2018 in spaceflight

2018 in spaceflight
Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster (40143096241).jpg
Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster with Starman in solar orbit after launching as a dummy payload aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy's first flight on 6 February 2018.
Orbital launches
First 8 January
Last 15 October
Total 79
Successes 77
Failures 1
Partial failures 1
Catalogued 78
National firsts
Satellite
Orbital launch
Rockets
Maiden flights
Retirements
Crewed flights
Orbital 2 (+1 failed)
Total travellers 6 (+2 failed)
EVAs 7

This article lists achieved and expected spaceflight events in 2018.

In planetary exploration, the NASA InSight seismology probe is en route since May 2018 and expected to land on Mars in November. The Parker Solar Probe launched to explore the Sun in August 2018. ESA and JAXA will launch 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 will reach Bennu in December.[2]

China will launch its Chang'e 4 lander/rover in December to attempt the first ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon;[3] 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.[4]

After a failed launch in 2017, the Electron rocket reached orbit with its second flight in January; it is the first orbital rocket equipped with electric pump-fed engines.[5] 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.[6] On 6 February, SpaceX performed the much-delayed test flight of Falcon Heavy,[7] carrying a car and a mannequin to a heliocentric orbit beyond Mars.[8] Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket currently operational.[9]

The global activity of the launch industry grew significantly in 2018. 75 launches were conducted in the first nine months, compared with 63 in the same time in 2017, a 19% increase. Over 50 launches remain scheduled for the last quarter although it is typical that many of them will get delayed. In August, China surpassed its previous record of 22 launches in 2016.

Orbital launches[]

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

January[]

8 January
01:00
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States Zuma / USA-280[13] 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.[10] 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.[11][12]
9 January
03:24
China Long March 2D 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 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) 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[17] 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.[14][15][16]
12 January
22:11
United States Delta IV M+(5,2) United States Vandenberg SLC-6 United States ULA
United States NROL-47 / Topaz-5[18] / 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 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[19] China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China Jilin-1 07
(Lingqiao-07)
CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Jilin-1 08
(Lingqiao-08)
CNSA 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[20] 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 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
New Zealand Electron New Zealand Mahia LC-1 United States Rocket Lab
Still Testing Rocket Lab Low Earth Orbital flight test In orbit Operational
United States Flock-2 (Dove Pioneer)[21] 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[22] 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 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[23] / NanoSat-1A[24] Shanghai Micro Satellite Engineering Center Low Earth Technology demonstration In orbit Operational
25 January
22:20
European Union Ariane 5 ECA (VA-241) France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Luxembourg SES-14 / United StatesGOLD SES S.A. Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Partial launch failure / Operational[29]
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)[25] the satellites were placed on an off-nominal orbit.[26] Both payloads are undergoing corrective maneuvers and will be on line in August 2018.[27] These failures have ended the Ariane 5 record series of 82 successful launches in a row from April 2003 to December 2017.[28]
31 January
21:25
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust 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.[30]

February[]

1 February
02:07
Russia Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat-M Russia Vostochny Site 1S[31] 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[32] 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) In orbit Operational
2 February
07:50
China Long March 2D[33] China Jiuquan SLS-2 China CASC
China Italy CSES / Zhangheng-1[34] 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[35] 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 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.[36] The test payload was launched in a heliocentric orbit with an aphelion of 1.70 AU, just beyond the orbit of Mars.[37]
12 February
05:10
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 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
22 February
14:17
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust 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 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan IGS-Optical 6 CSICE Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance In orbit Operational

March[]

1 March
22:02:00
United States Atlas V 541 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 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Spain Hispasat 30W-6[38] Hispasat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
United States PODSAT[39] 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 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) Expion 55/56 In orbit Successful
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts
29 March
11:26
India GSLV Mk II India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-6A ISRO Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Spacecraft failure[40]
29 March
16:45
Russia Soyuz-2-1v Russia Plesetsk Russia Roscosmos
EMKA Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (military) In orbit Operational
29 March
17:50
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 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 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.[41] 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 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[]

2 April
20:30
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust 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.[42] First stage was not recovered. Ubakusat, 1KUNS-PF, and Proyecto Irazú were deployed from the ISS on 11 May 2018.[43] RemoveDEBRIS was deployed into orbit on 20 June 2018.[44]
5 April
21:34
European Union Ariane 5 ECA (VA-242) 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 VA-241 in January 2018.
10 April
04:25
China Long March 4C[45] 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[23] 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 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States AFSPC-11 U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous[46] Communications (military) In orbit Operational
United States EAGLE[47] Air Force Research Laboratory Geosynchronous[47] 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 VKS Geosynchronous Communications (military) In orbit Operational
18 April
22:51
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust 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 European Union / Russia Eurockot
European Union Sentinel-3B ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
26 April
04:42
China Long March 11 China Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-2 China CASC
China Zhuhai-1 OHS 2A–2D[48] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Zhuhai-1 OVS 2A[49] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational

May[]

