2021 in spaceflight

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2021 in spaceflight
JWST Full Mirror.jpg
The James Webb Space Telescope is set to launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in 2021.

This article documents expected notable spaceflight events during the year 2021.

Two spaceflights to the Moon are planned to take place in 2021. Japan plans to launch the SLIM lunar lander, and Russia will resume its Luna-Glob exploration programme with the Luna 25 lander. NASA plans a return to the Moon sometime in the 2020s, and following that a manned exploration of Mars in the mid 2030s.

The long-delayed James Webb Space Telescope, the largest space telescope ever built, will be launched to the Sun–Earth L2 point by a European Ariane 5 rocket in March.[1]

The trend towards cost reduction in access to orbit is expected to continue. United Launch Alliance plans to debut their Vulcan rocket, which was designed to gradually replace Atlas V at lower costs.[2] Blue Origin plans to launch its first orbital-class New Glenn rocket with a reusable first stage.[3] NG Innovation plans to carry out the maiden launch of the Omega launch vehicle.[4]

The first Indian crewed spaceflight, Gaganyaan, is planned for December 2021. The European Space Agency plans to test its orbital uncrewed spaceplane, called Space RIDER.

Orbital launches

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

January

February

March

30 March[1] European Union Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
United States Europe Canada James Webb Space Telescope NASA, ESA, CSA Sun–Earth L2 Astronomy  
International space observatory mission utilizing a long-wavelength visible and infrared telescope. Launching to L2.
March (TBD)[5] Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-18 Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 64/65  
Q1 (TBD)[6] Russia Angara A5 / DM-03 Russia Plesetsk Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luch-5M 1 Gonets Satellite System Geosynchronous Communications  

April

April (TBD)[2] United States Vulcan United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 or Vandenberg SLC-3E United States ULA
TBD  
Maiden flight of Vulcan rocket

May

May (TBD)[5] Russia Proton-M / DM-03 Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Spektr-UV[7] IKI RAN Geosynchronous Ultraviolet astronomy  

June

June (TBD) [8] United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
United States DART NASA ? Asteroid redirect test  
Launch of the DART mission.

July

July (TBD)[5] Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Baikonur or Vostochny[9] Russia Roscosmos
Russia Luna 25 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander  
First mission of the Luna-Glob Moon exploration programme.

August

August (TBD)[2] United States Vulcan United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 or Vandenberg SLC-3E United States ULA
TBD  
Second flight of Vulcan rocket

September

September (TBD)[10] United States Falcon 9 Block 5 United States Vandenberg SLC-4E United States SpaceX
Germany SARah 2[11] Bundeswehr Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance  
Germany SARah 3[11] Bundeswehr Low Earth (SSO) Reconnaissance  
September (TBD)[5] Russia Soyuz-2.1a Kazakhstan Baikonur Site 1/5 Russia Roscosmos
Russia Soyuz MS-19 Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Expedition 65/66  

October

October (TBD)[12] United States Atlas V 401[12] United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States Lucy NASA Heliocentric Exploration of Jupiter trojans  

November

December

December (TBD)[13] India GSLV MkIII India SDSC India Indian Space Research Organisation
India Gaganyaan 3 ISRO LEO Manned Spaceflight  
India's first crewed flight
December (TBD)[14] Europe Vega-C France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
South Korea KOMPSat 7 (Arirang 7) KARI LEO Earth observation  
Q4 (TBD)[15] Europe Ariane 5 ECA France Kourou ELA-3 France Arianespace
Europe MTG-I1 EUMETSAT Geosynchronous Meteorology  
Q4 (TBD)[16] Europe Vega-C France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Europe Space Rider ESA LEO Test flight  

To be determined

2021 (TBD)[18] TBA Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Angola AngoSat 2 Republic of Angola Geosynchronous Communications  
Replacement for AngoSat 1 which failed shortly after launch in 2017.[17]
2021 (TBD)[19] Russia Angara 1.2 Russia Plesetsk Site 35/1 United States / Russia ILS
South Korea KOMPSat 6 (Arirang 6) KARI Low Earth Earth observation  
2021 (TBD)[20] Russia Angara 1.2 Russia Plesetsk Russia Roscosmos
Russia Gonets-M 23 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications  
Russia Gonets-M 24 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications  
Russia Gonets-M 25 Gonets Satellite System Low Earth Communications  
2021 (TBD)[21] France Ariane 6 France Kourou France Arianespace
France CSO 3 French Armed Forces Low Earth Reconnaissance  
2021 (TBD)[10] United States Atlas V N22 United States Cape Canaveral SLC-41 United States ULA
United States Starliner CTS-2 / USCV 4 Boeing / NASA Low Earth (ISS) ISS crew transport  
Second operational mission of the CST-100 Starliner capsule as part of ISS Crew Transportation Services program.
2021 (TBD)[22] China Long March 5 China Wenchang LC-1 China CASC
China Mengtian CNSA Low Earth Space station assembly  
Mengtian is the second laboratory module of the Chinese Space Station.
2021 (TBD)[3] United States New Glenn United States Cape Canaveral LC-36 United States Blue Origin
TBA  
Maiden flight of Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket.
2021 (TBD)[23] Russia Proton-M / DM-03 Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia Elektro-L N4 Roscosmos Geosynchronous Meteorology  
2021 (TBD)[5] Russia Proton-M P4 Kazakhstan Baikonur Russia Roscosmos
Russia NEM-1 (SPM) Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) ISS assembly  
NEM-1 and NEM-2 are scientific and power modules (SPM) for the International Space Station.
2021 (TBD)[5] Russia Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat-M Russia Vostochny Site 1S[24] Russia Roscosmos
Russia Arktika-M N2[25] Roscosmos Molniya Earth observation  
2021 (TBD)[15] Russia Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT France Kourou ELS France Arianespace
Europe Japan EarthCARE ESA / JAXA Low Earth (SSO) Climate science  
2021 (TBD)[26] Europe Vega[27] France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
France CERES French Armed Forces LEO SIGINT  
2021 (TBD)[28] Europe Vega or Vega-C France Kourou ELV France Arianespace
Thailand THEOS-2 GISTDA LEO Earth observation  

