2018 in spaceflight

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2018 in spaceflight
A mannequin (Starman) in a spacesuit drives a car with the Earth in the background
Image of the science deck of the InSight lander, with the Martian landscape in the background
Animation of the rotating asteroid Bennu
A cosmonaut inspecting the exterior of a spacecraft during a spacewalk; Earth appears in the background
Highlights from spaceflight in 2018[a]
Orbital launches
First8 January
Last29 December
Total114
Successes111
Failures2
Partial failures1
Catalogued112
National firsts
Satellite
Rockets
Maiden flights
Retirements
Crewed flights
Orbital3 (+1 failed)
Suborbital1 (private)
Total travellers11 (+2 failed)
EVAs8

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

Overview[edit]

Planetary exploration[edit]

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

Human spaceflight[edit]

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

Rocket innovation[edit]

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

Accelerating activity[edit]

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

Orbital launches[edit]

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

January[edit]

8 January
01:00
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-047 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States Zuma / USA-280[19] Unnamed U.S. government agency Low Earth Classified 8 January Launch success, payload separation failure
After an initial lack of official comment on the mission, a preliminary report concludes that the payload adapter manufactured by Northrop Grumman failed to separate the satellite from the second stage, resulting in its re-entry shortly after launch.[16] SpaceX and the United States Air Force reviewed the Falcon 9 flight data and saw no issues with the launch vehicle itself that would affect future launches.[17][18]
9 January
03:24
China Long March 2D 2D-Y40[20] China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China SuperView / Gaojing-1 03 Beijing Space View Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China SuperView / Gaojing-1 04 Beijing Space View Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
11 January
23:18
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y45[21] China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M7 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M8 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
12 January
03:58
India PSLV-XL C40[25] India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
India Cartosat-2F ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
India MicroSat-TD ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Arkyd-6A Planetary Resources Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
South Korea CANYVAL-X 1, 2 Yonsei University, NASA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United Kingdom Carbonite-2 Surrey Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States CICERO 7 GeoOptics Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
South Korea CNUSail-1 CNU Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States DemoSat 2 Astranis Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (radio) In orbit Operational
United States Flock-3p' × 4 Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Fox-1D AMSAT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Finland ICEYE X1 Iceye Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
India INS-1C ISRO Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
South Korea KAUSAT 5 Korea Aerospace University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Landmapper-BC 3 v2 Astro Digital Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 × 4 Spire Global Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Canada LEO Vantage 1 Telesat Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
United States MicroMAS 2a MIT SSL Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
France PicSat Paris Observatory Low Earth (SSO) Astronomy In orbit Operational
United States SpaceBEE 1–4 Swarm Technologies[26] Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
South Korea STEP Cube Lab Chosun University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Tyvak 61C Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth (SSO) Astronomy In orbit Operational
Deployed 31 satellites.[22][23][24]
12 January
22:11
United States Delta IV M+(5,2) D-379 United States Vandenberg SLC-6 United States ULA
United States NROL-47 / Topaz-5[27] / USA-281 US Air Force LEO (retrograde) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
Last flight of Delta IV M+(5,2) variant.
13 January
07:20
China Long March 2D 2D-Y49[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China LKW-3 CAS Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
17 January
21:06:11
Japan Epsilon Japan Uchinoura Japan JAXA
Japan ASNARO-2 NEC Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
19 January
04:12
China Long March 11 Y3[28] China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China Jilin-1 Video-07 (Deqing 1)[29] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Jilin-1 Video-08 (Linye 2)[29] Chang Guang Satellite Technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Star of Enlai
Huai'an Hao
Huai'an Youth Comprehensive Development Base Low Earth (SSO) Technology/Education In orbit Operational
China Xiaoxiang 2 SpaceTY Aerospace Co. Low Earth (SSO) Stabilization technology In orbit Operational
China Quantutong-1
(QTT-1)
Full-chart Location Network Co.
(Quan Tu Tong Co.)
Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
Canada Kepler 2[30] Kepler Communications Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
100th launch from Jiuquan. Carried and deployed 6 satellites in total.
20 January
00:48
United States Atlas V 411 AV-076 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States SBIRS GEO-4 (USA-282) U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Missile warning In orbit Operational
21 January
01:30
United States Electron "Still Testing" New Zealand Mahia LC-1 United States Rocket Lab
United States Flock-2 (Dove Pioneer)[31] Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
New Zealand Humanity Star Rocket Lab Low Earth Dummy satellite 22 March 2018 Successful
United States Lemur-2-72[32] Spire Global Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2-73 Spire Global Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
First successful launch of the Electron rocket.
25 January
05:39
China Long March 2C 2C-Y36[20] China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China Yaogan 30 K CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
China Yaogan 30 L CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
China Yaogan 30 M CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
China Weina 1A[33] / NanoSat-1A[34] Shanghai Micro Satellite Engineering Center Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
25 January
22:20
Europe Ariane 5 ECA VA241 France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Luxembourg SES-14 / United StatesGOLD SES S.A. Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Partial launch failure / Operational[39]
United Arab Emirates Al Yah-3 Yahsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Partial launch failure / Operational
Due to programming errors in the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC)[35] the satellites were placed on an off-nominal orbit.[36] Both payloads are undergoing corrective maneuvers and will be on line in August 2018.[37] These failures have ended the Ariane 5 record series of 82 successful launches in a row from April 2003 to December 2017.[38]
31 January
21:25
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-048 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Luxembourg SES-16 / GovSat-1 SES S.A. Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
This flight re-used booster B1032 recovered from the NROL-76 mission in May 2017, and landed the first stage in the ocean with the intent to expend it. The booster unexpectedly remained intact, but was not recovered, and it was subsequently destroyed.[40]