3 May
16:05
China Long March 3B/E 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 United States Vandenberg SLC-3E United States ULA
United States InSight NASA / JPL Martian Surface Mars lander In orbit Enroute
United States MarCO A (WALL-E)[51] NASA / JPL Heliocentric Communications In orbit Enroute
United States MarCO B (Eva)[51] NASA / JPL Heliocentric Communications In orbit Enroute
12th mission of the Discovery program. Mars lander mission dedicated to geological and seismological studies of the planet.[50]
8 May
18:28
China Long March 4C 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 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.[52]
20 May
21:28
China Long March 4C China Xichang LC-3[54] China CASC
China Queqiao CNSA Earth–Moon L2, halo orbit Communications In orbit Operational[55][56]
China Longjiang-1 CNSA Selenocentric, elliptical orbit Radio astronomy In orbit Spacecraft Failure[57][58]
China Longjiang-2 CNSA Selenocentric, elliptical orbit Radio astronomy In orbit Operational[58]
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.[53]
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.[59] CubeRRT, EQUISat, HaloSat, MemSat, RadSat-g, RainCube, TEMPEST-D, EnduroSat One, Radix were deployed on 13 July 2018.[60] 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.[61]
22 May
19:47:58[65]
United States Falcon 9 Full Thrust[66] 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.[62] Iridium CEO Matt Desch disclosed in September 2017 that GRACE-FO would be launched on the sixth Iridium NEXT mission.[63] Re-used a first-stage booster.[64]

June[]

2 June
04:13
China Long March 2D 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 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Luxembourg SES-12 SES S.A. Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
5 June
13:07[67]
China Long March 3A 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) Expion 56/57 In orbit Operational
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts
12 June
04:20–04:33:57[68]
Japan H-IIA 202 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 VKS Medium Earth Navigation In orbit Operational
27 June
03:30
China Long March 2C China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China XJSS A CAST[69] 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 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[]

9 July
03:56
China Long March 2C / SMA 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 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.[70]
22 July
05:50
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Canada Telstar 19V Telesat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
25 July
11:25:01
European Union Ariane 5 ES (VA-244) 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 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 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[71]
03:00
China Long March 4B China Taiyuan LC-9 China CASC
China Gaofen 11 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational

August[]

7 August
05:18
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
Indonesia Telkom 4 / Merah Putih[72] Telkom Indonesia Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
12 August
07:31
United States Delta IV Heavy 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
European Union Vega (VV12) France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
European Union ADM-Aeolus ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
24 August[71]
23:52
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 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[]

7 September
03:15
China Long March 2C 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 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 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) 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[73]
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 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[74]
Japan H-IIB Japan Tanegashima LA-Y2 Japan MHI
Japan HTV-7 JAXA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics In orbit Operational
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[74]
European Union Ariane 5 ECA (VA-243) France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Azerbaijan Azerspace-2 / United States Intelsat 38[77] Azercosmos / Intelsat Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
United States / Japan Horizons-3e Intelsat / JSAT Geosynchronous Communications In orbit Operational
Hundredth Ariane 5 mission.[75] Flight VA-243 was delayed from 25 May due to issues with GSAT-11.[76]
29 September[71]
04:13
China Kuaizhou 1A China Jiuquan SLS-E1[78] China CASIC
China Centispace-1-S1[79] Beijing Future Navigation Technology Low Earth (SSO) Navigation In orbit Operational

October[]

8 October
02:21
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
Argentina SAOCOM 1A[80][81] CONAE Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
First RTLS at Vandenberg
9 October
02:43
China Long March 2C / YZ-1S 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[74]
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-10 / 56S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expion 57/58 11 October 2018 Launch failure
Crewed flight with two cosmonauts. Launch failure, astronauts landed safely in Soyuz capsule.
15 October[71]
04:23
China Long March 3B / YZ-1 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
Upcoming launches
17 October
04:15–06:15[74]
United States Atlas V 551 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States AEHF-4[82] U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military)  
20 October
01:45[74]
European Union Ariane 5 ECA (VA-245) France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
European Union Japan BepiColombo ESA / JAXA Mercurian orbit Mercury probes  
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)
25 October[71] China Long March 3B / YZ-1 China Xichang China CASC
China BeiDou-3 M17 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation  
China BeiDou-3 M18 CNSA Medium Earth Navigation  
26 October
08:00–09:30[74]
United States Pegasus-XL United States Stargazer, CCAFS Skid Strip United States NG Innovation
United States ICON NASA Low Earth Ionosphere research  
27 October[71] China Zhuque-1 China Wenchang[83] China LandSpace
Weilai 1 / Future 1 (CCTV) China Central Television[83] Low Earth (SSO) Space science / remote sensing  
Maiden flight of the Zhuque-1 solid-propellant rocket
29 October
04:08–04:20[74]
Japan H-IIA 202 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y1 Japan MHI
Japan GOSAT-2 JAXA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United Arab Emirates KhalifaSat EIAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Japan AUTcube2 Aichi University of Technology Low Earth Technology demonstration  
Philippines / Japan Diwata-2b DOST / TU Low Earth Earth observation  
Japan PROITERES-2 Osaka Institute of Technology Low Earth Technology demonstration  
Japan Stars-AO Shizuoka University Low Earth Technology demonstration  
Japan Ten-Koh[84] Kyushu Institute of Technology Low Earth Magnetosphere observation / Technology demonstration  
29 October[71] China Long March 2C China TBD China CASC
China / France CFOSAT CNSA / CNES Low Earth Earth observation  
October (TBD)[71] China Long March 4B China Taiyuan LC-9 China CAST
China HaiYang 2B CAST Low Earth Earth observation  
October (TBD)[85] Russia Rokot / Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Site 133/3 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Gonets-M 14[86] Gonets SatCom Low Earth Communications  
Russia Gonets-M 15 Gonets SatCom Low Earth Communications  
Russia Gonets-M 16 Gonets SatCom Low Earth Communications  
Russia BLITS-M Roscosmos Low Earth Laser ranging  
October (TBD)[87] United States Vector-R United States MARS LP-0B / Kodiak[88] United States Vector Space Systems
Delfi-PQ TU Delft Low Earth Technology demo  
Unicorn-2a Alba Orbital[89] Low Earth Amateur radio  
First orbital flight of the Vector-R rocket.

