2015 in spaceflight

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2015 in spaceflight
NH-Pluto-color-NewHorizons-20150713.png
The New Horizons spacecraft conducted the first flyby of Pluto in July 2015.
Orbital launches
First 10 January
Last 28 December
Total 87
Successes 82
Failures 3
Partial failures 2
Catalogued 83[a]
Landings 1
National firsts
Satellite  Turkmenistan
 Laos
Space traveller  Denmark
 Kazakhstan
Rockets
Maiden flights
Manned flights
Orbital 4
Total travellers 12
EVAs 7

In 2015, the maiden spaceflights of the Chinese Long March 6 and Long March 11 launch vehicles took place.

In February 2015, the European Space Agency's experimental lifting body spacecraft, the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle, successfully conducted its first test flight.

In March 2015, Ceres became the first dwarf planet to be visited by a spacecraft when Dawn entered orbit. In July 2015, New Horizons visited the Pluto-Charon system after a 9-year voyage, returning a trove of pictures and information about the former "ninth planet" (now classified as a dwarf planet). Meanwhile, the MESSENGER probe was deliberately crashed into Mercury after 4 years of in-orbit observations.

On 23 November 2015, the Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital rocket achieved its first powered soft landing near the launch site, paving the way for full reuse of its propulsion stage. On 21 December, the maiden flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Full Thrust took place, ending with a successful landing of its first stage.

Two old weather satellites, NOAA-16 and DMSP 5D-2/F13, broke up in 2015, creating several hundred pieces of space debris. In both cases, a battery explosion is suspected as the root cause.

Orbital launches[edit]

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

January[edit]

10 January
09:47:10
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-5 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 11 February 2015
00:44
Successful
United States Flock-1d' 1 Planet Labs Low Earth Optical imaging 13 October 2015 Successful
United States Flock-1d' 2 Planet Labs Low Earth Optical imaging 27 December 2015 Successful
Brazil AESP-14 ITA Low Earth Ionospheric 11 May 2015 Successful
SpaceX attempted to land the first stage on a platform in the Atlantic Ocean, but the first stage crash-landed on its landing platform.[1] The AESP-14 CubeSat was deployed from the space station on 5 February 2015,[2] while the Flock-1 CubeSats were deployed on 3 March 2015.[3]
21 January
01:04:00
United States Atlas V 551 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States MUOS-3 US Navy Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
31 January
14:22:00
United States Delta II 7320 United States Vandenberg SLC-2W United States United Launch Alliance
United States SMAP NASA Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United States FIREBIRD II A Montana State Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
United States FIREBIRD II B Montana State Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
United States GRIFEX NASA JPL Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
United States ExoCube Cal Poly Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational

February[edit]

1 February
01:21:00
Japan H-IIA 202 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan IGS-Radar Spare CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
1 February
12:31:00
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 RussiaUnited States International Launch Services
United Kingdom Inmarsat 5-F2 Inmarsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
2 February
08:50
Iran Safir Iran Semnan Iran ISA
Iran Fajr ISA Low Earth Technology 26 February 2015 Successful
11 February
13:40:00
European Union Vega France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
European Union IXV ESA Transatmospheric Technology Demonstration 11 February 2015
15:19
Successful
Vega's 4th stage briefly entered low Earth orbit before de-orbiting; thus it did not get a COSPAR ID. This marked the first flight of the IXV
11 February
23:03:32
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States DSCOVR NOAA Earth/Sun L1 Earth Observation/Solar Observation In orbit Operational
First SpaceX launch aimed beyond GTO. First stage soft landed on water.
17 February
11:00:17
Russia Soyuz-U Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Progress M-26M / 58P Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 14 August 2015
14:17
Successful
27 February
11:01:35
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2503 (Bars-M 1L) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

March[edit]

