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2010 in space
For events in 2009 click here

Above: At the beginning of the year, the head of the Russian space agency Anatoly Perminov told RIA Novosti news agency that Russia planned to launch 43 spacecraft during 2010 and 2011. According to Perminov, a total of 16 (Russian) spacecraft had to be manufactured and launched during 2010, while other 27 had to be developed to the extent that would enable their launch during 2011.

By the end of 2010, after firing 31 space shots, Russia sent more missions into Earth orbit than United States and China combined. Unfortunately, a multitude of problems pushed liftoffs for a number of new-generation Russian satellites into 2011. In December, a high-profile failure of the Proton rocket have thrown in disarray widely publicized plans to complete Russia's indigenous satellite navigation system and triggered mass media stories about corruption and nepotism within Roskosmos, which were angrily denied by the agency. The fallout from the Proton accident prompted space officials to postpone to the next year, the introduction a brand-new navigation bird, as well as the nation's return to global weather monitoring. The agency explained these delays by the need for additional checks, while according to critics, the move had been caused by sheer panic and achieved nothing, but a weeks-long interruption in preparations for launches. However, the Proton rocket returned to flight on Dec. 27, logging 12 missions during 2010 -- a record not achieved for a decade.

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SPACE EXPLORATION IN 2010: THUMBS UP

Jan. 11, Killer satellite: China conducted launch of a target missile and the anti-missile interceptor, achieving an apparently successful intercept.

An extra room on ISS: In May Space Shuttle delivered the MIM1 Rassvet module to the ISS.

May 21: Japan launches Akatsuki (Planet-C) orbiter and the IKAROS solar-sailing probe toward Venus.

June 13: Japan's MUSES-C (Hayabusa) spacecraft landed in Woomera, Australia, possibly with soil samples of an asteroid. (As of April 2007)

July 10, 18:10 CEST: European Rosetta spacecraft flew at the distance of 3,126 kilometers from asteroid (21) Lutetia. Images confirmed that the asteroid has an elongated body, with its longest side around 130 kilometers.

Oct. 1: China launched Chang'e-2 into a 100-kilometer orbit around the Moon to prepare for future lunar landing. (As of May 2009. In March 2009 it was reported to fly in 2011.)

Dec. 8, 10:43 EST: The US Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral with an unmanned prototype of the Dragon spacecraft, both developed under a NASA contract by SpaceX. Three hours, 19 minutes, 52 seconds after a liftoff, Dragon successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, some 800 kilometers west of Mexican coast.


SPACE EXPLORATION IN 2010: THUMBS DOWN

Feb. 1, Cancellation of Constellation: The White House made a proposal to eliminate funding for the Constellation program. Unfortunately, no clear strategy in manned space flight to replace the failed program, leaving NASA in limbo for months.

Dec. 6: Japan's Akatsuki (Planet-C) orbiter and the IKAROS solar-sailing probe arrived into vicinity of Venus, however Akatsuki failed to enter Venusian orbit.


THE WORLD'S ORBITAL LAUNCH ATTEMPTS IN 2010 (as of December 31, 2012 ):

 
Country
Launch date
Time of launch
Payload
Type
Launch vehicle
Launch site
Launch complex
Launch pad
Status
1 China
1/16/2010
16:12:04 GMT (00:12 local)

Beidou (Compass-G1)

Navigation
Chang Zheng 3C
Xichang
-
-
Success
2 Russia
1/28/2010
03:18 Moscow Time
Proton-M/Briz-M
-
Success
3 Russia
2/3/2010
06:45 Moscow Time
Manned/cargo
1
5
Success
4 US
2/8/2010
4:14 a.m. EST

Endeavour

Manned
Space Shuttle
Cape Canaveral
39
A
Success
5 US
2/11/2010
10:23:00 a.m. EST

SDO

Science/astronomy
Atlas V-401
Cape Canaveral
41
-
Success
6 Russia
2/12/2010
03:39 Moscow Time

Intelsat 16

Communications
Proton-M/Briz-M
39
Success
7 Russia
3/2/2010
00:19 Moscow Time
Navigation
81
-
Success
8 US
3/4/2010
6:57 p.m. EST

GOES-15

Weather forecast
Delta IV M+ (4,2)
Cape Canaveral
37B
B
Success
9 China
3/5/2010
04:55 GMT

Yaogan 9

Military/reconnaissance
Chang Zheng 4C
Jiuquan
SLS-2
2
Success
10 Russia
3/20/2010
21:26 Moscow Time