February[edit]

1 February
02:07
Russia Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat-M Russia Vostochny Site 1S[41] Russia Roscosmos
Russia Kanopus-V No.3 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Russia Kanopus-V No.4 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Germany S-Net 1–4[42] TU Berlin Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (inter-satellite communications) In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 × 4 Spire Global Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Germany D-Star One v.1.1 Phoenix German Orbital Systems Low Earth (SSO) Communications (experimental)  
2 February
07:50
China Long March 2D 2D-Y13[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Italy CSES / Zhangheng-1[43] CNSA / ASI Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Fengmaniu 1 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Denmark GOMX 4A GOMSpace, Danish Ministry of Defence Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Denmark GOMX 4B GOMSpace, ESA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Argentina ÑuSat 4 Satellogic Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Argentina ÑuSat 5 Satellogic Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Shaonian Xing[44] China Association for Science and Technology Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
3 February
05:03
Japan SS-520 Japan Uchinoura Japan JAXA
Japan TRICOM-1R University of Tokyo Low Earth Technology demonstration 21 August 2018 Successful
The smallest rocket to successfully launch a satellite. Re-flight after a launch failure in January 2017
6 February
20:45
United States Falcon Heavy FH-001 United States Kennedy LC-39A United States SpaceX
United States Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster SpaceX Heliocentric Flight test In orbit Successful
Maiden test flight of Falcon Heavy re-using two first-stage boosters. The two side boosters successfully touched down at the landing zones in Cape Canaveral, however the middle booster failed to land on the automated drone ship.[45] The test payload was launched in a heliocentric orbit with an aphelion of 1.70 AU, just beyond the orbit of Mars.[46]
12 February
05:10
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y47[21] China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M3 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M4 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
13 February
08:13
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 31/6 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Progress MS-08 / 69P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics In orbit Operational
Russia Tanyusha-YuZGU 3, 4 South-West State University Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Tanyusha-YuZGU satellites were deployed on 15 August 2018 during a spacewalk.[47]
22 February
14:17
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-049 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
Spain Paz Hisdesat Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Tintin A SpaceX Low Earth Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Tintin B SpaceX Low Earth Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
Flew with a re-used first-stage booster that was expended at sea. One half of the payload fairing splashed down in the ocean and was recovered, but it did not land on a ship as attempted. Last flight of Block 3 version rocket.
27 February
04:34:00
Japan H-IIA 202 F38[48] Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan IGS-Optical 6 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

March[edit]

1 March
22:02:00
United States Atlas V 541 AV-077 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States GOES-17 (GOES-S) NESDIS Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
6 March
05:33
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-050 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Spain Hispasat 30W-6[49] Hispasat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
United States PODSAT[50] NovaWurks/DARPA Geosynchronous transfer orbit Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
First-stage booster was expended at sea and was not recovered.
9 March
17:10:06
Russia Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT VS18 France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
Luxembourg O3b × 4 SES S.A. Medium Earth Communications In orbit Operational
17 March
07:10
China Long March 2D 2D-Y50[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China LKW-4 CAS Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
21 March
17:44:23
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-08 / 54S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 55/56 4 October 2018 Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts
29 March
11:26
India GSLV Mk II F08[51] India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-6A ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Spacecraft failure[52]
29 March
16:45
Russia Soyuz-2-1v Russia Plesetsk Russia Roscosmos
EMKA / Kosmos 2525 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (military) In orbit Operational
29 March
17:50
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y48[21] China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M9 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M10 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
30 March
14:14
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-051 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
United States Iridium NEXT 41–50 Iridium Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
Re-used first-stage booster B1041.[53] First stage was not recovered, did a simulated landing test at sea. Fairing recovery attempt failed due to parafoil issues.
31 March
03:22
China Long March 4C 4C-Y26[54] China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Gaofen-1 02 CNSA SSO Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Gaofen-1 03 CNSA SSO Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Gaofen-1 04 CNSA SSO Earth observation In orbit Operational

April[edit]