2 March
03:50:00
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
France Eutelsat 115 West B Eutelsat Planned: Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Bermuda ABS-3A ABS Planned: Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First communication satellites to use all-electric propulsion to reach intended orbits from GTO
13 March
02:44:00
United States Atlas V 421 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States MMS-1 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric Research In orbit Operational
United States MMS-2 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric Research In orbit Operational
United States MMS-3 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric Research In orbit Operational
United States MMS-4 NASA Elliptical High Earth Magnetospheric Research In orbit Operational
18 March
22:05:00
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Ekspress AM7 RSCC Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
25 March
18:36:00
United States Delta IV M+(4,2) United States Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-260 (GPS IIF-9) US Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
25 March
22:08:53
Ukraine Dnepr Russia Dombarovsky Site 13 RussiaUkraine ISC Kosmotras
South Korea KOMPSat-3A KARI Low Earth (SSO) Earth imaging In orbit Operational
26 March
01:21:00
Japan H-IIA 202 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan IGS-Optical 5 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
27 March
19:42:57
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Soyuz TMA-16M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 43/44/45/46 12 September 2015
00:51
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts, including two on a year-long mission
27 March
21:46:18
Russia Soyuz-STB/Fregat France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
European Union Galileo FOC 3 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
European Union Galileo FOC 4 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
28 March
11:49:00
India PSLV-XL India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India IRNSS-1D ISRO Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
30 March
13:52:30
China Long March 3C/YZ-1 China Xichang LA-2 China CASC
China BeiDou I1-S CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
31 March
13:47:56
Russia Rokot/Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Site 133/3 Russia VKO
Russia Gonets-M 11 Gonets SatCom Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
Russia Gonets-M 12 Gonets SatCom Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
Russia Gonets-M 13 Gonets SatCom Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
Russia Kosmos 2504 VKO Low Earth Technology/Satellite inspection (?) In orbit Operational

April[edit]

14 April
20:10:41
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-6 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 21 May 2015
16:42
Successful
United States Arkyd 3 Reflight Planetary Resources Planned: Low Earth Technology 23 December 2015 Successful
United States Flock-1e × 14 Planet Labs Planned: Low Earth Optical imaging first: 8 February 2016
last: 24 August 2016
Successful
First stage recovery failed; the rocket stage landed on the target drone ship too fast, tipped over, and exploded.[4]
All secondary payloads were deployed from an ISS airlock later. Arkyd 3 Reflight is a replacement for Arkyd 3, which was lost in the Cygnus CRS Orb-3 flight accident in 2014.
26 April
20:00:07
European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Norway Thor 7 Telenor Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
ItalyFrance SICRAL-2 MDD/DGA Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
27 April
23:03:00
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Turkmenistan TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT Turkmen Telecom Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
First Turkmen satellite
28 April
07:09:50
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 31/6 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Progress M-27M / 59P Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 8 May 2015 Partial failure
Spacecraft lost communications and attitude control soon after separation failure during launch.[5] International Space Station docking attempt cancelled.[6] Mission declared a total loss.[7]

May[edit]

16 May
05:47:39
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 RussiaUnited States International Launch Services
Mexico Mexsat-1 SCT Intended: Geosynchronous Communication 16 May 2015 Launch failure
Proton third stage vernier engine failed at T+497 seconds due to turbopump shaft coating degradation causing excess vibration.[8]
20 May
15:05:00
United States Atlas V 501 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States AFSPC-5 (X-37B OTV-4) US Air Force Low Earth Technology 7 May 2017 Operational
United States ULTRASat NASA Low Earth Cubesat Deployment In orbit Operational
United States Lightsail-A The Planetary Society Low Earth Technology 14 June 2015
17:23
Successful
United States USS Langley U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States BRICSat-P U.S. Naval Academy / George Washington Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States ParkinsonSat U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States GEARRS-2 Taylor Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States AeroCube-8A The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States AeroCube-8B The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States OptiCube 1 CalPoly Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States OptiCube 2 CalPoly Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States OptiCube 3 CalPoly Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
The X-37B spaceplane landed autonomously at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility after spending a record-breaking 718 days in orbit.[9]
27 May
21:16:07
European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
United States DirecTV-15 DirecTV Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
Mexico Sky Mexico 1 SKY Mexico Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational

June[edit]

