Comparison of orbital launchers families

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This page contains a list of orbital launchers' families. To see the long complete list of launch systems, see Comparison of orbital launch systems.

Description

  • Family: Name of the family/model of launcher
  • Country: Origin country of launcher
  • Manufac.: Main manufacturer
  • Mass: Maximum mass of payload, for 3 altitudes
    • LEO (Low Earth Orbit)
    • GTO (Geostationary transfer orbit)
    • TLI (Trans Lunar Injection)
  • Cost: Price for a launch at this time, in millions of US$
  • Total launches: flights which lift-off, or where the vehicle is destroyed during the terminal count
note: only includes orbital launches (flights launched with the intention of reaching orbit). Suborbital tests launches are not included in this listing.
  • Launches reaching space (regardless of outcome)
  • Launches reaching any orbit, regardless of outcome
  • Launches reaching the target orbit, without damage to the payload
  • Status: Actual status of launcher (retired, development, active)
  • First flight: Year of first flight of first family's member
  • Last Flight: Year of Last flight (for vehicles retired from service)
  • Refs: citations

Same cores are grouped together (like Ariane 1, 2 & 3, but not V).

List of launchers families

[Active] - [In development] - [Retired] - [Has flown but new version in dev.]

Family Country Manufac. LEO
payload
(kg)
GTO
payload
(kg)
TLI
payload
(kg)
Cost
US$
(Millions)
Total
launches
Launches
reaching
space
Launches
reaching
any orbit
Launches
reaching
target orbit
Status First
flight
Last
flight
Refs Notes
Angara 1.2  Russia Khrunichev 3,800 -- -- 25 1 1 -- -- Active 2014 -- [1][2][3] As of 2014, only launch was suborbital[4]
Angara
A3, A5
 Russia Khrunichev 14,600 to
35000
3,600 to
12500
-- -- 1 1 1 1 Active 2014 -- [1][5] proposed future versions of Angara family
Antares  USA Orbital Sciences 6,000 -- -- -- 5 4 4 Active 2013 -- [6][7] Cygnus launcher
Ariane 1-2-3  Europe Aérospatiale -- 2,650 -- -- 28 Retired 1979 1989 [8][9]
Ariane 4  Europe Aérospatiale 7,000 4,720 -- -- 116 -- -- Retired 1988 2003 [9] Var: 2P,2L,4P,4L,2P2L
Ariane 5  Europe Airbus 21,000 9,600 -- 220 76 74 74 72 Active 1996 -- [10][11] Var: ECA,ES,G,G+,GS. ME and ES Galileo in dev.
Ariane 6  Europe Airbus Safran -- 10,500 -- 115 -- -- -- -- Devel. 2020 -- Var: Ariane 62 & Ariane 64.
ASLV  India ISRO 150 -- -- -- 4 -- -- Retired 1987 1994 [12]
Athena I & II  USA Lockheed ATK 2,065 -- 295 -- 7 -- -- Devel. 1995 2001 [13] Launch Lunar Prospector[14]
Ic & IIc currently in dev.
Atlas A-B-C-D-E-F-G
Atlas I
 USA Lockheed 5,900 2,340 -- -- 514 -- -- Retired 1957 1997 [15][16][17][18] Launch Mercury.
Atlas or Centaur upper stage.
Atlas II  USA Lockheed 8,618 3,833 -- -- 63 63 63 Retired 1991 2004 [19][20][21]
Atlas III  USA Lockheed 10,759 4,609 -- -- 6 6 6 Retired 2003 2005 [22][23] variants: IIIA, IIIB