November[]

3 November[85] Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia GLONASS-M 760 VKS Medium Earth Navigation  
6 November[90] European Union Vega (VV13) France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Morocco Mohammed VI-B Morocco Low Earth Earth observation  
7 November
00:47[74]
Russia Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-M (VS19) France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
European Union MetOp-C Eumetsat Low Earth (SSO) Meteorology  
15 November
09:49[74]
United States Antares 230 United States MARS LP-0A United States NG Innovation
United States Cygnus NG-10 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics  
17 November[87] United States LauncherOne United States Cosmic Girl, Mojave United States Virgin Orbit
United States TBA Virgin Orbit TBA Flight test  
Maiden orbital flight.
19 November[74] United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
United States SSO-A / SHERPA
71 small satellites[92]
Spaceflight Industries Low Earth (SSO) Satellite dispenser  
Spain Aistechsat 1[93] Aistech Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Kazakhstan Al Farabi-2[93] Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Switzerland Astrocast 0.1[93] Astrocast Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Audacy Zero[93] Audacy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Germany BeeSat 5–8[93] TU Berlin Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States BlackSky Global 2[93] BlackSky Global Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States BRIO[93] SpaceQuest, Ltd., Myriota Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Capella 1[93] Capella Space Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (radar)  
United States Centauri 2[93] Fleet Space Technologies Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States COPPER 2[93] St. Louis University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States CSIM-FD[93] University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth (SSO) Heliophysics  
Italy Eaglet 1[93] OHB Italia Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States Elysium Star 2[93] Elysium Space Low Earth (SSO) Space burial  
European Union ESEO[93] ALMASpace Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Germany Eu:CROPIS[93] DLR Low Earth (SSO) Life sciences  
United States eXCITe[92] + SeeMe constellation DARPA Low Earth (SSO) Technology demo (satlets)  
India ExseedSat 1[93] Exseed Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio  
United States FalconSat 6[92] U.S. Air Force Academy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Flock-3s 1–3[93] Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States Fox 1C[93] AMSAT, VPI, Vanderbilt University Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Hawk 1–3[93] HawkEye 360 Low Earth (SSO) SIGINT, traffic monitoring  
United States Hiber 2[93] Hiber Global Low Earth (SSO) Communications  
United States ICE-Cap[93] US Navy PEO Space Systems Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Finland ICEYE X2 Iceye Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation (radar)  
Brazil ITASAT-1[94] ITA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Jordan JY1-Sat[93] Jordanian universities Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio  
Kazakhstan KazSTSAT[93] Ghalam LLP Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Thailand KNACKSAT[93] KMUTNB Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Landmapper-BC 4 v2 Astro Digital Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States MinXSS 2[93] University of Colorado Boulder Low Earth (SSO) Heliophysics  
South Korea NEXTSat 1[93] KAIST Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States Orbital Reflector[93] Nevada Museum of Art Low Earth (SSO) Art  
United States ORS 7A, 7B (Polar Scout 1, 2)[93] USCG, DHS Low Earth (SSO) Communications  
Poland PW-Sat 2[93] Warsaw University of Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Australia RAAF M1[93] Australian Defence Force Academy Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States RANGE A, B[93] Georgia Institute of Technology Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States ROSE 1[93] Phase Four Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States SeaHawk 1[93] University of North Carolina Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States SkySat 14, 15[95] Planet Labs Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
South Korea SNUGLITE[93] Seoul National University Low Earth (SSO) Amateur radio, technology demonstration  
South Korea SNUSAT 2[93] Seoul National University Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States SpaceBEE 9–11[93] Swarm Technologies Low Earth (SSO) Communications  
United States STPSat 5[93] USAF STP Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
United States THEA[93] SpaceQuest, Ltd., Aurora Insight Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
Canada VESTA[93] exactEarth Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
South Korea VisionCube[93] Korea Aerospace University Low Earth (SSO) Thermospheric research  
South Africa ZACUBE 2[93] F’SATI, CPUT Low Earth (SSO) Technology demonstration  
The SSO-A "dedicated rideshare" mission will deliver roughly 90 payloads with the SHERPA dispenser.[91]
22 November[96] India PSLV-XL (C43) India Satish Dhawan FLP India ISRO
India HySIS ISRO ? Earth observation  
United States Blacksky Global 3[96] BlackSky Global Low Earth Earth observation  
~30 cubesats[96] Low Earth  
27 November
21:19[74]
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States SpaceX CRS-16 NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics  
November (TBD)[97] New Zealand Electron New Zealand Mahia LC-1 United States Rocket Lab
United States Lemur-2-74[98] Spire Global Low Earth Earth observation  
United States Lemur-2-75 Spire Global Low Earth Earth observation  
United States Cicero 4 GeoOptics Low Earth Earth observation  
United States IRVINE01 Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Low Earth Education  
United States NABEO HPS GmbH Low Earth Technology demonstration  
November (TBD)[99] United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Kennedy LC-39A United States SpaceX
Qatar Es'hail 2[100] Es'hailSat Geosynchronous Communications  
November (TBD)[101] India GSLV Mk II (F11) India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-7A Indian Air Force Geosynchronous Communications (military)  
November (TBD)[96] India GSLV Mk III India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India GSAT-29 ISRO Geosynchronous Communications  
Second orbital flight of GSLV Mk III
November (TBD)[71] China Long March 3B/E China Xichang China CASC
China BeiDou-3 G1Q CNSA Geosynchronous Navigation  
Late November (TBD)[102] Russia Soyuz-2.1b Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Lotos-S1 №3 VKS Low Earth ELINT  