5 June
15:23:54
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2505 (Kobalt-M) VKO Low Earth Reconnaissance 18 September 2015 Successful
23 June
01:51:58
European Union Vega France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
European Union Sentinel-2A ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
23 June
16:44:00
Russia Soyuz-2.1b Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2506 (Persona) VKO Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
26 June
06:22:04
China Long March 4B China Taiyuan LA-9 China CASC
China Gaofen 8 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation/Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
28 June
14:21:11
United States Falcon 9 v1.1 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-7 NASA Planned: Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 28 June 2015 Launch Failure
United States Flock-1f × 8[11] Planet Labs Planned: Low Earth Optical imaging 28 June 2015 Launch Failure
Vehicle disintegrated at T+139 seconds after second stage helium tank support strut failure caused helium tank to break through second stage tanks.[10] Attempted to deliver the IDA-1 segment of the NASA Docking System. CubeSats were to be deployed from the International Space Station at a later date. Planned first stage landing test not achieved.

July[edit]

3 July
04:55:48
Russia Soyuz-U Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Progress M-28M / 60P Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 19 December 2015 Successful
10 July
16:28:00
India PSLV-XL India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
United Kingdom UK-DMC-3A DMCii Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United Kingdom UK-DMC-3B DMCii Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United Kingdom UK-DMC-3C DMCii Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United Kingdom CBNT-1 SSTL Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
United Kingdom DeOrbitSail Surrey Space Centre Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
15 July
15:36:00
United States Atlas V 401 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-262 (GPS IIF-10) US Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
15 July
21:42:07
European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Brazil Star One C4 Star One Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
European Union MSG-4 EUMETSAT Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
22 July
21:02:44
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Soyuz TMA-17M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 44/45 11 December 2015
13:10
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts
24 July
00:07:00
United States Delta IV M+(5,4) United States Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-263 (WGS-7) US Air Force Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
25 July
12:29:04
China Long March 3B/YZ-1 China Xichang LA-2 China CASC
China BeiDou M1-S CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou M2-S CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational

August[edit]

19 August
11:50:49
Japan H-IIB Japan Tanegashima LA-Y2 Japan MHI
Japan HTV-5 JAXA Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 29 September 2015 Successful
Brazil SERPENS University of Brasília / Brazilian Space Agency Low Earth Technology 27 March 2016 Successful
Japan S-CUBE Chiba Institute of Technology Low Earth Meteor observation 23 November 2016[13]
United States Flock-2b × 14[14] Planet Labs Planned: Low Earth Optical Imaging first: 22 May 2016
last: 17 October 2016
Successful
(12 deployed)
Denmark AAUSAT5 Aalborg Low Earth Technology 15 March 2016 Successful
Denmark GOMX-3 GomSpace Low Earth Technology 19 October 2016[15] Successful
CubeSats to be deployed from the International Space Station at a later date. SERPENS and S-CUBE were deployed on 17 September. AAUSAT5, GOMX-3, and Dove Flocks were deployed on 5–7 October, but two out of the fourteen Dove Flocks failed to be deployed due to a malfunction of the deployer.[12]
20 August
20:34:08
European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
France Eutelsat 8 West B Eutelsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
United States Intelsat 34 Intelsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
27 August
02:31:35
China Long March 4C China Taiyuan LA-9 China CASC
China Yaogan 27 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
27 August
11:22:00
India GSLV Mk II India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-6 Indian Armed Forces/ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
28 August
11:44:00
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 RussiaUnited States International Launch Services
United Kingdom Inmarsat 5-F3 Inmarsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational

September[edit]

