 17 2 0
R-36  Ukraine 1 1 0 0
Safir  Iran 1 1 0 0
PSLV  India 3 3 0 0
Space Shuttle  United States 3 3 0 0 Retired
Pegasus  United States 1 0 1 0
Universal Rocket  Russia 10 8 2 0

By type[edit]

Rocket Country Family Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Ariane 5  Europe Ariane 5 5 0 0
Atlas V  United States Atlas 5 5 0 0
Delta II  United States Delta 3 3 0 0
Delta IV  United States Delta 3 3 0 0
Dnepr  Ukraine R-36 1 1 0 0
H-IIA  Japan H-II 2 2 0 0
H-IIB  Japan H-II 1 1 0 0
Long March 2  People's Republic of China Long March 7 6 1 0
Long March 3  People's Republic of China Long March 9 9 0 0
Long March 4  People's Republic of China Long March 3 3 0 0
Minotaur I  United States Minotaur 2 2 0 0
Minotaur IV  United States Minotaur 1 1 0 0
PSLV  India PSLV 3 3 0 0
Proton  Russia Universal Rocket 9 8 1 0
Safir  Iran Safir 1 1 0 0
Soyuz  Russia R-7 19 17 2 0
Space Shuttle  United States Space Shuttle 3 3 0 0 Retired
UR-100  Russia Universal Rocket 1 0 1 0
Taurus  United States Pegasus 1 0 1 0
Zenit  Ukraine Energia 5 5 0 0

By configuration[edit]

Rocket Country Type Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Ariane 5ECA  Europe Ariane 5 4 4 0 0
Ariane 5ES  Europe Ariane 5 1 1 0 0
Atlas V 401  United States Atlas V 1 1 0 0
Atlas V 411  United States Atlas V 1 1 0 0
Atlas V 501  United States Atlas V 1 1 0 0
Atlas V 541  United States Atlas V 1 1 0 0
Atlas V 551  United States Atlas V 1 1 0 0
Delta II 7320  United States Delta II 1 1 0 0
Delta II 7920  United States Delta II 1 1 0 0
Delta II 7920H  United States Delta II 1 1 0 0 Retired
Delta IV Medium+ (4,2)  United States Delta IV 2 2 0 0
Delta IV-H  United States Delta IV 1 1 0 0
Dnepr-1  Ukraine Dnepr 1 1 0 0
H-IIA 202  Japan H-IIA 2 2 0 0
H-IIB  Japan H-IIB 1 1 0 0
Long March 2C  People's Republic of China Long March 2 4 3 1 0
Long March 2D  People's Republic of China Long March 2 1 1 0 0
Long March 2F/G  People's Republic of China Long March 2 2 2 0 0 Maiden flight
Long March 3A  People's Republic of China Long March 3 3 3 0 0
Long March 3B  People's Republic of China Long March 3 5 5 0 0
Long March 3C  People's Republic of China Long March 3 1 1 0 0
Long March 4B  People's Republic of China Long March 4 3 3 0 0
Minotaur I  United States Minotaur I 2 2 0 0
Minotaur IV+  United States Minotaur IV 1 1 0 0
PSLV  India PSLV 1 1 0 0
PSLV-CA  India PSLV 1 1 0 0
PSLV-XL  India PSLV 1 1 0 0
Proton-M/Briz-M  Russia Proton 9 8 1 0
Rokot/Briz-KM  Russia UR-100 1 0 1 0
Safir-B  Iran Safir 1 1 0 0
Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat  Russia Soyuz 4 4 0 0
Soyuz-2.1b/Fregat  Russia Soyuz 5 4 1 0
Soyuz-FG  Russia Soyuz 4 4 0 0
Soyuz-U  Russia Soyuz 6 5 1 0
Space Shuttle  United States Space Shuttle 3 3 0 0 Retired
Taurus-XL  United States Taurus 1 0 1 0
Zenit-2M  Ukraine/ Russia Zenit 1 1 0 0
Zenit-3F  Ukraine/ Russia Zenit 2 2 0 0 Maiden flight
Zenit-3SL  Ukraine/ Russia Zenit 1 1 0 0
Zenit-3SLB  Ukraine/ Russia Zenit 1 1 0 0

By launch site[edit]

Site Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Baikonur  Kazakhstan 25 23 2 0
Cape Canaveral  United States 7 7 0 0
Dombarovsky  Russia 1 1 0 0
Kourou  France 7 7 0 0
Jiuquan  People's Republic of China 6 5 1 0
Kennedy Space Center  United States 3 3 0 0
Kodiak Launch Complex  United States 1 1 0 0
MARS  United States 1 1 0 0
Ocean Odyssey United Nations International 1 1 0 0
Plesetsk  Russia 6 4 2 0
Satish Dhawan  India 3 3 0 0
Semnan  Iran 1 1 0 0
Tanegashima  Japan 3 3 0 0
Taiyuan  People's Republic of China 4 4 0 0
Vandenberg  United States 6 5 1 0
Xichang  People's Republic of China 9 9 0 0

By orbit[edit]

Orbital regime Launches Successes Failures Accidentally
achieved
Remarks
Low Earth 43 39 4 0 14 to ISS (7 manned) and 1 to Tiangong 1
Medium Earth 7 7 0 0
Geosynchronous/transfer 29 28 1 0
High Earth 2 1 1 0
Heliocentric orbit 3 3 0 0 Including planetary transfer orbits

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Generic references:

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "China Now Tops U.S. in Space Launches". Wired. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Nasa's Curiosity rover successfully lands on Mars". BBC. 6 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Phobos-Grunt: Failed probe likely to return late Sunday". BBC. 15 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Phobos-Grunt: Failed Russian Mars Probe Falls to Earth". ABC News. 15 January 2012.
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