2 April
20:30
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-052 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-14 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics 5 May 2018 Successful
United Kingdom RemoveDEBRIS University of Surrey Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Overview 1A SpaceVR Low Earth (ISS) Virtual Space Tourism  
Japan/Turkey Ubakusat ITU/JPF/KIT Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Kenya 1KUNS-PF UoN Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Costa Rica Proyecto Irazú CAAE/ITCR Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Re-used first-stage booster B1039, used to launch CRS-12 in 2017; and the Dragon capsule from CRS-8 in 2016.[55] First stage was not recovered. Ubakusat, 1KUNS-PF, and Proyecto Irazú were deployed from the ISS on 11 May 2018.[56] RemoveDEBRIS was deployed into orbit on 20 June 2018.[57]
5 April
21:34
Europe Ariane 5 ECA VA242 France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Japan Superbird-B3 / DSN-1 JSAT / DSN / JSDF Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
United Kingdom HYLAS-4 Avanti Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First flight of Ariane 5 since off-target launch of VA241 in January 2018.
10 April
04:25
China Long March 4C[58] 4C-Y25[54] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Yaogan 31 A CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
China Yaogan 31 B CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
China Yaogan 31 C CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
China Weina 1B Shanghai Micro Satellite Engineering Center[33] Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
11 April
22:34
India PSLV-XL C41 India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
India IRNSS-1I ISRO Geosynchronous Satellite navigation (IRNSS) In orbit Operational
14 April
23:13
United States Atlas V 551 AV-079 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States AFSPC-11 / CBAS (USA-283)[59][60] U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military) In orbit Operational
United States EAGLE (USA-284 + USA-285/286/287)[61] Air Force Research Laboratory Geosynchronous Technology experiments (Space Test Program) In orbit Operational
18 April
22:12
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M ? Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia RVSN RF
Russia Blagovest-12L / Kosmos 2526 VKS Geosynchronous Communications (military) In orbit Operational
18 April
22:51
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-053 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States TESS NASA HEO Space observatory In orbit Operational
Block 4 first-stage booster, serial number B1045.
25 April
17:57
Russia Rokot / Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Site 133/3 Europe / Russia Eurockot
Europe Sentinel-3B ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
26 April
04:42
China Long March 11 Y4[28] China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China Zhuhai-1 OHS 2A–2D[62] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Zhuhai-1 OVS 2A[63] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational

May[edit]

3 May
16:05
China Long March 3B/G2 3B-Y55[21] China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China Apstar 6C APT Satellite Holdings Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
5 May
11:05
United States Atlas V 401 AV-078 United States Vandenberg SLC-3E United States ULA
United States InSight NASA / JPL Martian Surface Mars lander 26 November
19:52:59
Successful
United States MarCO A (WALL-E)[65] NASA / JPL Heliocentric Communications In orbit Successful
United States MarCO B (Eva)[65] NASA / JPL Heliocentric Communications In orbit Successful
12th mission of the Discovery program. Mars lander mission dedicated to geological and seismological studies of the planet.[64]
8 May
18:28
China Long March 4C 4C-Y20[54] China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Gaofen 5 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
11 May
20:14
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-054 United States Kennedy LC-39A United States SpaceX
Bangladesh Bangabandhu-1 BTRC Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
First launch of a Falcon 9 Block 5 first-stage booster, serial number B1046. The booster was recovered.[66]
20 May
21:28
China Long March 4C 4C-Y27[54] China Xichang LC-3[54] China CASC
China Queqiao CNSA Earth–Moon L2, halo orbit Communications In orbit Operational[68][69]
China Longjiang-1 CNSA Selenocentric, elliptical orbit Radio astronomy In orbit Spacecraft Failure[70][71]
China Longjiang-2 CNSA Selenocentric, elliptical orbit Radio astronomy In orbit Operational[71]
The relay satellite Queqiao, or "Magpie Bridge" will stay in a halo orbit around the second Earth-Moon Lagrange point (E-M L2) and support communications from the Chang'e 4 rover exploring the far side of the Moon.[67]
21 May
08:44
United States Ukraine Antares 230 United States MARS LP-0A United States Orbital ATK
United States Cygnus CRS OA-9E NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics 15 July 2017 Successful
United States CubeRRT OSU Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States HaloSat UI Low Earth (ISS) X-ray astronomy In orbit Operational
United States Radix Analytical Space Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States RainCube JPL Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States SORTIE ASRA LLC. Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational[citation needed]
United States TEMPEST-D CSU/JPL Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Aerocube 12A, 12B The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States CaNOP Carthage College Low Earth (ISS) Earth observation In orbit Operational[citation needed]
United States RadSat-g MSU Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States EQUiSat Brown University Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States MemSat Rowan University Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Bulgaria EnduroSat One Space Challenges Program Low Earth (ISS) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 (× 4) Spire Global Low Earth Aircraft tracking In orbit Operational
RainCube, Radix, CubeRRT, HaloSat, TEMPEST-D, EnduroSat One, EQUISat, MEMSat, RadSat-g are carried aboard Cygnus to be deployed from ISS later.[72] CubeRRT, EQUISat, HaloSat, MemSat, RadSat-g, RainCube, TEMPEST-D, EnduroSat One, Radix were deployed on 13 July 2018.[73] Four Lemur-2s and two Aerocubes were carried in the external deployer of Cygnus and deployed into orbit on 16 July 2018 after it departed from ISS.[74]
22 May
19:47:58[78]
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust[79] F9-055 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
United States Iridium NEXT 51–55 Iridium Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
Germany GRACE-FO 1, 2 DLR Low Earth Gravitational science In orbit Operational
DLR arranged a rideshare of GRACE-FO on a Falcon 9 with Iridium following the cancellation of their Dnepr launch contract in 2015.[75] Iridium CEO Matt Desch disclosed in September 2017 that GRACE-FO would be launched on the sixth Iridium NEXT mission.[76] Re-used a first-stage booster.[77]