Echostar 14

Communications
Proton-M/Briz-M
200
39
Success
11 Russia
4/2/2010
08:04:34 Moscow Summer Time
Manned
1
5
Success
12 US
4/5/2010
6:21 a.m. EST

Discovery

Manned
Space Shuttle
Cape Canaveral
39
A
Success
13 Russia
4/8/2010
17:57 Moscow Time
Remote-sensing
109
95
Success
14 India
4/15/2010
10:57 GMT

GSAT-4

Communications
GSLV-D3 Mk.2
Sriharikota
-
-
Failure
15 Russia
4/16/2010
19:00 Moscow Time

Kosmos-2462 Kobalt-M

Military/reconnaissance
16
2
Success
16 US
4/22/2010
7:52 p.m. EDT

X-37B

Military/transport
Atlas V (501) (AV-012)
Cape Canaveral
41
-
Success
17 Russia
4/24/2010
15:19 Moscow Time

SES 1

Communications
Proton-M/Briz-M
39
Success
18 Russia
4/27/2010
05:05 Moscow Summer Time

Kosmos-2463 (Parus)

Military/navigation, communications
1
Success
19 Russia
4/28/2010
21:15 Moscow Time
Manned/cargo
1
5
Success
20 US
5/14/2010
2:20 p.m. EST
Atlantis (MIM1)
Manned
Space Shuttle
Cape Canaveral
39
A
Success
21 Japan
5/21/2010
06:58:22 JST

AKATSUKI (PLANET-C), IKAROS

Planetary/Venus
H-IIA F17
Tanegashima
-
-
Success
22 Europe
5/21/2010
7:01 p.m. local time

ASTRA 3B, COMSATBw-2

Communications,
Communications/military
Ariane 5 ECA
3
Success
23 US
5/27/2010
11:00 p.m. local time

GPS IIF SV-11

Navigation/military
Delta IV-Medium
Cape Canaveral
37
-
Success
24 Russia
6/2/2010
05:59:15 Moscow Time
SERVIS-2
Remote-sensing
133
-
Success
25 China
6/2/2010
15:53 GMT

Beidou-2 (Compass-G3)

Navigation
Chang Zheng 3C
Xichang
-
-
Success
26 Russia
6/4/2010
02:00 Moscow Summer Time
BADR-5
Communications
Proton M/Briz M
Baikonur
200
39
Success
27 US
6/5/2010
18:45 GMT
Dragon prototype
Manned/cargo
Falcon-9
Cape Canaveral
SLC-40
-
Success
28 South Korea
6/10/2010
17:00 Korean Time
STSAT 2B
Experimental
KSLV 1 (Naro 1)
Naro
-
-
Failure
29 China
6/15/2010
01:39 GMT
Shijian-12
Science/experimental
Chang Zheng 2D
Jiuquan
-
-
Success
30 Russia
6/15/2010
18:42:21 Moscow Summer Time
Picard, Mango, Tango, BPA-1
Experimental
-
-
Success
31 Russia
6/16/2010
01:35:19 Moscow Summer Time
Manned
5
Success
32 Russia
6/21/2010
06:14:08 Moscow Summer Time
TanDEM-X
Remote-sensing
95
Success
33 Israel
6/22/2010
19:00 GMT
Ofeq 9
Reconnaissance
Shavit
Palmachim
-
-
Success
34 Europe
6/26/2010
21:41 GMT
Arabsat-5A, COMS

Communications, multipurpose

Ariane 5 ECA
ELA-3
3
Success
35 Russia
6/30/2010
19:35:15 Moscow Summer Time
Progress M-06M
Manned/cargo supply
Soyuz-U
1
5
Success
36 Russia
7/11/2010
00:40:35 Local time
EchoStar 15
Communications
Proton M/Briz M
39
Success
37 India
7/12/2010
09:22 India Time
CARTOSAT - 2B, STUDSAT, NLS 6.1, NLS 6.2, ALSAT-2A
Remote-sensing
PSLV-C15
Sriharikota
1
1
Success
38 China
8/1/2010
05:30 Beijing Time
Beidou-2 (5) (Compass-IGS1)
Navigation
Chang Zheng 3A
Xichang
-
-
Success
39 Europe
8/4/2010
17:59 Local time

