Comparison of orbital launchers families

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This page contains a list of orbital launchers' families. To see the long complete list of launch systems, see Comparison of orbital launch systems.

Description[edit]

  • Family: Name of the family/model of launcher
  • Country: Origin country of launcher
  • Manufac.: Main manufacturer
  • Payload: Maximum mass of payload, for 3 altitudes
  • Cost: Price for a launch at this time, in millions of US$
  • Launches reaching...
    • Total: flights which lift-off, or where the vehicle is destroyed during the terminal count
      note: only includes orbital launches (flights launched with the intention of reaching orbit). Suborbital tests launches are not included in this listing.
    • Space (regardless of outcome)
    • Any orbit (regardless of outcome)
    • Target orbit (without damage to the payload)
  • Status: Actual status of launcher (retired, development, active)
  • Date of flight
    • First: Year of first flight of first family's member
    • Last: Year of Last flight (for vehicles retired from service)
  • Refs: citations

Same cores are grouped together (like Ariane 1, 2 & 3, but not V).

List of launchers families[edit]

Legend
  Active
  In development
  Retired
  Has flown but new version in dev.

Family Country Manufac. Payload (kg) Cost (US$,
millions)
Launches reaching… Status Date of flight Refs Notes
LEO GTO TLI Total Space Any orbit Target orbit First Last
Angara 1.2  Russia Khrunichev 3,800 -- -- 25 1 1 -- -- Active 2014 -- [1][2][3] As of 2017, only launch was suborbital[4]
Angara A5  Russia Khrunichev 14,600 to
35,000
3,600 to
12,500
-- -- 1 1 1 1 Active 2014 -- [1][5]
Antares  USA Orbital ATK 6,500 -- -- 80 7 6 6 6 Active 2013 -- [6][7][8] Cygnus launcher
Ariane 1-2-3  Europe Aérospatiale -- 2,650 -- -- 28 Retired 1979 1989 [9][10]
Ariane 4  Europe Aérospatiale 7,000 4,720 -- -- 116 -- -- Retired 1988 2003 [10] Var: 40, 42P. 42L, 44P, 44L, 44LP
Ariane 5  Europe Airbus 21,000 10,735[11] -- 220 76 74 74 72 Active 1996 -- [12][13] Var: G,G+,GS, ECA, ES.
Ariane 6  Europe Airbus Safran -- 10,500 -- 115 -- -- -- -- Devel. 2020 -- Var: Ariane 62 & Ariane 64.
ASLV  India ISRO 150 -- -- -- 4 -- -- Retired 1987 1994 [14]
Athena I & II  USA Lockheed ATK 2,065 -- 295 -- 7 -- -- Retired 1995 2001 [15] Launch Lunar Prospector.[16]
Atlas A-B-C-D-E-F-G
Atlas I
 USA Lockheed 5,900 2,340 -- -- 514 -- -- Retired 1957 1997 [17][18][19][20] Launch Mercury.
Atlas or Centaur upper stage.
Atlas II  USA Lockheed 8,618 3,833 -- -- 63 63 63 Retired 1991 2004 [21][22][23]
Atlas III  USA Lockheed 10,759 4,609 -- -- 6 6 6 Retired 2003 2005 [24][25] variants: IIIA, IIIB
Atlas V  USA ULA 18,850 8,900 2,807 109-153 74 74 74 73 Active 2002 [26][27] Launched Juno & New Horizons
BFR  USA SpaceX 100,000+ -- 100,000+[a] -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. 2020 -- [28][29][30][31] Fully reusable. Expected as early as 2020, with suborbital spaceship tests beginning in the first half of 2019.
Black Arrow  UK RAE Westland 132 -- -- -- 4 3 Retired 1969 1971 [32]
Delta  USA Douglas 3,848 1,312 -- -- 186 -- -- Retired 1960 1989 [33][34] Launched Pioneer & Explorer probes.
Variants : A, B, C, D, E, G, J, L, M, N, 300, 900, 1X00, 4X00, 2X00, 3X00, 5X00
Delta II  USA ULA 6,000 2,171 1,508 51 153 152 152 151 Retired 1989 2018 [33][35][36] Launched Mars probes MGS to Phoenix
Variants : 6000, 7000 and Heavy.
Delta III  USA Boeing 8,290 3,810 -- -- 3 2 2 Retired 1998 2000 [37][38]
Delta IV  USA ULA 23,040 13,130 9,000 -- 35 35 35 34 Active 2002 -- [39] Variants : M, M+ and Heavy.
Diamant  France SEREB -- -- -- 12 9 Retired 1965 1975 [citation needed]
R-36M