June[edit]

2 June
04:13
China Long March 2D 2D-Y20[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Gaofen 6 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Luojia 1 Wuhan University Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
4 June
04:45
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-056 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Luxembourg SES-12 SES S.A. Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
5 June
13:07[80]
China Long March 3A 3A-Y25[21] China Xichang LC-2 China CAST
China Fengyun 2H CMA Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
6 June
11:12:41
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-09 / 55S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 56/57 20 December 2018 Successful
Russia SiriusSat 1, 2 Sirius educational center Low Earth (ISS) Space research, Education In orbit Operational
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts. SiriusSat satellites were deployed on 15 August 2018 during a spacewalk.[81] Crew return was delayed due to the launch failure of Soyuz MS-10; it was rescheduled for 20 December, after the MS-11 crew arrives on 3 December.
12 June
04:20[82]
Japan H-IIA 202 F39[48] Japan Tanegashima MHI
Japan IGS Radar-6 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
16 June
21:30
Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia GLONASS-M 756 / Kosmos 2527 VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
27 June
03:30
China Long March 2C 2C-Yxx[20] China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China XJSS A CAST[83] Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China XJSS B CAST Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
29 June
09:42
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust F9-057 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-15 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics 3 August 2018 Successful
AustraliaUnited KingdomUnited States Biarri-Squad 1-3 Project Biarri Low Earth (ISS) Technology Demonstration  
Bhutan Bhutan 1 Low Earth (ISS) Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
Philippines Maya-1 Low Earth (ISS) Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
Malaysia UiTMSAT-1 UiTM Low Earth (ISS) Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
Last orbital flight of a Block 4 booster version. Bhutan-1, Maya-1, UiTMSAT-1 were deployed into orbit from ISS on 10 August 2018.

July[edit]

9 July
03:56
China Long March 2C / SMA 2CSMA-Y3[20] China Jiuquan LC-43/94 China CASC
Pakistan PRSS-1 SUPARCO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Pakistan PakTES-1A SUPARCO Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
9 July
20:58
China Long March 3A 3A-Y27[21] China Xichang LA-2 China CASC
China BeiDou IGSO-7 CNSA IGSO Navigation In orbit Operational
9 July
21:51:34
Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Progress MS-09 / 70P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics In orbit Operational
Fastest rendezvous with the ISS, with a new two-orbit procedure taking less than four hours.[84]
22 July
05:50
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-058 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Canada Telstar 19V Telesat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
25 July
11:25:01
Europe Ariane 5 ES VA244 France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
European Union Galileo FOC 19, 20, 21, 22 ESA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
Third Galileo launch with Ariane 5 (10th overall), carrying Tara, Samuel, Anna, and Ellen. Last flight of Ariane 5 ES variant; further Galileo launches will be carried by Ariane 6.
25 July
11:39:26
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-059 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
United States Iridium NEXT 56-65 Iridium Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
29 July
01:48
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y49[21] China Xichang China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M5 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M6 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
31 July
03:00
China Long March 4B 4B-Y37[54] China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Gaofen 11 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational

August[edit]

7 August
05:18
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-060 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Indonesia Telkom 4 / Merah Putih[85] Telkom Indonesia Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
12 August
07:31
United States Delta IV Heavy D-380 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-37B United States ULA
United States Parker Solar Probe NASA Heliocentric Heliophysics In orbit Operational
Heliophysics observation mission planned to make in situ studies of the Sun's outer corona at a perihelion distance of 8.5 solar radii (5.9 million kilometers) – the closest any spacecraft will come to the Sun to date.
22 August
21:20:09
Europe Ukraine Vega VV12 France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe ADM-Aeolus ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
24 August
23:52
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y50[21] China Xichang China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M11 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M12 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational

September[edit]

7 September
03:15
China Long March 2C 2C-Y48[20] China Taiyuan LC-9 China CAST
China HaiYang 1C CAST Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
10 September
04:45
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-061 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Canada Telstar 18V Telesat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
15 September
13:02
United States Delta II 7420 D-381 United States Vandenberg SLC-2W United States ULA
United States ICESat-2 NASA Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States ELFIN x 2 (ELFIN, ELFIN-STAR) UCLA Low Earth Magnetospheric Research In orbit Operational
United States DAVE Cal Poly Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States SurfSat UCF Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Last flight of the Delta II series; final flight of the Thor rocket family.
16 September
16:37
India PSLV-CA C42[25] India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
United Kingdom SSTL S1-4 SSTL Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United Kingdom NovaSAR-S SSTL / British Government Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
19 September
14:07[86]
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y51[21] China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M13 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M14 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
22 September
17:52:27
Japan H-IIB F7[48] Japan Tanegashima LA-Y2 Japan MHI
Japan HTV-7 JAXA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics 10 November 2018 Successful
Japan/Singapore SPATIUM-I Kyushu Institute of Technology / Nanyang Technological University Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Japan RSP-00 Ryman Sat Project Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Japan STARS-Me Shizuoka University Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
SPATIUM-1, RSP-00, and STARS-Me are carried by HTV-7 to be deployed into orbit from the International Space Station. They were deployed into orbit on 6 October 2018.
25 September
22:38
Europe Ariane 5 ECA VA243 France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Azerbaijan Azerspace-2 / United States Intelsat 38[89] Azercosmos / Intelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
United States / Japan Horizons-3e Intelsat / JSAT Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Hundredth Ariane 5 mission.[87] Flight VA243 was delayed from 25 May due to issues with GSAT-11.[88]
29 September
04:13
China Kuaizhou 1A F2 China Jiuquan SLS-E2[90] China CASIC
China Centispace-1-S1[91] Beijing Future Navigation Technology Low Earth (SSO) Navigation In orbit Operational