December[]

3 December[103] United States Delta IV Heavy United States Vandenberg SLC-6 United States ULA
United States NROL-71 / Kennen NRO Low Earth Reconnaissance  
4 December[90] European Union Ariane 5 ECA (VA-246) France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
India GSAT-11 ISRO Geosynchronous Communications  
South Korea GEO-KOMPSAT-2A KARI Geosynchronous Meteorology  
8 December[71] China Long March 3B/E China Xichang China CASC
China Chang'e 4 CNSA Selenocentric Lunar lander  
China's third lunar lander (back-up to Chang'e 3), and the first spacecraft to attempt a soft landing on the far side of the Moon.[3]
14 December[90] Russia Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT (VS20) France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
France CSO 1 French Armed Forces Low Earth Reconnaissance  
15 December[90] European Union Ariane 5 ECA (VA-247) France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
India GSAT-31[104] ISRO Geosynchronous Communications  
Cyprus Hellas Sat 4 / Saudi Arabia SaudiGeoSat-1 Hellas-Sat / ArabSat Geosynchronous Communications  
15 December
14:08[74]
United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-40 United States SpaceX
United States GPS IIIA-01 U.S. Air Force Medium Earth Navigation  
15 December[71] China ? China ? China CASC
China BNU-1 Beijing Normal University Polar Earth observation  
20 December
04:52[74]
Russia Soyuz-FG Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-11 / 57S Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expion 58/59  
Crewed flight with three cosmonauts
25 December[85] Russia Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat-M Russia Vostochny Site 1S[105] Russia Roscosmos
Russia Kanopus-V No.5 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Russia Kanopus-V No.6 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
United States Flock-w × 12 Planet Labs Low Earth Earth observation  
Israel SAMSON 1,2,3[106] Technion Low Earth Technology demonstration  
Iran[106] ? Low Earth ?  
27 December[107] Russia Soyuz-2.1b Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roskosmos
Egypt EgyptSat A NARSS Low Earth Earth observation  
December (TBD)[97] New Zealand Electron New Zealand Mahia LC-1 United States Rocket Lab
United States ALBus NASA Glenn Research Center Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States ANDESITE Boston University Center for Space Physics Low Earth Earth observation  
United States CeREs NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Low Earth Earth observation  
United States CHOMPTT NASA, UFL, Stanford University, KACST Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States CubeSail 1, 2 University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States Da Vinci North Idaho STEM Charter Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States GeoStare Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States ISX NASA Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States NMTSat New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States RSat-P U.S. Naval Academy Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States SHFT-1 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States Shields-1 NASA Langley Research Center Highly elliptical Technology demonstration  
United States STF-1 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, WVU, WVSGC Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States TOMSat Eagle Scout The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States TOMSat R³ (AeroCube 11) The Aerospace Corporation Low Earth Earth observation  
Launch for NASA's Venture Class Launch Services program (VCLS-1), including ELaNa payloads
December (TBD)[87] United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
United States Iridium NEXT 66-75 Iridium Low Earth Communications  
December (TBD)[71] China Long March 2D China ? China CASC
China Gaofen 7 CAST Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
December (TBD)[85] Russia Proton-M / DM-03 Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Khrunichev
Russia Repei-S  
December (TBD)[101] India PSLV (C44) India Satish Dhawan India ISRO
India EMISAT ISRO ? ELINT[108]  
December (TBD)[102] Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Progress MS-10 / 71P Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS logistics  
Q4 (TBD)[71] China Long March 11 China Jiuquan China CASC
China Zhuhai-1 OHS 2E–2H[48] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
China Zhuhai-1 OVS 2B[49] Zhuhai Orbita Control Engineering Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation In orbit Operational
Q4 (TBD)[85] Russia Soyuz-2.1a Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Neitron VKS ? ?  