2 September
04:37:43
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
Russia Soyuz TMA-18M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 45/46/iriss[18] 2 March 2016
04:26
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts: including ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, the first Dane in space, and Aidyn Aimbetov, the first cosmonaut from an independent Kazakhstan.
Sarah Brightman was intended to fly this mission as a spaceflight participant, but withdrew from training on 13 May 2015 for personal reasons.[16] Japanese space tourist Satoshi Takamatsu was believed to be taking Brightman's place, but he declined and Roscosmos chose Aimbetov as an alternative instead.[17]
Landed with the Year in Space crew of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Korniyenko
2 September
10:18:00
United States Atlas V 551 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States MUOS-4 US Navy Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
11 September
02:08:10
Russia Soyuz-STB/Fregat France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
European Union Galileo FOC 5 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
European Union Galileo FOC 6 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
12 September
15:42:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-2 China CASC
China TJS-1 CNSA Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
14 September
04:42
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China Gaofen 9 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation/Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
14 September
19:00:00
Russia Proton-M/Blok DM-03 Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 81/24 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Ekspress AM8 RSCC Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
19 September
23:01:14
China Long March 6 China Taiyuan LA-16 China CASC
China ZDPS-2A ZJU Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China ZDPS-2B ZJU Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2A CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur Radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2B CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur Radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2C CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur Radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2D CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur Radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2E CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur Radio In orbit Operational
China Xiwang-2F CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Amateur Radio In orbit Operational
China XY-2 CASC Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China DCBB CAMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Education In orbit Operational
China LilacSat-2 HIT Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Tiantuo-3 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China NUDT-Phone-Sat NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 1 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 2 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 3 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Xingchen 4 NUDT Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China NS-2 Tsinghua Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China ZJ-1 Tsinghua Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China ZJ-2 Tsinghua/Xidian Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
Maiden flight of the Long March 6 vehicle
23 September
21:59:38
Russia Rokot/Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Site 133/3 Russia VKO
Russia Kosmos 2507 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
Russia Kosmos 2508 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
Russia Kosmos 2509 (Strela-3M) VKO Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
25 September
01:41:40
China Long March 11 China Jiuquan China CASC
China Pujiang-1 SAST Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Tianwang 1A ShanghaiTech Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Tianwang 1B ShanghaiTech Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
China Tianwang 1C ShanghaiTech Low Earth (SSO) Technology In orbit Operational
Maiden flight of the Long March 11 vehicle
28 September
04:30:00
India PSLV-XL India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
India Astrosat ISRO Low Earth X-ray Astronomy In orbit Operational
Indonesia LAPAN-A2 LAPAN Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Canada ExactView 9 exactEarth Low Earth Maritime Observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 1 NanoSatisfi Inc Low Earth Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 2 NanoSatisfi Inc Low Earth Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 3 NanoSatisfi Inc Low Earth Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 4 NanoSatisfi Inc Low Earth Earth Observation In orbit Operational
29 September
23:13:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-3 China CASC
China BeiDou I2-S CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
30 September
20:30:07
European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Australia NBN-Co 1A (Sky Muster) NBN Co Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
Argentina ARSAT-2 ARSAT Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational

October[edit]

1 October
16:49:40
Russia Soyuz-U Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Progress M-29M / 61P Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 8 April 2016 Successful
2 October
10:28:00
United States Atlas V 421 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
Mexico Mexsat-2 SCT Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
7 October
04:13:04
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China LQSAT CAS CIOMP Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
China Lingqiao A CAS CIOMP Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
China Lingqiao B CAS CIOMP Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
China Jilin-1 CAS CIOMP Low Earth (SSO) Earth Observation In orbit Operational
8 October
12:49:30
United States Atlas V 401 United States Vandenberg SLC-3E United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-264 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
United States USA-264 (NOSS) NRO Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
United States Aerocube-5c The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States Aerocube-7 The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States SNaP-3 x 3 US Army SMDC Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States PropCube x 2 Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States SINOD-D x 2 SRI International Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States ARC-1 UAF Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
United States BisonSat SKC Low Earth Earth Observation In orbit Operational
United States AMSAT Fox-1 AMSAT Low Earth Amateur Radio/Technology In orbit Operational
United States LMRST-Sat NASA JPL Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
NRO Launch 55
16 October
16:16:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-2 China CASC
Hong Kong APStar-9 APT Satellite Holdings Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
16 October
20:40:11
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 RussiaUnited States International Launch Services
Turkey Türksat 4B Türksat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
26 October
07:10:04
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China Tianhui 1C CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Cartography In orbit Operational
31 October
16:13:00
United States Atlas V 401 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States USA-265 (GPS IIF-11) US Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational

