Busy Launch Schedule for Rest of 2013

Launch of Atlas V NRO satellite on June 20, 2012. (Credit: ULA)
Launch of Atlas V NRO satellite on June 20, 2012. (Credit: ULA)

The successful flight of a Russian Proton rocket earlier today was the 63rd orbital launch of 2013. There have been 61 successful launches and two failures: a Sea Launch Zenit crashed into the ocean shortly after liftoff in February; and a Russian Proton crashed at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in July.

Twenty more launches are scheduled between now and the end of the year. If all scheduled launches are conducted by the end of the year, the total worldwide orbital launches will reach 83 — one below the total in 2011.

The United States has launched 15 rockets, already exceeding its total of 13 in 2012. There are seven more American launches scheduled this year, including: two ULA Atlas Vs, two SpaceX Falcon 9s, one ULA Delta IV, one Orbital Sciences Antares, and one Orbital Sciences Minotaur I.

The next scheduled orbital launch is on Nov. 18.  An ULA Atlas V is set to send NASA’s MAVEN orbiter to Mars on a mission to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere. That flight will take place out of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Falcon 9 lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: SpaceX)
Falcon 9 lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: SpaceX)

A week later, SpaceX’s upgraded Falcon 9 v. 1.1 will loft the SES-8 satellite into space. This will mark the company’s first attempt to place a commercial communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit.

The Antares launch set for Dec. 14 will send a Cygnus freighter on its first commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. The flight follows a successful Cygnus demonstration mission that concluded in late October.

Holy shi'ski! The rocket...it go KABOOMSKI! (Credit: Tsenki TV)
Holy shi’ski! The rocket…it go KABOOMSKI! A Proton crashes to Earth in July 2013. (Credit: Tsenki TV)

Russia has completed 24 launches to date, with an additional four launches scheduled for the rest of the year. Barring any changes, it will once again lead the world in launches this year.

China has launched 10 rockets to orbit in 2013, including the successful Shenzhou-10 mission that sent a three-person crew to the Tiangong-1 space station in June.

China has at least four launches more scheduled by the end of the year. That total could grow because China doesn’t always announce military missions in advance.

Sometime in December, China is scheduled to launch the Chang’e-3 spacecraft to the moon. The mission will feature the first attempt by that nation to land a vehicle on the lunar surface. Chang’e-3 includes a rover that will explore the moon.

Soyuz launch complex with mobile gantry. (Credit: ESA - S. Corvaja, 2011)
Soyuz launch complex with mobile gantry. (Credit: ESA – S. Corvaja, 2011)

Europe has completed five launches and has two more scheduled for December. One of those flights will be conducted by a Russian Soyuz rocket from the European launch center in Kourou.

Japan has completed three launches this year, the highlight being a successful inaugural flight of its new Epsilon rocket in September. Another highlight was the launch of the HTV-4 freighter to ISS in August. The nation has one more launch scheduled this year.

JAXA's Epsilon rocket on its first test flight. (Credit: JAXA)
JAXA’s Epsilon rocket on its first test flight. (Credit: JAXA)

India has completed three launches this year, including the successful flight of the Mars Orbiter Mission, its first attempt to explore the Red Planet. The nation’s final launch of the year is scheduled for Dec. 15 when it will test a revamped version of a cryogenic upper stage that failed during its first flight in April 2010.

The tables below show the remaining launches scheduled for the rest of the year as well as all orbital missions already completed. All information is courtesy of Spaceflight Now’s Worldwide Launch Schedule.