To be determined[]

2018 (TBD)[71] China Kuaizhou 1A China Jiuquan SLS-E1[78] China CASIC
China Jilin-1 09 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
2018 (TBD)[71] China Kuaizhou 1A China Jiuquan SLS-E1[78] China CASIC
China Jilin-1 10 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
2018 (TBD)[71] China Kuaizhou 1A China Jiuquan SLS-E1[78] China CASIC
China Jilin-1 11 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
2018 (TBD)[71] China Kuaizhou 1A China Jiuquan SLS-E1[78] China CASIC
China Jilin-1 12 CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
2018 (TBD)[71] China Kuaizhou 11 China Jiuquan China CASIC
China Jilin-1 02A CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
China OKW 1 Low Earth (SSO)  
China Ouke-Micro 1 Low Earth (SSO)  
China Sunflower 1A/1B (Xiangrikui 1A/1B) CNSA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
China Tianyi 4 Low Earth (SSO)  
China Xiaoxiang 4 Low Earth (SSO)  
China Yinhe Low Earth (SSO)  
China Zhongwei 1 Low Earth (SSO)  
Maiden flight of Kuaizhou 11 version
2018 (TBD)[109] United States LauncherOne United States Cosmic Girl, Mojave United States Virgin Galactic
United States CACTUS-1 Capitol Technology University Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States CAPE-3 University of Louisiana Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States ExoCube-2 NASA Low Earth Atmospheric research  
United States IMPACT 2A, 2B NASA Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States INCA NMSU Low Earth Ionospheric research  
United States MicroMAS-2b MIT Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States MiTEE-1 University of Michigan Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States PICS 1, 2 Brigham Young University Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States PolarCube Colorado Space Grant Consortium Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States Q-PACE (Cu-PACE) UCF Low Earth Microgravity research  
United States RadFxSat-2 (Fox-1E) AMSAT Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States SHFT-2 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Low Earth Technology demonstration  
United States TechEdSat-7 (TES-7) SJSU, NASA, University of Idaho Low Earth Technology demonstration  
Launch for NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program
2018 (TBD) China Long March 2C China Taiyuan LC-9 China CAST
China HaiYang 1D CAST Low Earth Earth observation  
2018 (TBD) China Long March 2C China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China Yaogan 30 CX-5 13 CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance  
China Yaogan 30 CX-5 14 CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance  
China Yaogan 30 CX-5 15 CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance  
2018 (TBD) China Long March 2C China Xichang LC-3 China CASC
China Yaogan 30 CX-5 16 CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance  
China Yaogan 30 CX-5 17 CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance  
China Yaogan 30 CX-5 18 CAS Low Earth Reconnaissance  
2018 (TBD) [71] China Long March 2D China ? China CASC
Saudi Arabia Saudisat 5B KACST Space Research Institute Low Earth Earth observation  
2018 (TBD)[71] China Long March 3B/E China ? China CASC
Democratic Republic of the Congo CongoSat-1 DR Congo Geosynchronous Communications  
2018 (TBD)[71] China Long March 3B China Xichang China CASC
Sri Lanka SupremeSat II SupremeSAT Geosynchronous Communications  
2018 (TBD)[71] China Long March 11 China Ship in the Indian Ocean[19] China CASC
China CAS 3 Low Earth Amateur radio  
2018 (TBD)[85] Russia Proton-M / DM-03 Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 81/24 Russia RVSN RF
Russia GLONASS-M 757 VKS Medium Earth Navigation  
Russia GLONASS-M 758 VKS Medium Earth Navigation  
Russia GLONASS-M 7xx VKS Medium Earth Navigation  
2018 (TBD)[85] Russia Rokot / Briz-KM Russia Plesetsk Site 133/3 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Strela-3M 16[110] VKS Low Earth Communications  
Russia Strela-3M 17 VKS Low Earth Communications  
Russia Strela-3M 18 VKS Low Earth Communications  
2018 (TBD)[85] Russia Soyuz-2.1a Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia Bars-M 3L VKS Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance  
2018 (TBD)[85] Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Plesetsk Site 43/4 Russia RVSN RF
Russia GLONASS-M 759 VKS Medium Earth Navigation  
2018 (TBD)[87] United States Vector-R United States MARS LP-0B (?) United States Vector Space Systems
United States Landmapper-HD Astro Digital[111] Low Earth Earth observation  
2018 (TBD)[71] China ? (piggyback TBA) China Taiyuan China CASC
China Taurus-1 Aerospace System Engineering Research Institute of Shanghai Low Earth (SSO)  