October[edit]

8 October
02:21
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-062 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
Argentina SAOCOM 1A[92][93] CONAE Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
First RTLS at Vandenberg
9 October
02:43
China Long March 2C / YZ-1S 2C-Y38[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Yaogan 32 A CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
China Yaogan 32 B CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
First flight of the Yuanzheng-1S upper stage variant
11 October
08:40
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-10 / 56S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 57/58 11 October 2018 Launch failure
Crewed flight with two cosmonauts. Launch failure, astronauts landed safely in Soyuz capsule.
15 October
04:23
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Y52[21] China Xichang China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M15 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M16 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
17 October
04:15
United States Atlas V 551 AV-073 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States AEHF-4[94] (USA-288)[95] U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military) In orbit Operational
20 October
01:45
Europe Ariane 5 ECA VA245 France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Europe Japan BepiColombo ESA / JAXA Mercurian orbit Mercury probes In orbit Enroute
Third and final cornerstone mission of the Horizon 2000+ programme. Joint ESA / JAXA Mercury mission consisting of two orbiters, the ESA Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the JAXA Mio (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter)
24 October
22:57[96]
China Long March 4B 4B-Y36[54] China Taiyuan LC-9 China CAST
China HaiYang 2B CAST Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
25 October
00:15[97]
Russia Soyuz-2.1b Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Lotos-S1 №3 / Kosmos 2528 VKS Low Earth ELINT In orbit Operational
27 October
08:00[12]
China Zhuque-1 China Jiuquan (mobile launcher) China LandSpace
Weilai 1 / Future 1 (CCTV) China Central Television[99] Low Earth (SSO) Space science / remote sensing 27 October 2018 Launch failure
Maiden flight of the Zhuque-1 solid-propellant rocket[98]
29 October
00:43[100]
China Long March 2C 2C-Y22[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China / France CFOSAT CNSA / CNES Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Xiaoxiang-1 (2)[101] LaserFleet Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (laser communications) In orbit Operational
China Zhaojin-1 (Tongchuan-1)[101] Tsinghua University Low Earth (SSO) Gamma ray detector (gravitational wave research) In orbit Operational
China Tianfuguoxing-1 (Xinghe)[101] Guoxing Yuhang (ADA Space) Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration (remote sensing) In orbit Operational
China Changshagaoxin[101] Changsha City Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio In orbit Operational
Belarus CubeBel-1 (BSUSat-1)[101] Belarusian State University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
29 October
04:08[102]
Japan H-IIA 202 F40[48] Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan GOSAT-2 (Ibuki 2) JAXA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
United Arab Emirates KhalifaSat EIAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Japan AUTcube2 Aichi University of Technology Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Philippines / Japan Diwata-2b DOST / TU Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Japan Stars-AO Shizuoka University Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Japan Ten-Koh[103] Kyushu Institute of Technology Low Earth Magnetosphere observation / Technology demonstration In orbit Operational

November[edit]