Dnepr

 Ukraine Russia Yuzhmash 3,600 -- 750 14 17 Retired 1999 2015 [40][41]
[full citation needed][42]
Electron  NZ USA Rocket Lab 225 6 2 2 1 1 Active 2017 -- [43]
Energia  Soviet Union NPO Energia 100,000 240 2 2 1 1 Retired 1987 1988 [44][citation needed] 1 partial failure with Polyus spacecraft, 1 successful flight with Buran shuttle.
Epsilon  Japan IHI Corporation 1,200 -- -- -- 1 1 1 1 Active 2013 -- [45][46]
Falcon 1  USA SpaceX 420[47] -- -- 7.9[47] 5[48] 4[47] 2[47] 2[48] Retired[47] 2006 2009
Falcon 9
v1.0, v1.1, FT, B5
 USA SpaceX 22,800 8,300 -- 61.2 57 56 56 56 Active 2010 -- [49][50] upgrade to version 1.1 in 2013; upgrade to version FT in 2015
Launcher of Dragon capsule
* notes: One flight put primary but not secondary payload into correct orbit,[51] one rocket and payload were destroyed before launch in preparation for static fire[52] and thus is not counted. Falcon 9 Block 5 first launched 11th May 2018 with Bangabandhu 1, the first fully sized Bangladesh satellite.
Falcon Heavy  USA SpaceX 63,800 26,700 -- 90-150 1 1 1 -- Active 2018 -- [53][54][55] First test launch 2018-02-06
GSLV Mk.I  India ISRO 5,000 2,500 -- -- 6 4 2 2 Retired 2001 2010 [56][57][58]
GSLV Mk.II  India ISRO 5,000 2,700 -- -- 6 5 5 5 Active 2010 -- [56][59][58]
GSLV Mk.III (LVM3)  India ISRO 10,000 4,000 -- -- 2 2 2 2 Active 2014 -- [60][61] First Developmental Flight with active cryogenic upper stage successful
H-I  Japan Mitsubishi 3,200 -- -- 9 9 Retired 1986 1992 [62] license-built version of the Thor-ELT
H-II, IIA & IIB  Japan Mitsubishi 19,000 8,000 -- -- 28 26 Active 1994 -- [63] Var:. A202,A2022,A2024,A204,B
Haas  Romania ARCA 400 -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. 2018 -- [64][65] Launch from balloon
J-I  Japan IHI Corporation Nissan Motors 880 -- -- -- 1 Retired 1996 1996 [citation needed] Partial demo flight only
R-12 & R-14

Kosmos

 Soviet Union Yuzhnoye Polyot 1,500 -- -- 12 610 -- -- 559 Retired 1967 2010 [13][66][67] Var: 1, 2, 3, 3M
Kaituozhe  China CALT -- -- -- 3 0 Active 2002 [citation needed] Var: 1, 2
Lambda 4S  Japan Nissan ISAS -- -- -- 5 1 Retired 1966 1970 [citation needed]
Long March 1  China CALT 740 440 -- -- 6 -- -- Retired 1970 2002 [68][69][70] Var: 1, 1D
DF-5

Long March 2-3-4

 China CALT 12,000 5,500 3,300 -- 167 158 -- -- Active 1971 -- [71] Var: 2A,2C,2D,2E,3,3A,3B,3C,4,4B
Launcher of Shenzhou
Long March 5  China CALT 25,000 14,000 8,000 -- 2 2 1 1 Active 2016 -- [72][73] Var: 5, 5B
Long March 6  China CALT 1,500 -- -- -- 1 1 1 1 Active 2015 -- [74]
Long March 7  China CALT 20,000 -- -- -- 1 1 1 1 Active 2016 -- [75]
Minotaur I  USA Orbital ATK 580 -- -- -- 11 11 11 11 Active 2000 -- [76][77] Derived from the Minuteman II
Minotaur IV & V  USA Orbital ATK 1,735 640 447 50 4 4 4 4 Active 2010 -- [76][78] Also 2 suborbital launches (HTV-2a). Variants: IV, IV Lite, IV HAPS, V. Derived from Peacekeeper missile
Mu 1-3-4  Japan Nissan Motor IHI 770 -- -- -- 27 -- -- Retired 1966 1995 [79] Var: 1, 3D, 4S, 3C, 3H, 3S, 3SII
Mu 5  Japan Nissan Motor IHI 1,800 -- -- -- 7 6 Retired 1997 2006 [citation needed] Var: M-V, M-V KM
N1  Soviet Union NPO Energia 90,000 -- 23,500 -- 4 0 0 0 Retired 1969 1972 [80] Designed for Soviet Manned Lunar Mission
N-I & II  Japan Mitsubishi 2,000 730 -- -- 15 -- -- Retired 1975 1987 [81] Derived from the American Delta rocket
Naro  South Korea Khrunichev KARI 100 -- -- -- 3 2 1 1 Retired 2009 2013 [82] First stage uses the Russian RD-151 engine
Pegasus  USA Orbital ATK 450 -- -- -- 43 42 41 38 Active 1990 -- [83]
UR-500 Proton  Soviet Union
 Russia
Khrunichev 23,000 6,920 5,680 -- 399 353 -- Active 1965 -- [84][85] Var: K, M. Medium in development.
PSLV  India ISRO 3,800 1,300 -- -- 40 40 39 38 Active 1993 [86][87] Var: CA, XL, HP, 3S
Launched moon probe Chandrayaan I, Mars probe Mangalyaan I
UR-100N Rokot Strela  Russia Eurockot Khrunichev 2,100 -- -- -- 25 23 23 Active 1994 -- [88][89][90][91] 23 launches of Rokot; 2 launches of Strela
Safir  Iran ISA 50 -- -- -- 7 5 4 4 Active 2007 -- [92]
Saturn I & IB  USA Chrysler Douglas 18,600 -- -- 19 13 13 13 13 Retired 1961 1975 [93][94] Saturn 1 family also included 6 suborbital test launches
Saturn V  USA Boeing North American Douglas 118,000 -- 47,000 185 13 13 13 Retired 1967 1973 [93][95][96] Var: Apollo, Skylab
Scout  USA US Air Force NASA 210 -- -- -- 125 104 -- -- Retired 1960 1994 [97] Var: X1, X2, A, D, G
Shavit  Israel IAI 225 -- -- 15 10 8 8 8 Active 1988 -- [98] Var: Shavit, -1, -2
R-29