Scheduled Launches for November-December 2013

#

Date

Launch Vehicle

Launch Site

Nation

Payload

64

11/18/13

Atlas V

CCAFS

USA

MAVEN

65

11/19/13

Minotaur I

MARS

USA

ORS 3

66

11/21/13

Dnepr

Dombarovsky

Ukraine

Multiple Payloads

67

11/22/13

Rockot

Plesetsk

Russia

Swarm

68

11/25/13

Falcon 9

CCAFS

USA

SES 8

69

11/25/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Progress 53P

70

12/05/13

Atlas V

VAFB

USA

NROL-39

71

12/06/13

Ariane 5

Kourou

Europe

ASTRA 5B & Amazonas 4A

72

12/08/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Inmarsat 5

73

12/14/13

Antares

MARS

USA

Cygnus 2

74

12/15/13

GSLV

Satish Dhawan

India

GSAT 14

75

12/20/13

Soyuz

Kourou

Europe

Gaia

76

12/20/13

Long March 3B

Xichang

China

Tupac Katari

77

12/26/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Express AM5

78

TBD

Delta IV

CCAFS

USA

GPS 2F-5

79

TBD

H-2A

Tanegashima

Japan

ALOS 2

80

TBD

Long March 4B

Taiyuan

China

CBERS 3

81

TBD

Falcon 9

CCAFS

USA

Thaicom 6

82

TBD

Long March 3B

Xichang

China

Chang’e 3

83

TBD

Long March 4B

Taiyuan

China

Gaofen 2

Completed Launches in 2013

#

Date

Launch Vehicle

Launch Site

Nation

Payload

Result

1

01/15/13

Rockot

Plesetsk

Russian

Rodnik

Success

2

01/26/13

H-2A

Tanegashima

Japan

IGS

Success

3

01/30/13

KSLV 1

Naro

South Korea

STSAT 2C

Success

4

01/30/13

Atlas V

CCAFS

USA

TDRS K

Success

5

02/01/13

Zenit 3SL

Odyssey platform, Pacific Ocean

Multinational

Intelsat 27

Failure

6

02/06/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Globalstar

Success

7

02/07/13

Ariane 5

Kourou

Europe

Amazonas 3 & Azerspace

Success

8

02/11/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Progress 50P

Success

9

02/11/13

Atlas 5

VAFB

USA

LDCM

Success

10

02/25/13

PSLV

Satish Dhawan

India

SARAL

Success

11

03/01/13

Falcon 9

CCAFS

USA

Dragon CRS2

Success

12

03/19/13

Atlas 5

CCAFS

USA

SBIRS
GEO 2

Success

13

03/26/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Satmex 8

Success

14

03/28/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Soyuz

Success

15

04/15/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Anik G1

Success

16

04/19/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Bion M1

Success

17

04/21/13

Antares

MARS

USA

Dummy Payload, CubeSats

Success

18

04/24/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Progress 51P

Success

19

04/26/13

Long March 2D

Jiuquan

China

Gaofen 1

Success

20

04/26/13

Soyuz

Plesestsk

Russia

Glonass

Success

21

05/01/13

Long March 3B

Xichang

China

Chinasat 11

Success

22

05/06/13

Vega

Kourou

Europe

Proba-V & VNREDSat 1A

Success

23

05/14/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Eutelsat 3D

Success

24

05/15/13

Atlas V

CCAFS

USA

GPS 2F-4

Success

25

05/24/13

Delta 4

CCAFS

USA

WGS 5

Success

26

05/28/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Soyuz

Success

27

06/03/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

SES 6

Success

28

06/05/13

Ariane 5

Kourou

Europe

ATV-4

Success

29

06/07/13

Soyuz

Plesestsk

Russia

Persona

Success

30

06/11/13

Long March 2F

Jiuquan

China

Shenzhou 10

Success

31

06/25/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Resurs P1

Success

32

06/27/13

Strela

Baikonur

Russia

Kondor 1

Success

33

06/27/13

Pegasus XL

VAFB

USA

IRIS

Success

34

07/01/13

PSLV

Satish Dhawan

India

IRNSS 1A

Success

35

07/02/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Glonass

Failure

36

07/15/13

Long March 2C

Jiuquan

China

Shijian 11

Success

37

07/19/13

Atlas 5

CCAFS

USA

MUOS

Success

38

07/19/13

Long March 4C

Jiuquan

China

Shijian 15

Success

39

07/25/13

Ariane 5

Kourou

Europe

Alphasat XL & INSAT 3D

Success

40

07/27/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Progress 52P

Success

41

08/03/13

H-2B

Tanegashima

Japan

HTV 4

Success

42

08/07/13

Delta IV

CCAFS

USA

WGS 6

Success

43

08/22/13

Dnepr

Dombarovsk

Ukraine

KOMPSAT 5

Success

44

08/28/13

Delta IV Heavy

VAFB

USA

NROL-65

Success

45

08/29/13

Ariane 5

Kourou

Europe

Eutelsat 25B & GSAT 7

Success

46

08/31/13

Zenit 3SLB

Baikonur

Russia

Amos 4

Success

47

09/01/13

Long March 4C

Jiuquan

China

Yaogan 17

Success

48

09/06/13

Minotaur 5

MARS

USA

LADEE

Success

49

09/11/13

Rockot

Plesestsk

Russia

Gonets M

Success

50

09/14/13

Epsilon

Uchinoura

Japan

SPRINT-A

Success

51

09/18/13

Atlas 5

CCAFS

USA

AEHF 3

Success

52

09/18/13

Antares

MARS

USA

Cygnus 1

Success

53

09/23/13

Long March 4C

Taiyuan

China

Fengyun 3C

Success

54

09/25/13

Kuaizhou

Jiuquan

China

Kuaizhou 1

Success

55

09/25/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Soyuz

Success

56

09/29/13

Falcon 9 v1.1

VAFB

USA

CASSIOPE

Success

57

09/29/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

ASTRA 2E

Success

58

10/25/13

Long March 4B

Jiuquan

China

Shijian 16

Success

59

10/26/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Sirius FM6

Success

60

10/29/13

Long March 2C

Taiyuan

China

Yaogan Weixing-18

Success

61

11/05/13

PSLV

Satish Dhawan

India

Mars Orbiter Mission

Success

62

11/07/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Soyuz

Success

63

11/12/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia

Raduga

Success