1 November
15:57[104]
China Long March 3B/E 3B-Y41[21] China Xichang China CASC
China BeiDou-3 G1Q CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation In orbit Operational
3 November
20:17[105]
Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia GLONASS-M 757 / Kosmos 2529 VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
7 November
00:47:27[106]
Russia Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-M VS19 France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
Europe MetOp-C Eumetsat Low Earth (SSO) Meteorology In orbit Operational
11 November
03:50[107]
United States Electron "It's Business Time" New Zealand Mahia LC-1 United States Rocket Lab
United States Lemur-2-74[108] Spire Global Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2-75 Spire Global Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States Cicero 4 GeoOptics Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States IRVINE01 Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Low Earth Education In orbit Operational
Australia Proxima 1 Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Australia Proxima 2 Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Germany NABEO HPS GmbH Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
14 November
11:38[109]
India GSLV Mk III D2[110] India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-29 ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Second orbital flight of GSLV Mk III
15 November
20:46[111]
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-063 United States Kennedy LC-39A United States SpaceX
Qatar Es'hail 2[112] Es'hailSat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
16 November
18:14:08[114]
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Progress MS-10 / 71P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics In orbit Operational
Return to flight of the Soyuz-FG variant involved in the Soyuz MS-10 launch failure.[113]
17 November
09:01:22[118]
United States Ukraine Antares 230 United States MARS LP-0A United States NG Innovation
United States Cygnus NG-10
SS John Young
NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics 25 February 2019 Successful
United States SEOPS-Quantum Radar-1 SEOPS, LLC Low Earth Education In orbit Operational
United States SEOPS-Quantum Radar-2 SEOPS, LLC Low Earth Education In orbit Operational
United Arab Emirates MySat-1 Masdar Institute of Science and Technology Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States CHEFSat NRL Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States KickSat-2 Cornell University Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
CubeSats were carried aboard Cygnus and deployed into orbit after the departure of Cygnus from ISS.[115] KickSat-2 carries 100[116] or 104[117] Sprite "ChipSats" to deploy into orbit.
18 November
18:00[119]
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 3B-Yxx[21] China Xichang China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M17 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
China BeiDou-3 M18 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
19 November
23:40[120]
China Long March 2D 2D-Y28[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 (LC34) China CASC
China Jiading-1 (OKW-1)[121] Shanghai OK Space Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
China Tianzhi-1[122] Chinese Academy of Sciences Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
As of 19 November 2018, several other payloads were not yet identified.
21 November
01:42:31[123]
Europe Ukraine Vega VV13 France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Morocco Mohammed VI-B Morocco Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
29 November
04:27:30[124]
India PSLV-CA C43[25] India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
India HySIS ISRO Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States BlackSky Global 1 Spaceflight Industries Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Canada CASE Kepler Communications Low Earth In orbit Operational
Spain 3Cat-1 Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Low Earth In orbit Operational
Australia Centauri-2 Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth In orbit Operational
United States CICERO-8 GeoOptics Inc. Low Earth In orbit Operational
Colombia FACSAT-1 Colombian Air Force Low Earth In orbit Operational
United States (Flock 3r) x16 Planet Labs Low Earth In orbit Operational
Netherlands Hiber 1 Hiber Global Low Earth In orbit Operational
United States HSAT 1 Harris Low Earth In orbit Operational
Malaysia InnoSat 2 Astronautic Technology Sdn Bhd Low Earth In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 x4 Spire Global Satellite Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Finland Reaktor Hello World Reaktor Radio Actives Ry Low Earth In orbit Operational
30 November
02:27[125]
Russia Rokot / Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Site 133/3 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Strela-3M 16–18 / Kosmos 2530–2532[126] VKS Low Earth Communications (military) In orbit Operational

December[edit]