November[edit]

3 November
16:25:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-3 China CASC
China ChinaSat 2C CNSA Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
4 November
03:45:00
United States SPARK United States Pacific Missile Range Facility LP-41 United States ORS
United States HiakaSat ORS Planned: Low Earth Technology Demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States EDSN x 8 NASA Planned: Low Earth Technology Demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States PrintSat Montana State University Planned: Low Earth Technology Demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States Argus St. Louis University and Vanderbilt University Planned: Low Earth Technology Demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States STACEM Utah State University Planned: Low Earth Technology Demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
United States Supernova-Beta Pumpkin, Inc. Planned: Low Earth Technology Demonstration 4 November 2015 Launch failure
Maiden flight of the SPARK/Super Strypi launch vehicle
Vehicle lost attitude control at T+1 minute
8 November
07:06:04
China Long March 4B China Taiyuan LA-9 China CASC
China Yaogan 28 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
10 November
21:34:07
European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Saudi Arabia Arabsat 6B Arabsat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
India GSAT-15 ISRO Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
17 November
06:33:41
Russia Soyuz-2.1b/Fregat Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2510 (EKS (Tundra)) VKO Molniya [20] Early warning In orbit Operational[21]
First space component for Russia's new unified missile early warning network.[19]
20 November
16:07:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-2 China CASC
Laos LaoSat-1 Laos National Authority for Science and Technology Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
First Laotian satellite[22]
24 November
06:50:00
Japan H-IIA 204 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Canada Telstar 12V Telesat Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
26 November
21:24:04
China Long March 4C China Taiyuan LA-9 China CASC
China Yaogan 29 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

December[edit]

3 December
04:04:00
European Union Vega France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
European Union LISA Pathfinder ESA/NASA Planned: Sun/Earth L1 Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
5 December
14:08:33
Russia Soyuz-2-1v / Volga Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Kosmos 2511 (Kanopus-ST) VKO Intended: Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation 8 December 2015
05:43
Launch failure
Russia Kosmos 2512 (KYuA-1) Almaz-Antey Low Earth (SSO) Radar calibration In orbit Operational
Kanopus-ST failed to separate from the Volga upper stage.[23][24]
6 December
21:44:57
United States Atlas V 401 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States United Launch Alliance
United States Cygnus CRS OA-4
S.S. Deke Slayton II
Orbital ATK / NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS resupply 20 February 2016 Successful
United States Flock-2e x 12 Planet Labs Planned: Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States CADRE University of Michigan Planned: Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States MinXSS 1 University of Colorado Boulder Planned: Low Earth Solar observation In orbit Operational
United States Nodes x 2 NASA Planned: Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States STMSat 1 St. Thomas More Cathedral School Planned: Low Earth Education In orbit Operational
United States SIMPL NovaWurks Planned: Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Flight moved from Antares 130 rocket following launch failure of Cygnus CRS Orb-3. Originally scheduled for April 1, 2015.[25]
9 December
16:46:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-3 China CASC
China ChinaSat 1C CNSA Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
11 December
13:45:33
Ukraine Zenit-3F Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 45/1 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Elektro-L No.2 Roskosmos Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
Possible final flight of the Zenit launch vehicle following tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
13 December
00:19:00
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 81/24 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Kosmos 2513 (Garpun No. 12L) VKO Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
15 December
11:03:09
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 RussiaRoskosmos
Russia Soyuz TMA-19M Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 46/47 18 June 2016
09:15
Successful
Manned flight with three cosmonauts
16 December
12:30:00
India PSLV-CA India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
Singapore TeLEOS-1 AgilSpace Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Singapore VELOX C1 NTU Low Earth Atmospheric research In orbit Operational
Singapore VELOX 2 NTU Low Earth Technology In orbit Operational
Singapore Kent Ridge 1 NUS Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Singapore Galassia NUS Low Earth Atmospheric research In orbit Operational
Singapore Athenoxat-1 NTU Low Earth Earth Observation In orbit Operational
17 December
00:12:04
China Long March 2D China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China DAMPE CAS Low Earth (SSO) High-energy Astronomy In orbit Operational
17 December
11:51:56
Russia Soyuz-STB/Fregat France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
European Union Galileo FOC 8 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
European Union Galileo FOC 9 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
21 December
08:44:39
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 31/6 Russia Roskosmos
Russia Progress MS-01 / 62P Roskosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS Resupply 3 July 2016
07:50
Operational
First launch of the new Progress-MS variant.
22 December
01:29:00
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States Orbcomm-2 F2 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F5 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F8 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F10 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F12 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F13 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F14 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F15 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F16 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F17 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
United States Orbcomm-2 F18 Orbcomm Low Earth Communication In orbit Operational
First flight of the upgraded "full thrust" version of Falcon 9, first Falcon 9 flight after launch failure in June. First successful return to launch site and vertical landing of a first stage, demonstrated as part of a controlled descent test.
24 December
21:31:19
Russia Proton-M/Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 200/39 Russia Khrunichev
Russia Ekspress AMU1 RSCC Geosynchronous Communication In orbit Operational
28 December
16:04:04
China Long March 3B/E China Xichang LA-2 China CASC
China Gaofen 4 CNSA Geosynchronous Earth observation In orbit Operational