Atlas V  USA ULA 18,850 8,900 2,807 -- 30 30 Active 2002 [24][25] Launched Juno & New Horizons
Black Arrow  UK RAE Westland 132 -- -- -- 4 3 Retired 1969 1971 [26]
Delta  USA Douglas 3,848 1,312 -- -- 186 -- -- Retired 1960 1989 [27][28] Launched Pioneer & Explorer probes.
Variants : A, B, C, D, E, G, J, L, M, N, 300, 900, 1X00, 4X00, 2X00, 3X00, 5X00
Delta II  USA ULA 6,000 2,171 1,508 51 151 Active 1989[27] -- [29][30][27] Launched Mars probes MGS to Phoenix
Variants : 6000, 7000 and Heavy.
Delta III  USA Boeing 8,290 3,810 -- -- 3 2 2 Retired 1998 2000 [31][32]
Delta IV  USA ULA 23,040 13,130 9,000 -- 18 18 Active 2002 -- [33] Variants : S, M and Heavy.
Diamant  France SEREB -- -- -- -- -- Retired 1965 1975 [citation needed]
Dnepr  Ukraine Russia Yuzhmash 3,600 -- 750 14 17 Active 1999 -- [34][35]
[full citation needed]
Energia  USSR NPO Energia 100,000 240 2 2 1 1 Retired 1987 1988 [36][citation needed] 1 partial failure with Polyus spacecraft, 1 successful flight with Buran spacecraft.
Epsilon  Japan IHI Corporation 1,200 -- -- -- 1 1 1 1 Active 2013 -- [37][38]
Falcon 1 & 1e  USA SpaceX 420[39] -- -- 7.9[39] 5[40] 4[39] 2[39] 2[40] Retired[39] 2006 2009 v1 superseded by 1e version
Falcon 9
v1.0, v1.1, FT
 USA SpaceX 22,800 8,300 -- 61.2 23 Wiki 22 22 22 Wiki Active 2010 -- [41][42] upgrade to version 1.1 in 2013; upgrade to version FT in 2015
Launcher of Dragon capsule
* note: One flight put primary but not secondary payload into correct orbit[43]
Falcon Heavy  USA SpaceX 54,400 22,200 -- 80-125 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [44][45] Demo expected for 2016
GSLV Mk.I & II  India ISRO 5,000 2,500 -- -- 8 6 5 3 Active 2001 -- [46][47][48]
GSLV Mk.III (LVM3)  India ISRO 8,000 4,000 -- -- 1 1 0 -- Devel. 2014 2014 [49] First Experimental Flight (suborbital) with passive cryogenic upper stage successful [50]
H-I  Japan Mitsubishi 3,200 -- -- 9 9 Retired 1986 1992 [51] license-built version of the Thor-ELT
H-II, IIA & IIB  Japan Mitsubishi 19,000 8,000 -- -- 28 26 Active 1994 -- [52] Var:. A202,A2022,A2024,A204,B
Haas  Romania ARCA 400 -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [53] Launch from balloon
J-I  Japan IHI Corporation Nissan Motors 880 -- -- -- 1 Retired 1996 1996 [citation needed] Partial demo flight only
Kosmos  USSR Yuzhnoye Polyot 1,500 -- -- 12 610 -- -- 559 Retired 1967 2010 [54][11][55] Var: 1, 3, 3M
Kaituozhe-1  China CALT -- -- -- Retired 2002 2003 [citation needed]
Lambda 4S  Japan Nissan ISAS -- -- -- Retired 1966 1970 [citation needed]
Long March 1  China CALT 740 440 -- -- 6 -- -- Retired 1970 2002 [56][57][58] Var: 1, 1D
Long March 2-3-4  China CALT 12,000 5,500 3,300 -- 167 158 -- -- Active 1971 -- [59] Ascends of ICBMs DF-5
Var: 2A,2C,2D,2E,2F,3,3A,3B,3C,4,4B
2F Launcher of Shenzhou
Long March 5  China CALT 25,000 14,000 -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [60][61] Var: 200,320,504,522,540