Suborbital flights

Deep-space rendezvous

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
17 January Parker Solar Probe 7th perihelion
20 February Parker Solar Probe Fourth gravity assist at Venus
21 February Juno 32nd perijove of Jupiter
March OSIRIS-REx Departure from asteroid Bennu
15 April Juno 33rd perijove
29 April Parker Solar Probe 8th perihelion
7 June Juno 34th perijove
30 July Juno End of mission Intentional destructive entry into Jupiter's atmosphere
9 August Parker Solar Probe 9th perihelion
11 August BepiColombo Second gravity assist at Venus
2 October BepiColombo First gravity assist at Mercury
16 October Parker Solar Probe Fifth gravity assist at Venus
21 November Parker Solar Probe 10th perihelion

Extravehicular activities (EVAs)

Start Date/Time Duration End Time Spacecraft Crew Remarks

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.

Country Launches Successes Failures Partial
failures
Remarks

By rocket

By family

Family Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks

By type

Rocket Country Family Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks

By configuration

Rocket Country Type Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks

By spaceport

Site Country Launches Successes Failures Partial failures Remarks

By orbit

Orbital regime Launches Achieved Not achieved Accidentally
achieved
Remarks
Transatmospheric 0 0 0 0
Low Earth 0 0 0 0
Geosynchronous / transfer 0 0 0 0
Medium Earth 0 0 0 0
High Earth 0 0 0 0
Heliocentric orbit 0 0 0 0 Including planetary transfer orbits

Notes

References

  1. ^ a b Jim Bridenstine [@JimBridenstine] (27 June 2018). "The James Webb Space Telescope will produce first of its kind, world-class science. Based on recommendations by an Independent Review Board, the new launch date for @NASAWebb is March 30, 2021. I'm looking forward to the launch of this historic mission" (Tweet). Retrieved 27 June 2018 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b c Foust, Jeff (25 October 2018). "ULA now planning first launch of Vulcan in 2021". SpaceNews. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Blue Origin resets schedule: First crew to space in 2019, first orbital launch in 2021". Geekwire. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  4. ^ Erwin, Sandra; Berger, Brian (16 April 2018). "Orbital ATK selects Aerojet Rocketdyne's RL10C for newly christened OmegA rocket". SpaceNews.com. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Pietrobon, Steven (11 July 2018). "Russian Launch Manifest". Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  6. ^ "«Ангара-А5» выведет на орбиту новые спутники-ретрансляторы «Луч-5М»" [New communication relay satellites Luch-5M will be launched on board of Angara-A5 rocket] (in Russian).
  7. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "Russian ultraviolet astronomy's long road to space". Russian Space Web. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  8. ^ NASA Kennedy. "NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Asteroid Redirect Test Mission". NASA. NASA. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  9. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Luna-Glob (Luna 25)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  10. ^ a b Pietrobon, Steven (2 March 2019). "United States Commercial ELV Launch Manifest". Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "Falcon-9". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (1 February 2019). "ULA wins contract to launch NASA's Lucy mission to visit unexplored asteroids". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Rs 10,000 crore plan to send 3 Indians to space by 2022 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Arianespace signs fifth Vega C contract". SpaceNews. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  15. ^ a b Pietrobon, Steven (26 December 2018). "Ariane Launch Manifest". Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  16. ^ "SPACE RIDER" (PDF). ESA. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  17. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "AngoSat 1". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Angola will have more satellites in orbit in several areas of knowledge". Space in Africa. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  19. ^ "«Нельзя брать контракт, а потом думать, как же его выполнить»" [You can't sign a contract and then think how to do it]. Kommersant (in Russian). 21 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Источник сообщил о планируемом запуске спутников "Гонец-М" ракетой "Рокот"" [Source informed about planned launch of Gonets satellites on Rokot] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Defensa última la adhesión de España al programa francés de satélites espía CSO" [Spanish Defense Forces to join French CSO spy satellite program] (in Spanish). Fly News. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  22. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (3 August 2017). "Chinese Launch Manifest". Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Роскосмос заказывает изготовление двух спутников "Электро-Л"" [Roscosmos orders production of two Elektro-L satellites] (in Russian). RIA Novosti. 27 December 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  24. ^ SLP studio (12 September 2018). "Приехали!!! "Роскосмос" собрался строить ещё один космодром..." [It came to this!!! Roscosmos wants to build another cosmodrome...] (in Russian). Retrieved 2 January 2019 – via Yandex Zen.
  25. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Arktika-M 1, 2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  26. ^ "CERES". CNES. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  27. ^ "Arianespace to launch CERES intelligence satellites for CNES and DGA". Arianespace. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  28. ^ "With its Vega/Vega C launcher, Arianespace to orbit THEOS-2 for Airbus Defence and Space in the framework of a turnkey contract with Thailand's GISTDA". Arianespace. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2019.

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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