NILESAT 201RASCOM-QAF1R

Communications
Ariane-5 ECA
Success
40 China
8/9/2010
06:49 Local
Yaogan-10
Remote-sensing (military)
Chang Zheng 4C
Taiyuan
-
-
Success
41 US
8/14/2010
7:07 a.m. EDT
AEHF 1
Communications (military)
Atlas 5 (AV-019)
Cape Canaveral
41
-
Success
42 China
8/24/2010
07:10 UTC
Tianhui 1
Remote-sensing
Chang Zheng 2D
Jiuquan
-
-
Success
43 Russia
9/2/2010
04:53 Moscow Time
Navigation
81
-
Success
44 China
9/4/2010
16:14 GMT
Chinasat 6A
Communications
Chang Zheng 3B
Xichang
-
-
Success
45 Russia
9/8/2010
07:30 Moscow Time
Gonets M No. 12, Kosmos-2467, Kosmos-2468
Communications
133
1
Success
46 Russia
9/10/2010
14:22 Moscow Time
Manned
6
Success
47 Japan
9/11/2010
20:17 local
MICHIBIKI
Navigation
H-IIA F18
Tanegashima
-
-
Success
48 US
9/20/2010
9:03 p.m. PDT
NROL-41
Military
Atlas-5
Vandenberg AFB
SLC-3E
E
Success
49 China
9/22/2010
02:42 GMT
Yaogan 11
Military/reconnaissance
Chang Zheng 2D
Jiuquan
-
-
Success
50 US
9/25/2010
9:41 p.m. PDT
SBSS
Military/astronomy
Minotaur 4
Vandenberg AFB
SLC-8
8
Success
51 Russia
9/30/2010
21:01 Moscow Time
Military/early warning
-
-
Success
52 China
10/1/2010
18:59:57 Beijing Time
Chang'e 2
Lunar orbiter
Chang Zheng 3C
Xichang
-
-
Success
53 China
10/6/2010
00:49 GMT
Shijian 6G,
Shijian 6H
Experimental
Chang Zheng 4B
Taiyuan
-
-
Success
54 Russia
10/8/2010
03:10:55 Moscow Summer Time
Manned
1
Success
55 Russia
10/14/2010
22:53 Moscow Time
XM-5
Communications
24
Success
56 Russia
10/19/2010
21:10:59 Moscow Time
Globalstar-2 (1-6)
Communications
6
Success
57 Russia
10/27/2010
19:11:50 Moscow Time
Manned/cargo supply
1
Success
58 Europe
10/29/2010
21:51 GMT

W3B*,
BSat-3b

Communications
Ariane-5
Success*
59 China
11/1/2010
00:26:03 Beijing Time
Compass-G4
Navigation
Chang Zheng-3C No. Y5
Xichang
2
-
Success
60 Russia
11/2/2010
03:59 Moscow Time
43
4
Success
61 China
11/5/2010
02:37:12 UTC
Feng Yun-3B
Meteorology
Chang Zheng-4B
Taiyuan
-
-
Success
62 US
11/5/2010
7:20:03 p.m. local
COSMO 4
Remote-sensing
Delta 2 (7420)
Vandenberg AFB
SLC-2W
W
Success
63 Russia
11/14/2010
17:29 GMT
SkyTerra 1
Communications
39
Success
64 US
11/19/2010
4:25 p.m. local
STPSat 2, FASTSAT, FASTRAC (2), FalconSat 5, RAX, O/OREOS
Experimental
Minotaur 4
Kodiak
-
-
Success
65 US
11/21/2010
22:58 GMT
NROL-32
Military
Delta 4-Heavy
Cape Canaveral
SLC-37B
B
Success
66 China
11/25/2010
00:09 Beijing Time
ZhongXing-20A (Shen Tong-1B)
Communications
Chang Zheng 3A
Xichang
-
-
Success
67 Europe
11/26/2010
18:39 GMT
Intelsat 17, HYLAS 1
Communications
Ariane-5 ECA
3
Success
68 Russia
12/5/2010
13:25:19 Moscow Decree Time
Navigation
24
Failure
69 US
12/8/2010
10:43 a.m. EST