Suborbital flights[edit]

Deep space maneuvers[edit]

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
10 January Chang'e 5-T1 Injection into Selenocentric orbit Departed from Earth–Moon L2 on 4 January.
11 January[33] Cassini 109th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 970 kilometres (603 mi).
12 February Cassini 110th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 1,200 kilometres (746 mi).
6 March[34] Dawn Enters orbit of Ceres 1st visit to a dwarf planet.
16 March Cassini 111th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 2,275 kilometres (1,413 mi).
30 April MESSENGER Impact to Mercury[35] The crash occurred on the side of the planet not visible from Earth.
7 May Cassini 112th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 2,722 kilometres (1,691 mi).
16 June Cassini 4th flyby of Dione Closest approach: 516 kilometres (321 mi).
7 July Cassini 113th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 10,953 kilometres (6,806 mi).
14 July New Horizons First flyby of Pluto and Charon 2nd visit to a dwarf planet. Closest approach: 12,500 km (7,800 mi).
17 August Cassini 5th flyby of Dione Closest approach: 474 kilometres (295 mi).
28 September Cassini 114th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 1,036 kilometres (643 mi).
14 October Cassini Flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 1,839 kilometres (1,142 mi).
28 October Cassini Flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 49 kilometres (30 mi).
12 November Cassini 115th flyby of Titan Closest approach: 11,920 kilometres (7,407 mi).
3 December[36] Hayabusa 2 Flyby of Earth Gravity assist
3 December[37] PROCYON Flyby of Earth Gravity assist en route to cancelled asteroid flyby.
4 December[38] Shin'en 2 Flyby of Earth Gravity assist
7 December[39] Akatsuki Venus orbit insertion Akatsuki's 2nd flyby of Venus and 2nd (successful) attempt at orbit insertion.
19 December Cassini Flyby of Enceladus Closest approach: 4,999 kilometres (3,106 mi).

Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs)[edit]

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
21 February
12:45
6 hours
41 minutes
19:26 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

United States Barry E. Wilmore

United States Terry W. Virts

Rigged and routed power and data cables at the forward end of the Harmony module as part of preparations for the installation of the International Docking Adapter at PMA-2.[40]
25 February
11:51
6 hours
43 minutes
18:34 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

United States Barry E. Wilmore

United States Terry W. Virts

Completed power and data cable routing at the forward end of the Harmony module. Removed launch locks from forward and aft berthing ports of Tranquility to prepare for relocation of the Permanent Multipurpose Module and the installation of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. Lubricated end effector of Canadarm2.[41][42]
1 March
11:52
5 hours
38 minutes
17:30 Expedition 42/43

ISS Quest

United States Terry W. Virts

United States Barry E. Wilmore

Finished cable routing, antenna and retro-reflector installation on both sides of the ISS truss and on other modules in preparation for the installation of the International Docking Adapter at PMA-2 and 3.[43][44]
10 August
14:20
5 hours
31 minutes
19:51 Expedition 44/45