Suborbital flights[]

Date and time (UTC) Rocket Launch site LSP
Payload
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Remarks
18 January
05:53
India Agni V India Integrated Test Range Launch Complex IV India DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 18 January Successful
Apogee: ~800 kilometres (500 mi)
19 January
12:17
Canada Black Brant IX United States Poker Flat Research Range United States NASA
United States DXL-3 U of M Suborbital Astronomy 19 January Successful
Apogee: 230 kilometres (140 mi)[112]
26 January
14:11:15
United States Terrier-Improved Orion United States Poker Flat Research Range United States NASA
United States Super Soaker ASTRA Suborbital Atmospheric 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~160 kilometres (99 mi)
26 January
14:48:00
United States Terrier-Improved Orion United States Poker Flat Research Range United States NASA
United States Super Soaker ASTRA Suborbital Atmospheric 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~97 kilometres (60 mi)
26 January
14:49:30
United States Terrier-Improved Orion United States Poker Flat Research Range United States NASA
United States Super Soaker ASTRA Suborbital Atmospheric 26 January Successful
Apogee: ~160 kilometres (99 mi)
31 January United States IRBM ? United States C-17, Pacific Ocean United States MDA
United States FTM-29 Target MDA Suborbital SM-3 Block IIA target 31 January Successful
Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi)
31 January United States SM-3 Block IIA United States Kauai United States US Navy
United States FTM-29 Interceptor US Navy Suborbital ABM test 31 January Failure
Test of a land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) weapon system, failed to intercept the target
5 February China B-611? China Shuangchengzi ChinaPLA
PLA Suborbital ABM target 5 February Successful
Target
5 February China SC-19 China Korla China PLA
PLA Suborbital ABM test 5 February Successful
Interceptor, successful intercept[113]
6 February
03:00
India Agni I India Integrated Test Range India IDRDL
IDRDL Suborbital Missile test 6 February Successful
Apogee: ~500 kilometres (310 mi)?
18 February
23:30
Israel Arrow III Israel Negev Israel IAF
IAI/IDF Suborbital Flight test 18 February Successful
Successful flight test of the Arrow-III weapon system[114]
20 February
03:08
India Agni II India Integrated Test Range India Indian Army / DRDO
Indian Army/DRDO Suborbital Missile test 20 February Successful
25 March
10:51
United States Terrier-Improved Malemute United States Wallops Flight Facility United States NASA
United States USIP NASA Suborbital Student payloads 25 March Successful
Apogee: 172 kilometres (107 mi)[115]
27 March
02:40?
United States UGM-133 Trident II United States USS Nebraska (SSBN-739), Pacific Missile Range Facility United States US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 27 March Successful
Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) 28
27 March
02:40?
United States UGM-133 Trident II United States USS Nebraska (SSBN-739), Pacific Missile Range Facility United States US Navy
US Navy Suborbital Missile test 27 March Successful
Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (DASO) 28
31 March
16:19
Canada Black Brant IX United States Wallops Flight Facility United States NASA
United States ASPIRE-2 NASA Suborbital Technology demonstration 31 March Successful
Tested Mars 2020's parachute
4 April
10:40
Canada Black Brant IX Marshall Islands Kwajalein Atoll United States NASA
United States WRX-R PSU Suborbital XR Astronomy 4 April Successful
Apogee: 205 kilometres (127 mi)[116]
4 April
18:00
China Hyperbola-1S (Shian Quxian 1Z) China Hainan Island China i-Space
Mass simulator i-Space Suborbital Test flight 4 April Successful
Apogee: 108 kilometres (67 mi)
6 April
14:00
India RH-300 Mk-II India TERLS India ISRO
India ISRO VSSC Suborbital Ionosphere research 6 April Successful
Apogee: 107 kilometres (66 mi)[117]
16 April
16:47
Canada Black Brant IX Marshall Islands Kwajalein Atoll United States NASA
United States CHESS-4 University of Colorado Suborbital UV Astronomy 16 April Successful
Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
25 April
12:26
United States Minuteman-III United States Vandenberg Air Force Base LF-10 United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 25 April Successful
29 April
17:06
United States New Shepard United States Corn Ranch United States Blue Origin
United States Suborbital Flight Experiment Monitor-2[118] NASA Suborbital Technology Demonstration 29 April Successful
United States Schmitt Space Communicator SolStar Suborbital Technology Demonstration 29 April Successful
Germany Daphnia University of Bayreuth Suborbital Microgravity Research 29 April Successful
Germany EQUIPAGE Otto von Guericke University Suborbital Microgravity Research 29 April Successful
Germany EUPHORIE University of Duisburg-Essen Suborbital Microgravity Research 29 April Successful
8th flight, Apogee: ~107 kilometres (66 mi)
13 May
08:30
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange European Union EuroLaunch
Germany / European Union TEXUS-54 DLR / ESA Suborbital Microgravity 13 May Successful
Apogee: 261 kilometres (162 mi)
14 May
08:23
United States Minuteman-III United States Vandenberg Air Force Base LF-04 United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 14 May Successful
17 May
00:33
China OS-X, Chongqing Liangjiang (Twin-River) Star[119] China Undisclosed location in northwest China OneSpace
OneSpace Suborbital Test flight 17 May Successful
22 May Russia RSM-56 Bulava[120] Russia K-535 Yury Dolgorukiy, White Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 22 May Successful
22 May Russia RSM-56 Bulava Russia K-535 Yury Dolgorukiy, White Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 22 May Successful
22 May Russia RSM-56 Bulava Russia K-535 Yury Dolgorukiy, White Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 22 May Successful
22 May Russia RSM-56 Bulava Russia K-535 Yury Dolgorukiy, White Sea Russia VMF
VMF Suborbital Missile test 22 May Successful
29 May
18:54
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States Hi-C 2.1 NASA/MSFC Suborbital Solar research 29 May Successful