3 December
11:31[15]
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-11 / 57S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 58/59 In orbit Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts
3 December
18:34[129]
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-064 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
United States SSO-A / SHERPA
65 small satellites[128]
Spaceflight Industries Low Earth (SSO) Satellite dispenser In orbit Successful
Spain Aistechsat 1[130] Aistech Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Switzerland Astrocast 0.1[130] Astrocast Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Audacy Zero[130] Audacy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States BlackHawk [130] ViaSat Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration    
United States BlackSky Global 2[130] Spaceflight Industries Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States BRIO[130] SpaceQuest, Ltd., Myriota Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Capella 1[130] Capella Space Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (radar)  
United States Centauri 2[130] Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States CSIM-FD[130] University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth (SSO) Heliophysics  
Italy Eaglet 1[130] OHB Italia Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States Elysium Star 2[130] Elysium Space Low Earth (SSO) Space burial  
Europe ESEO[130] ALMASpace Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Germany Eu:CROPIS[130] DLR Low Earth (SSO) Life sciences  
United States eXCITe[127] + SeeMe constellation DARPA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demo (satlets)  
India ExseedSat 1[130] Exseed Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio  
United States FalconSat 6[127] U.S. Air Force Academy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Flock-3s 1–3[130] Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States Fox 1C[130] AMSAT, VPI, Vanderbilt University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Hawk 1–3[130] HawkEye 360 Low Earth (SSO) SIGINT, traffic monitoring[131]  
United States Hiber 2[130] Hiber Global Low Earth (SSO) Communications  
United States ICE-Cap[130] US Navy PEO Space Systems Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Finland ICEYE X2 Iceye Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (radar)  
Brazil ITASAT-1[132] ITA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States IRVINE02[133] Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Low Earth (SSO) Education  
Jordan JY1-Sat[130] Jordanian universities Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio  
Kazakhstan Europe KazSTSAT[134] Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary, Astrium Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Kazakhstan KazsaySat[135] Institute of space technique and technology Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation    
Kazakhstan Al-Farabi 2 KazGU Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation    
Thailand KNACKSAT[130] KMUTNB Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Landmapper-BC 4 Astro Digital Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States MinXSS 2[130] University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth (SSO) Heliophysics  
South Korea NEXTSat 1[130] KAIST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Orbital Reflector[130] Nevada Museum of Art Low Earth (SSO) Art  
United States ORS 7A, 7B (Polar Scout 1, 2)[136] USCG, DHS Low Earth (SSO) Communications  
Poland PW-Sat 2[130] Warsaw University of Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Australia RAAF M1[130] Australian Defence Force Academy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States RANGE A, B[130] Georgia Institute of Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States ROSE 1[130] Phase Four Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States SeaHawk 1[130] University of North Carolina Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States SkySat 14, 15[137] Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
South Korea SNUGLITE[130] Seoul National University Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio, technology demonstration  
South Korea SNUSAT 2[130] Seoul National University Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States SpaceBEE 9–11[130] Swarm Technologies Low Earth (SSO) Communications  
United States STPSat 5[130] USAF STP Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States THEA[130] SpaceQuest, Ltd., Aurora Insight Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Canada VESTA[130] exactEarth Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
South Korea VisionCube[130] Korea Aerospace University Low Earth (SSO) Thermospheric research  
The SSO-A "dedicated rideshare" mission delivered 64 small payloads with custom-made dispensers.[127][128]
4 December
20:37[138]
Europe Ariane 5 ECA VA246 France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
India GSAT-11 ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
South Korea GEO-KOMPSAT-2A KARI Geosynchronous Meteorology In orbit Operational
5 December
18:16[139]
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-065 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-16 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics 14 January 2019 Successful
Denmark Delphini 1 AU Low Earth Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
United States TechEdSat 8 SJSU, UIdaho, NASA Low Earth Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
United States CAT 1, 2 APL Low Earth Technology Demonstration In orbit Operational
United States UNITE USI Low Earth Ionospheric Science In orbit Operational
First stage tumbled during descent, and did not make it to Landing Zone 1. It achieved a water landing in the Atlantic Ocean.[139][140] CubeSat payloads were carried in the CRS-16, and deployed into orbit from the ISS on 31 January 2019.[141]
7 December
04:12[142]
China Long March 2D 2D-Y38[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 (LC-34/pad 94) China CASC
Saudi Arabia SaudiSat 5A[20] KACST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Saudi Arabia SaudiSat 5B KACST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China TY/DF-1 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
China TFSTAR CAST Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
China Xinjiang Jiaotong 01 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
China Piao chong 1-7 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Communications In orbit Operational
7 December
18:24[144]
China Long March 3B/E 3B-Y44[21] China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China Chang'e 4 CNSA Selenocentric Lunar lander In orbit Operational
China's second lunar lander (back-up to Chang'e 3), and the first spacecraft to attempt a soft landing on the far side of the Moon.[143]
16 December
06:33[145]
United States Electron "This One's For Pickering" New Zealand Mahia LC-1 United States Rocket Lab
United States ALBus NASA Glenn Research Center Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States ANDESITE Boston University Center for Space Physics Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States CeREs NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
United States CHOMPTT NASA, UFL, Stanford University, KACST Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States CubeSail 1, 2 University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Da Vinci North Idaho STEM Charter Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States GeoStare Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States ISX Cal Poly[146] Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States NMTSat New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States RSat-P U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States SHFT-1 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Shields-1 NASA Langley Research Center Highly elliptical Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States STF-1 NASA's Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility, WVU, WVSGC Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States TOMSat Eagle Scout The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States TOMSat R³ (AeroCube 11) The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Launch for NASA's Venture Class Launch Services program (VCLS-1), including ELaNa payloads
19 December
10:40[147]
India GSLV Mk II F11[51] India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-7A Indian Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military) In orbit Operational
19 December
16:37:14[148]
Russia Soyuz ST-A / Fregat-M VS20 France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
France CSO 1 French Armed Forces Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational
21 December
00:20[149]
Russia Proton-M / Briz-M Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia RVSN RF
Russia Blagovest-13L / Kosmos 2533 VKS Geosynchronous Communications (military) In orbit Operational
21 December
23:51[151]
China Long March 11 Y5[28] China Jiuquan China CASC
China Hongyun 1 CASIC Low Earth (SSO) Communications (test) In orbit Operational
First test flight for the planned Hongyun constellation of 156 broadband communications satellites.[150]
23 December
13:51[152]
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 F9-066 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States GPS IIIA-01 (USA-289) U.S. Air Force Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
24 December
16:53[153]
China Long March 3C 3C-Y17[21] China Xichang LC-2 China CASC
China TJSW-3 CNSA Geosynchronous Communications test (probably ELINT) In orbit Operational
27 December
02:07[155]
Russia Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat-M Russia Vostochny Site 1S[156] Russia Roscosmos
Russia Kanopus-V No.5 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Russia Kanopus-V No.6 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Japan GRUS-1 Axelspace Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
South Africa ZACube-2 Cape Peninsula University of Technology Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
Europe Lume-1 [gl] University of Vigo Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
United States Lemur-2 × 8 Spire Global Low Earth Maritime tracking / Atmospheric In orbit Operational
Germany D-Star ONE iSat iSky Technology Low Earth Aircraft tracking In orbit Operational
Germany D-Star ONE Sparrow German Orbital Systems Low Earth Technology demonstration / Amateur radio In orbit Operational
Germany UWE-4 University of Wurzburg Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
United States Flock-3k × 12 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation In orbit Operational
Three Israeli payloads, SAMSON-1,2,3, were planned but they missed the deadline and were replaced with mass simulator payloads.[154]
29 December
08:00[158]
China Long March 2D / YZ-3 2D-Y35[20] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Hongyan 1 CAST Low Earth Communications In orbit Operational
China Yunhai-2 01-06[159] CAST Low Earth Meteorology In orbit Operational
First test flight for the planned Hongyan constellation of 320 M2M communications satellites.[157]

Suborbital flights[edit]

Deep-space rendezvous[edit]