Shtil Volna

 Russia Makeyev 430 -- -- -- 8 -- -- Retired 1995 2006 [99] Var: Volna, Shtil, 2.1, 2R, 3
R-7 Semyorka Soyuz  Soviet Union
 Russia
RSC Energia TsSKB-Progress 8,200 2,400 1,200 -- 1,854 -- -- Active 1957 -- [100] [101] Var: Sputnik, Luna, Vostok-L, Vostok-K, Voskhod, Molniya, Molniya-L, Molniya-M, Polyot, Soyuz, Soyuz-L, Soyuz-M, Soyuz-U, Soyuz-FG, Soyuz-2, Soyuz-2-1v
Simorgh  Iran ISA 350 -- -- -- 2 0 0 0 Active 2016 -- [102]
SLS  USA Orbital ATK Boeing United Launch Alliance Aerojet Rocketdyne 70,000 to
130,000
-- -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. 2020 -- [103][104] Expected 2020
SLV  India ISRO 40 -- -- -- 4 3 3 2 Retired 1979 1983 [105] Launched Rohini satellite series
SS-520  Japan IHI Aerospace 4 -- -- -- 4 3 1 1 2017 -- [106] Two successful suborbital flights, one failed and one successful attempt to reach orbit. A test how small orbital rockets can be. The rocket has a mass of only 2.6 tonnes.
STS
Space Shuttle
 USA Alliant Martin Marietta Rockwell 24,400 3,810 -- 450 135 134 134 133 Retired 1981 2011 [107] Orbiter mass: 68585 kg.
RT-2PM

Start-1

 Russia MITT 532 -- -- -- 7 6 Active 1993 -- [108]
Taurus / Minotaur-C  USA Orbital Sciences 1,450 -- -- -- 9 9 6 6 Active 1989 -- [109] Var:2110, 3110, 3210
Thor  USA Douglas 1,270 -- 38 -- 357 -- -- Retired 1957 1980 [34] Launched Pioneer & Explorer probes
LGM-25C

Titan I-II-III-IV

 USA Martin Marietta 21,900 5,773 8,600 350 369 -- -- Retired 1959 2005 [110][111] Var: I, II, IIIA, IIIB, IIIC, IIID, IIIE, 34D, IVA, IVB
Gemini launcher
R-36

Tsyklon

 Soviet Union
 Ukraine
Yuzhmash 4,100 -- -- -- 259 -- -- Retired 1967 2009 [112] Var: 1, 2, 3.
Unified Launch Vehicle  India ISRO 15,000 6,200 -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [113] Var: 6S12, 2S60, 2S138, 2S200
Unha-3  North Korea KCST 200 -- -- -- 4 3 2 ? Active 2006 -- [114][115] Variants: Paektusan based on Taepodong-1 missile; Unha based on Taepodong-2 missile.
Vanguard  USA Martin 23 -- -- -- 12 -- 3 Retired 1957 1959 [116]
Vega  Europe Avio 2,300 -- -- 23 12 12 12 12 Active 2012 -- [117] Vega-C and Vega-E in development.
VLM  Brazil CTA 380 -- -- -- Devel. 2019 -- [118]
Vulcan  USA ULA -- 15,100[119] -- 99 0 -- -- Devel. 2019 [120][121]
Zenit  Soviet Union
 Ukraine
 Russia
Yuzhnoye 13,740 6,160 4,098 -- 82 71 69 Active 1985 -- [122] Var: 2, 2M (2SB, 2SLB), 3SL, 3SLB, 3SLBF

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ With in-orbit refueling

References[edit]

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