Apogee: 290 kilometres (180 mi)
31 May
04:00
Brazil VSB-30 Sweden Esrange European Union EuroLaunch
Germany / European Union TEXUS-55 DLR / ESA Suborbital Microgravity 31 May Successful
Apogee: 255 kilometres (158 mi)
3 June
04:18
India Agni V India Integrated Test Range Launch Complex IV India DRDO
DRDO Suborbital Missile test 3 June Successful
Apogee: ~800 kilometres (500 mi)
7 June United States Boosted Zombi (ATACMS) United States White Sands United States NASA
US Army Suborbital Missile test 7 June Successful
Apogee: 100 kilometres (62 mi)?
18 June
19:00
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States EVE CU Boulder Suborbital SDO calibration 18 June Successful
Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
21 June
09:30
United States Terrier-Improved Orion United States Wallops Flight Facility United States NASA
United States RockOn University of Colorado Suborbital Student payloads 21 June Successful
Apogee: 120 kilometres (75 mi)[121]
29 June Japan Momo 2 Japan Taiki Aerospace Research Field Japan Interstellar Technologies
Japan Kochi University of Technology Suborbital Technology demonstration 29 June Launch failure
Two seconds after launch, the engine failed and the vehicle fell back to the pad and exploded
18 July
15:11
United States New Shepard United States Corn Ranch United States Blue Origin
United States Crew Capsule 2.0 Blue Origin Suborbital Test flight 18 July Successful
9th flight, the Crew Capsule 2.0-1 RSS H.G.Wells carrying a mannequin and various experiments from NASA, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Purdue University, Otto von Guericke University and Olympiaspace in Germany. Both booster and capsule are flight proven. Successful test of the in-flight abort system at high altitude, Apogee: ~119 kilometres (74 mi), duration 11 minutes.[122]
20 July
22:00
United States Rocket 1 United States Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska United States Astra Space
Astra Space Suborbital Flight test 20 July unclear[123]
23 July
06:00
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States Micro-X NU Suborbital XR Astronomy 23 July Successful
The detector worked as anticipated during the flight but the pointing system was unable to lock onto the target Cassiopeia A, apogee: 270 kilometres (170 mi)
31 July
11:38
United States Minuteman-III United States Vandenberg Air Force Base United States US Air Force
US Air Force Suborbital Test flight 31 July Launch failure[124]
14 August
10:13
United States Terrier-Improved Malemute United States Wallops Flight Facility United States NASA
United States RockSat-X NASA Suborbital Student experiments 14 August Successful
Apogee: 146 kilometres (91 mi)[125]
25 August
18:15?
United States SARGE United States Spaceport America, New Mexico United States Exos Aerospace
SARGE Pathfinder Exos Aerospace Suborbital Test flight 25 August Partial launch failure
A GPS receiver on the rocket stopped providing data during the rocket’s ascent. That triggered an automatic shutdown of the rocket’s engine 38 seconds after liftoff, versus a planned duration of 62 to 65 seconds. The rocket reached a peak altitude of 28 kilometers, rather than the planned 80 kilometers[126]
5 September
05:00
China Hyperbola-1S (Shian Quxian 1Z) China Jiuquan China i-Space
China Three CubeSats[127] Two companies[127] Suborbital Flight test 5 September Successful
Apogee: 108 kilometres (67 mi)
7 September
13:30
Canada Black Brant IX United States Wallops Flight Facility United States NASA
United States ASPIRE-3 NASA Suborbital Technology demonstration 7 September Successful
Tested Mars 2020's parachute
7 September
17:21
Canada Black Brant IX United States White Sands United States NASA
United States FOXSI UMN Suborbital Solar research 7 September Successful
Apogee: 304 kilometres (189 mi)
12 September
08:37
United States MRBM United StatesKauai United StatesMDA
JMSDF/MDA Suborbital ABM target 12 September Successful
Apogee: 150 km (93 mi)?, intercepted by SM-3-IB
12 September
08:40
United StatesRIM-161 Standard Missile 3-IB JapanJS Atago, Pacific Ocean JapanJMSDF
JMSDF Suborbital ABM test 12 September Successful
JFTM-05, Apogee: 150 km (93 mi)?, intercepted target
12 September
14:33
United States SpaceLoft XL United States Spaceport America United States UP Aerospace
United States FOP-5 (ADEPT, SFEM-3, AFTS) NASA Suborbital Three technology experiments 12 September Successful
Mission SL-12, Apogee: 114 kilometres (71 mi)[128]
17 September
14:09
United States SpaceLoft XL United States Spaceport America United States UP Aerospace
United States FOP-6, Celestis 15 NASA Suborbital Technology experiments 17 September Successful
Mission SL-11, Apogee: 114 kilometres (71 mi)
27 September
12:15
Norway Nucleus Norway Andøya Norway Andøya
Norway Nammo Nucleus Nammo Suborbital Technology experiments 27 September Successful
Apogee: 107 kilometres (66 mi)[129]
8 October PakistanGhauri PakistanTilla PakistanArmy of Pakistan
PakistanHaft-5 Army of Pakistan Suborbital Missile test 8 October Successful
Apogee: 400 kilometres (250 mi) ?
11 October
11:00?
China DF-11? China Jiuquan China PLARF
PLARF Suborbital Missile test 11 October Successful
Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi) ?
Upcoming launches
2018 (TBD) Russia RS-28 Sarmat Russia Plesetsk Russia RVSN
RVSN Suborbital Missile test  
2018 (TBD) United States Orion Abort Test Booster United States Cape Canaveral SLC-46 United States Orbital ATK
United States Orion Ascent Abort-2 NASA Suborbital Test flight  
In-flight abort test under the highest aerodynamic loads. A specific booster repurposed from a LGM-118 Peacekeeper missile is being developed for this mission.[130]
H1, 2018 United States Demonstrator-3 United States Spaceport America, New Mexico United States ARCA Space Corporation
United States ARCA Space Corporation Suborbital Test flight  
First test flight of a linear aerospike engine
Q4 (TBD)[131] United States New Shepard United States Corn Ranch United States Blue Origin
United States New Shepard 3 capsule Blue Origin Suborbital Test flight  
First crewed flight test
Q4 (TBD) United Kingdom Skyrora 1 United Kingdom United Kingdom Skyrora
United Kingdom To be announced Skyrora Scotland Suborbital Test flight  