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
7 February Juno 11th perijove of Jupiter
1 April Juno 12th perijove
17 May TESS Gravity assist by the Moon Closest approach: 8,100 kilometres (5,000 mi)
24 May Juno 13th perijove
25 May Queqiao Moon flyby In Earth–Moon L2 halo orbit[184]
25 May Longjiang-1 Moon flyby Failed lunar orbital injection[70]
25 May Longjiang-2 Injection into Selenocentric orbit Preliminary orbit was 350 × 13800 km, inclined 21° to the equator[71]
27 June[1] Hayabusa2 Arrival at asteroid Ryugu
16 July Juno 14th perijove
7 September Juno 15th perijove
21 September HIBOU (ROVER-1A) Landing on Ryugu
21 September OWL (ROVER-1B) Landing on Ryugu
3 October MASCOT Landing on Ryugu
3 October Parker Solar Probe First gravity assist at Venus
29 October Juno 16th perijove
6 November Parker Solar Probe First perihelion Occurred at 03:28 UTC, a distance of 25 million km from the Sun. New record for the fastest spacecraft (95 km/s).
26 November InSight Arrival at Mars Successful landing[185]
26 November MarCO A, B Mars flyby Data relays for InSight lander
3 December OSIRIS-REx Arrival at asteroid Bennu[2] Approach phase operations began on 17 August
12 December Chang'e 4 Injection into Selenocentric orbit Preliminary orbit 100 × 400 km, en route to a landing attempt on the Lunar farside[186]
21 December Juno 17th perijove

Extravehicular activities (EVAs)[edit]

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
23 January
11:49
7 hours
24 minutes
19:13 Expedition 54
ISS Quest
  • Replacement of Latching End Effector-B (LEE-B) for the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS)
2 February
15:34
8 hours
13 minutes
23:47 Expedition 54
ISS Pirs
  • Dismantling Lira Electronics Assembly
  • Installation of upgraded Electronics Unit
  • Jettisoning of removed Unit
  • Test Exposure Unit Retrieval
  • Biorisk Retrieval
  • Foot Restraint Relocation
16 February
12:00
5 hours
57 minutes
17:57 Expedition 54
ISS Quest
  • Finished removal and replacement of Latching End Effector on POA
  • Replaced LEE Camera, Installed Ground Strap on Canadarm2
  • Brought failed LEE inside
  • Lubricated Canadarm2
  • Moved Tool Platform on Dextre
  • Adjusted Struts on Flex Hose Rotary Coupler.
29 March
13:33
6 hours
10 minutes
19:43 Expedition 55
ISS Quest
  • Node 3 External Wireless Antenna Install
  • P1 Truss Ammonia Jumper Remove (P1-3-2 RBVM)
  • CP8 Camera Group Replacement
  • S0 Ammonia Jumper Relocate to ESP-1
  • APFR Relocate to ESP-1
  • Bolt Preps on ESP-2
16 May
11:39
6 hours
31 minutes
18:10 Expedition 55
ISS Quest
  • Relocation of two Pump Flow Control Subassembly (PFCS) units
  • Replace the Camera Port-13 (CP-13) External Television Camera Group (ETVCG)
  • Replacement of the Space to Ground Transmit/Receive Controller (SGTRC)
14 June
08:06[187]
6 hours
49 minutes
14:55 Expedition 56
ISS Quest
  • Installed new cameras to monitor the approach and docking maneuvers of commercial crew spacecraft
  • Replaced a defective camera and lighting on the right side of the station
  • Closed the cover of the Cloud Aerosol Transport System instrument
15 August
16:17
7 hours
46 minutes
00:03 on 16 August Expedition 56
ISS Pirs
  • Deployed four CubeSats built by Russian students
  • Installed antennas and cables for the Icarus animal-tracking device
  • Retrieved two materials exposure packages from the Zvezda hull[188]
11 December
15:59
7 hours
45 minutes
21:44 Expedition 57
ISS Pirs

Space debris events[edit]

Date/Time (UTC) Source object Event type Pieces tracked Remarks
22 December
07:12
Orbcomm
OG1 FM 16
Satellite breakup 34+ Orbcomm OG1 sat FM 16 disintegrated for unknown reasons.[190]

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

China: 39Europe: 8India: 7Iran: 0Israel: 0Japan: 6North Korea: 0Russia: 20Ukraine: 0USA: 34Circle frame.svg
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 China 39 38 1 0 China surpassed its previous record of 22 launches in 2016. The only failure was the maiden flight of private rocket Zhuque-1.
 Europe 8 7 0 1 During Ariane 5 flight VA241 in January, two launched satellites were placed on an off-nominal orbit.
 India 7 7 0 0 GSAT-6A launch was a success, but the satellite failed.
 Japan 6 6 0 0
 Russia 20 19 1 0 Includes Soyuz launches from Kourou. Crewed Soyuz MS-10 launch failure, two cosmonauts landed safely.
 United States 34 34 0 0 Includes Electron launches from Mahia. In January, Zuma launch was a success, satellite was reported lost but actual status is classified.
Total 114 111 2 1

By rocket[edit]

By family[edit]

By type[edit]

By configuration[edit]