2020s in spaceflight

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2020s in spaceflight
Orion visiting Deep Space Gateway.jpg
NASA plans to assemble a Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway as a permanent base in lunar orbit during the 2020s.

This article documents expected notable spaceflight events during the 2020s.

In 2020, NASA plans to launch the Mars 2020 rover[1], as well as carry out the maiden launch of the Space Launch System[2]; in 2022, NASA plans to carry out the first crewed flight of the Space Launch System.

The trend towards cost reduction in access to orbit is expected to continue. In 2020, Blue Origin plans the maiden flight of New Glenn with a reusable first stage.[3] In 2022, SpaceX plans to launch its new fully reusable BFR.[4]

NASA plans a return to the Moon sometime in the 2020s, first by assembling a Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway in lunar orbit. A manned exploration of Mars could follow in the mid 2030s. An unmanned and then a manned trip to Jupiter and Europa have been commonly contemplated, but no space agencies or companies have yet announced definite plans to launch a manned mission further than Mars. SpaceX, a private company, has also announced plans to land humans on Mars in the mid-2020s, with the long-term goal of enabling the colonization of Mars.

India plans first crewed flight with a spacecraft called Gaganyaan for December 2021 on a home-grown GSLV-III rocket. The mission would make India the 4th nation to launch a manned space flight after Russia, US and China.

Orbital launches




Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
1 June 2022[5] United States SLS Block 1B Crew United States Kennedy LC-39B United States NASA
United States Exploration Mission 2 NASA Selenocentric Test flight  
United States Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway Power/Propulsion Module NASA Selenocentric LOP-G assembly  
First manned test flight of SLS and Orion and first assembly flight of the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.[5]
June 2022[6] European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
European Union Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) ESA Jovicentric Jupiter orbiter  
The spacecraft will embark on an 88-month journey including five gravity assist maneuvers at Earth, Venus, Earth, Mars, and again Earth. Arrival at Jupiter is scheduled for October 2029.[6]
2022 (TBD)[7] India GSLV Mk II India Satish Dhawan SLP India ISRO
India Mangalyaan 2 ISRO Heliocentric Mars orbiter  
2022 (TBD)[8] Russia Soyuz-5 (?) Russia TBD Russia Roscosmos
Russia Federatsiya-1 Roscosmos Low Earth Test flight  
An unmanned test flight of Russia's new manned spacecraft.
2022 (TBD)[8][9] Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 27 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander  


Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
2023 (TBD)[10] United States BFR (rocket) United States TBD, either from Boca Chica or Cape Canveral/Kennedy Space Center United States SpaceX
Japan #dearMoon Yusaku Maezawa Lunar free return Manned lunar flyby  
Private spaceflight with 6 to 8 artists commissioned and funded by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa.[10]
2023 (TBD)[7] India PSLV India Satish Dhawan India ISRO
India Indian Venusian orbiter mission ISRO Cytherocentric Venus orbiter  
2023 (TBD)[11] United States SLS Block 1 Cargo United States Kennedy LC-39B United States NASA
United States Europa Clipper NASA Jovicentric Jupiter orbiter  
2023 (TBD)[12] Russia Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Rezonans-MKA Roscosmos Tundra Magnetospheric research  
2023 (TBD)[13] European Union Vega France ELA-1, Guyana Space Centre France Arianespace
European Union e.Deorbit ESA Polar Space debris removal  


Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
September 2024[14] Japan H3-24 Japan Tanegashima LA-Y2 Japan MHI
Japan Martian Moons Exploration JAXA Areocentric Mars orbiter and Phobos lander  
2024 (TBD)[15] China Long March 5 China Wenchang LC-1 China CASC
China Xuntian CNSA Low Earth Space telescope  
Xuntian ("Heavenly Cruiser") is a planned space telescope that will orbit close to the Chinese Space Station.
2024 (TBD)[8] Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 28 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander  


Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
2026 (TBD)[8] Russia Angara-A5 / KVTK Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 29 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander  

Deep-space rendezvous after 2021

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
23 June 2022 BepiColombo Second gravity assist at Mercury
20 June 2023 BepiColombo Third gravity assist at Mercury
21 August 2023 Parker Solar Probe Sixth gravity assist at Venus
24 September 2023 OSIRIS-REx Sample return to Earth
5 September 2024 BepiColombo Fifth gravity assist at Mercury
6 November 2024 Parker Solar Probe Seventh gravity assist at Venus
2 December 2024 BepiColombo Third gravity assist at Mercury
24 December 2024 Parker Solar Probe 22nd perihelion, closest approach to the Sun
9 January 2025 BepiColombo Sixth gravity assist at Mercury
5 December 2025 BepiColombo Hermocentric orbit insertion at Mercury



  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Atlas-5". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  2. ^ Clark, Stephen (20 November 2017). "NASA expects first Space Launch System flight to slip into 2020". Spaceflight Now.
  3. ^ Henry, Caleb (12 September 2017). "Blue Origin enlarges New Glenn's payload fairing, preparing to debut upgraded New Shepard". SpaceNews. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  4. ^ Elon Musk speech: Becoming a Multiplanet Species, 29 September 2017, 68th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia
  5. ^ a b Gebhardt, Chris (22 September 2017). "SLS EM-1 & -2 launch dates realign; EM-3 gains notional mission outline". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b "JUICE's journey to Jupiter". ESA. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b Pietrobon, Steven (2 September 2017). "Indian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d Pietrobon, Steven (17 August 2017). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Russia's Luna-25 lunar landing station scheduled for 2019". Russian Aviation. January 25, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "SpaceX will send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the Moon".
  11. ^ Sloss, Philip (11 September 2018). "NASA updates Lunar Gateway plans". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Запуск спутника "Резонанс-МКА" перенесли на два года" [Rezonans-MKA launch has been delayed by two years] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  13. ^ "E.DEORBIT Mission". ESA. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  14. ^ MMX Homepage. JAXA, 2017
  15. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (3 August 2017). "Chinese Launch Manifest". Retrieved 3 August 2017.

External links

  • Bergin, Chris. "NASASpaceFlight.com".
  • Clark, Stephen. "Spaceflight Now".
  • Kelso, T.S. "Satellite Catalog (SATCAT)". CelesTrak.
  • Krebs, Gunter. "Chronology of Space Launches".
  • Kyle, Ed. "Space Launch Report".
  • McDowell, Jonathan. "Jonathan's Space Report".
  • Pietrobon, Steven. "Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive".
  • Wade, Mark. "Encyclopedia Astronautica".
  • Webb, Brian. "Southwest Space Archive".
  • Zak, Anatoly. "Russian Space Web".
  • "ISS Calendar". Spaceflight 101.
  • "NSSDCA Master Catalog". NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • "Space Calendar". NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • "Space Information Center". JAXA.
  • "Хроника освоения космоса" [Chronicle of space exploration]. CosmoWorld (in Russian).
Generic references:
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