ISS Pirs

Russia Gennady Padalka

Russia Mikhail Korniyenko

Installed gap spanners on the hull of the station for facilitating movement of crew members on future spacewalks, cleaned windows of the Zvezda Service Module, install fasteners on communications antennas, replaced an aging docking antenna, photographed various locations and hardware on Zvezda and nearby modules, and retrieved a space environment experiment.[45][46]
28 October
12:03
7 hours
16 minutes
19:19 Expedition 45

ISS Quest

United States Scott Kelly

United States Kjell N. Lindgren

Prepared a Main Bus Switching Unit for repair, installed a thermal cover on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, lubricated elements of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, and routed data and power cables to prepare for the installation of the International Docking Adaptor at PMA-2 and 3.[47]
6 November
11:22
7 hours
48 minutes
19:10 Expedition 45

ISS Quest

United States Scott Kelly

United States Kjell N. Lindgren

Worked to restore a portion of the ISS's cooling system to its primary configuration, returning ammonia coolant levels to normal in the primary and backup radiator arrays.[48]
21 December
13:45
3 hours
16 minutes
16:01 Expedition 46

ISS Quest

United States Scott Kelly

United States Timothy Kopra

Released a brake on the Mobile Servicing System to allow it to be properly stowed prior to the arrival of a visiting Progress vehicle. Routed cables in preparation for the installation of the Nauka module and the International Docking Adapter, and retrieved tools from a toolbox.[49]

Space debris events[edit]

Date/Time (UTC) Source object Event type Pieces tracked Remarks
3 February 17:40[50] DMSP 5D-2/F13 (USA-109) Satellite breakup 159[51] The breakup was most likely caused by a battery explosion.[50][52] This satellite had been launched in 1995. Another satellite from the same series, DMSP 5D-2/F11, had broken up in 2004.[50] Debris are expected to remain in orbit for decades.[53]
25 November 7:20[54] NOAA-16 Satellite breakup 275[55] As this weather satellite, launched in 2000, had a similar construction to the DMSP satellite which broke up in February 2015, the same cause is suspected (battery overheating and explosion).[56]
22 December 16:00[57] Briz-M upper stage Booster explosion 9[57] A Briz-M upper-stage booster, having subsisted in geosynchronous transfer orbit since launching the Canadian Nimiq 6 commsat in 2012, was seen to have broken up into 9 pieces as of 26 January 2016. Orbital analysis of the debris allowed to time the explosion within one minute of 16:00 UTC on 22 December 2015.[57] Three other Briz-M upper stages had exploded earlier in 2007, 2010 and 2012.[58]

Orbital launch summary[edit]

By country[edit]

For the purposes of this section, the yearly tally of orbital launches by country assigns each flight to the country of origin of the rocket, not to the launch services provider or the spaceport. For example, Soyuz launches by Arianespace in Kourou are counted under Russia because Soyuz-2 is a Russian rocket.

China: 19 Europe: 9 India: 5 Iran: 1 Japan: 4 Russia: 27 Ukraine: 2 USA: 20Circle frame.svg
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 China 19 19 0 0
 Europe 9 9 0 0
 India 5 5 0 0
 Iran 1 1 0 0
 Japan 4 4 0 0
 Russia 27 24 1 2 Includes 3 Soyuz launches from Kourou
 Ukraine 2 2 0 0
 United States 20 18 2 0
World 87 82 3 2

By rocket[edit]

By family[edit]

Family Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Ariane  Europe 6 6 0 0
Atlas  United States 9 9 0 0
Delta  United States 3 3 0 0
Falcon  United States 7 6 1 0
H-II  Japan 4 4 0 0
Long March  China 19 19 0 0
R-7  Russia 17 15 0 2
R-36  Ukraine 1 1 0 0
Safir  Iran 1 1 0 0
SLV  India 5 5 0 0
Strypi  United States 1 0 1 0
Universal Rocket  Russia 10 9 1 0
Vega  Europe 3 3 0 0
Zenit  Ukraine /  Russia 1 1 0 0