Deep-space rendezvous[]

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
7 February Juno 11th perijove of Jupiter
1 April Juno 12th perijove of Jupiter
17 May TESS Gravity assist by the Moon Closest approach: 8,100 kilometres (5,000 mi)
24 May Juno 13th perijove of Jupiter
25 May Queqiao Flyby of the Moon En route to Earth–Moon L2 halo orbit[132]
25 May Longjiang-1 Flyby of the Moon Failed lunar orbital injection[57]
25 May Longjiang-2 Injection into Selenocentric orbit Preliminary orbit was 350 kilometers x 13800 kilometers, inclined 21 deg to the equator[58]
27 June[1] Hayabusa2 Arrival at asteroid Ryugu
16 July Juno 14th perijove of Jupiter
7 September Juno 15th perijove of Jupiter
21 September MINERVA-II1 ROVER-1A Landing on asteroid Ryugu
21 September MINERVA-II1 ROVER-1B Landing on asteroid Ryugu
3 October MASCOT Landing on asteroid Ryugu
3 October Parker Solar Probe First gravity assist at Venus
29 October Juno 16th perijove of Jupiter
5 November Parker Solar Probe First perihelion 25 million km distance. Will set a new record for the fastest spacecraft (95 km/s).
26 November InSight Arrival at Mars
26 November MarCO A, B Flyby of Mars Data relays for InSight lander
3 December OSIRIS-REx Arrival at asteroid Bennu Approach phase operations begin 17 August
21 December Juno 17th perijove of Jupiter

Extravehicular activities (EVAs)[]

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks
23 January
11:49
7 hours
24 minutes
19:13 Expion 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 Expion 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 Expion 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 Expion 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 Expion 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[133]
6 hours
49 minutes
14:55 Expion 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 Expion 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[134]

Orbital launch statistics[]

By country[]

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: 28Europe: 5India: 4Iran: 0Israel: 0Japan: 5North Korea: 0New Zealand: 1Russia: 11Ukraine: 0USA: 25Circle frame.svg
Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks
 China 28 28 0 0 China surpassed its previous record of 22 launches in 2016.
 Europe 5 4 0 1
 India 4 4 0 0 GSAT-6A launch was a success, but the satellite failed.
 Japan 5 5 0 0
 New Zealand 1 1 0 0
 Russia 11 10 1 0 Includes Soyuz launches from Kourou
 United States 25 25 0 0 Zuma launch was a success. Satellite was reported lost but actual status is classified.
Total 79 77 1 1

By rocket[]

By family[]

By type[]

By configuration[]