Dragon C1,
QbX 1,

QbX 2,
SMDC 1,
Perseus,
Perseus 001,
Perseus 002,
Perseus 003,
Mayflower

Manned (prototype)
Falcon 9
Cape Canaveral
SLC-40
-
Success
70 Russia 12/15/2010
22:09:25 Moscow Time
Manned
5
Success
71 China 12/17/2010
04:20 Beijing Time
BeiDou-2 (IGSO-2)
Navigation
Chang Zheng 3A
Xichang
-
-
Success
72 India 12/25/2010
16:04 local time
GSAT-5P
Communications
GSLV (F-06)
Sriharikota
-
-
Failure
73 Russia 12/27/2010
00:51 Moscow Time
Communications
39
Success
74 Europe 12/29/2010
21:27 GMT

Hispasat 1E, Koreasat 6

Communications
Ariane-5 ECA
Kourou
3
Success

*W3B satellite failed immediately after launch


The 2010 space launch score card (as of December 31, 2012 ):

 
Country
Launch vehicle
Launch vehicle
Launch vehicle
Launch vehicle
Launch vehicle
Launch vehicle Launch vehicle
Total
Failed
1
Russia:
Proton: 12 (1)*
Dnepr: 3
31
1
2
US:
Space Shuttle: 3
Atlas 5: 4
Delta IV: 2
Falcon-9: 2
Minotaur 4: 2
Delta 2: 1
Delta IV Heavy: 1
15
0
3
China:
Chang Zheng 3C: 4
Chang Zheng 4C: 2
Chang Zheng 2D: 3
Chang Zheng 3A: 3
Chang Zheng 3B: 1
Chang Zheng 4B: 2
 
15
0
4 Europe:
Ariane-5 ECA: 6
           
6
0
5
India:
GSLV: 2 (2)*
PSLV: 1
       
3
2
6 Japan:
H-IIA: 2
           
2
0
7 S. Korea:
KSLV 1: 1*
           
1
1
8 Israel:
Shavit: 1
           
1
0
 
Total:
       
74
4

*failed missions


Canceled/re-assigned around 2010:

The launch of Israeli EROS-C remote-sensing satellite from Svobodny/Vostochny on a Start-1 rocket. (Delayed from the second quarter of 2008. The development of the satellite had been abandoned by the beginning of 2010. (67)

2010: Arianespace company to launch Rascom-QAF 1R communications satellite from Kourou, French Guiana, onboard the Ariane-5 or Soyuz launch vehicle. The agreement for the mission was announced on Oct. 22, 2008. By June 2010, the mission was assigned to Ariane-5.

First quarter 2011: The Zenit-3SL rocket to launch Intelsat 17 satellite from the Sea Launch platform. (Delayed from the fourth quarter of 2010 and the mission was eventually switched to an Ariane-5 mission scheduled for launch in November 2010.)

2009-2011: Up to five launches of the Proton rocket for ICO Global Communications (Holdings) Limited (ICO) within Dual Launch Study Agreement with ILS International Launch Services (ILS). The contract also called for ILS to design and propose a dual launch capability for ICO's Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. The agreement announced on May 24, 2007. However the contract was canceled around 2010, as a result of the company's bankruptcy.

2010: A Proton/Briz-M to launch a S2M dedicated mobile television satellite for the Middle East and Africa region from Baikonur. The contract for the mission was announced on Feb. 26, 2008. However, S2M failed to secure investors for the project and went out of business, canceling the contract.


For missions in 2011 click here


This page was compiled by Anatoly Zak and S. Günes

Last update: December 31, 2012

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Cryosat-2

A second version of the European Cryosat satellite was originally scheduled for launch in 2009 to replace CryoSat-1 lost in the Rockot launcher mishap. Click to enlarge. Copyright © 2009 Anatoly Zak


Gonets-M

The Gonets-M low-orbital communications satellite. Click to enlarge. Copyright © 2009 Anatoly Zak


Capsule

The return capsule of Japan's MUSES-C (Hayabusa) spacecraft landed in Woomera, Australia, on June 13 with tiny fragments of soil from an asteroid. Copyright © 2010 Anatoly Zak


Planet C

Japanese Planet-C (Akatsuki) spacecraft was launched successfully on May 21, but failed to enter orbit around Venus on Dec. 6. Copyright © 2010 Anatoly Zak


X-37

On Dec. 3, the X-37B space plane (Orbital Test Vehicle-1, OTV-1) glided to the runway at Vandenberg AFB, California, after a seemingly successful first mission in the Earth orbit launched by an expendable rocket on April 22. The exact purpose or usefulness of the project remained unclear at the time. Credit: US Air Force


Dragon

An unmanned prototype of the Dragon crew capsule splashes down following a successful orbital flight in December 2010. Credit: SpaceX.