By type[edit]

Rocket Country Family Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Ariane 5  Europe Ariane 6 6 0 0
Atlas V  United States Atlas 9 9 0 0
Delta II  United States Delta 1 1 0 0
Delta IV  United States Delta 2 2 0 0
Dnepr  Ukraine R-36 1 1 0 0
Falcon 9  United States Falcon 7 6 1 0
GSLV  India SLV 1 1 0 0
H-IIA  Japan H-II 3 3 0 0
H-IIB  Japan H-II 1 1 0 0
Long March 2  China Long March 4 4 0 0
Long March 3  China Long March 9 9 0 0
Long March 4  China Long March 4 4 0 0
Long March 6  China Long March 1 1 0 0 Maiden flight
Long March 11  China Long March 1 1 0 0 Maiden flight
Proton  Russia Universal Rocket 8 7 1 0
PSLV  India SLV 4 4 0 0
Safir  Iran Safir 1 1 0 0
Soyuz  Russia R-7 7 7 0 0
Soyuz-2  Russia R-7 10 8 0 2
Super Strypi  United States Strypi 1 0 1 0 Maiden flight
UR-100  Russia Universal Rocket 2 2 0 0
Vega  Europe Vega 3 3 0 0
Zenit  Ukraine Zenit 1 1 0 0

By configuration[edit]

By spaceport[edit]

Site Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks
Baikonur  Kazakhstan 18 16 1 1
Barking Sands  United States 1 0 1 0
Cape Canaveral  United States 17 16 1 0
Dombarovsky  Russia 1 1 0 0
Kourou  France 12 12 0 0
Jiuquan  China 5 5 0 0
Plesetsk  Russia 7 6 0 1
Satish Dhawan  India 5 5 0 0
Semnan  Iran 1 1 0 0
Taiyuan  China 5 5 0 0
Tanegashima  Japan 4 4 0 0
Vandenberg  United States 2 2 0 0
Xichang  China 9 9 0 0

By orbit[edit]

Orbital regime Launches Achieved Not achieved Accidentally
achieved
Remarks
Transatmospheric 1 1 0 0
Low Earth 44 41 2 1 14 to ISS (1 failure, 1 partial failure)
Geosynchronous/transfer 32 31 1 0
Medium Earth 7 7 0 0
High Earth 3 3 0 0

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Generic references:

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The European experimental spaceplane IXV was briefly in orbit but did not receive a COSPAR catalog number.
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  8. ^ "РОСКОСМОС: НАЗВАНА ПРИЧИНА АВАРИИ РН "ПРОТОН-М" (ROSCOSMOS: Named cause of the accident "Proton-M")" (in Russian). Roscosmos. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
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  30. ^ 観測ロケットS-520-30号機 打上げ結果について (in Japanese). JAXA. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  31. ^ Latrell, Joe (8 October 2015). "NASA Launches Student Experiments from Wallops". Spaceflight Insider. 
  32. ^ "Spaceport America’s 24th Launch – an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft Rocket Demonstrated the Capability to Eject Separate Payloads Requiring Independent Re-entry". Spaceport America. 6 November 2015. 
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  35. ^ "From Mercury orbit, MESSENGER watches a lunar eclipse". Planetary Society. 10 October 2014. 
  36. ^ "Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2" Topics". JAXA. 2 November 2015. 
  37. ^ Emily Lakdawalla (13 April 2015). "PROCYON update: Asteroid 2000 DP107 target selected, ion engine stopped". The Planetary Society. 
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  49. ^ https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2015/12/21/astronauts-make-quick-work-of-short-spacewalk/
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  52. ^ Berger, Brian; Gruss, Mike (27 February 2015). "20-year-old Military Weather Satellite Apparently Exploded in Orbit". Space News. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
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  55. ^ T.S. Kelso, CelesTrak [@TSKelso] (26 March 2016). "That brings the total so far for the NOAA 16 debris event to 275 pieces, with none having decayed from orbit." (Tweet). Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via Twitter. 
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