Long March 6  China CALT 1,500 -- -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [62]
Long March 7  China CALT 20,000 -- -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [63]
MCT  USA SpaceX -- -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [64] Expected in the mid-2020s
Minotaur I  USA Orbital Sciences 580 -- -- -- 11 11 11 11 Active 2000 -- [65][66] Derived from the Minuteman II
Minotaur IV & V  USA Orbital Sciences 1,735 640 447 50 4 4 4 4 Active 2010 -- [65][67] Also 2 suborbital launches (HTV-2a). Variants: IV, IV Lite, IV HAPS, V. Derived from Peacekeeper missile
Mu 1-3-4  Japan Nissan Motor IHI 770 -- -- -- 27 -- -- Retired 1966 1995 [68] Var: 1, 3D, 4S, 3C, 3H, 3S, 3SII
Mu 5  Japan Nissan Motor IHI 1,800 -- -- -- Retired 1997 2006 [citation needed] Var: M-V, M-V KM
N1  USSR NPO Energia 90,000 -- 23,500 -- 4 0 0 0 Retired 1969 1972 [69] Designed for Soviet Manned Lunar Mission
N-I & II  Japan Mitsubishi 2,000 730 -- -- 15 -- -- Retired 1975 1987 [70] Derived from the American Delta rocket
Naro  South Korea Khrunichev KARI 100 -- -- -- 3 2 1 1 Active 2009 -- [71]
Pegasus  USA Orbital Sciences 450 -- -- -- 40 -- -- Active 1990 -- [72]
Proton UR-500 Proton  USSR
 Russia
Khrunichev 23,000 6,920 5,680 -- 399 353 -- Active 1965 -- [73][74] Var: M, K
PSLV  India ISRO 3,800 1,300 -- -- 29[75] 28[75] 28[75] 28[75] Active 1993 [76][75] Var: CA, XL, HP, 3S
Launched moon probe Chandrayaan I, Mars probe Mangalyaan I
UR-100N Rokot Strela  Russia Eurockot Khrunichev 2,100 -- -- -- 25 23 23 Active 1994 -- [77][78][79][80] 23 launches of Rockot; 2 launches of Strela
Safir  Iran ISA 50 -- -- -- 4 4 Active 2007 -- [81]
Saturn I & IB  USA Chrysler Douglas 18,600 -- -- 19 13 13 13 13 Retired 1961 1975 [82][83] Saturn 1 family also included 6 suborbital test launches
Saturn V  USA Boeing North American Douglas 118,000 -- 47,000 185 13 13 13 Retired 1967 1973 [82][84][85] Var: Apollo, Skylab
Scout  USA US Air Force NASA 210 -- -- -- 125 104 -- -- Retired 1960 1994 [86] Var: X1, X2, A, D, G
Shavit  Israel IAI 225 -- -- 15 8 -- -- Active 1988 -- [87] Var: Shavit, -1, -2
R-29 Shtil Volna  Russia Makeyev 430 -- -- -- 8 -- -- Active 1995 2006 [88] Var: Vysota, Volna, Shtil, 2.1, 2R, 3
R-7 Semyorka Soyuz  USSR
 Russia
RSC Energia TsSKB-Progress 5,500 2,400 1,200 -- 1,854 -- -- Active 1957 -- [89] Var: Sputnik, Luna, Vostok-L, Vostok-K, Voskhod, Molniya, Molniya-L, Molniya-M, Polyot, Soyuz, Soyuz-L, Soyuz-M, Soyuz-U, Soyuz-FG, Soyuz-2
Simorgh  Iran ISA 100 -- -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [90]
SLS  USA Alliant Lockheed 130,000 -- -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [91] Expected 2017
SLV  India ISRO 40 -- -- -- 4 3 3 2 Retired 1979 1983 [92] Launched Rohini satellite series
STS
Space Shuttle
 USA Alliant Martin Marietta Rockwell 24,400 3,810 -- 450 135 134 134 133 Retired 1981 2011 [93] Orbiter mass: 68585 kg.
Start-1  Russia MITT 532 -- -- -- 7 6 Active 1993 2006 [94]
Taurus  USA Orbital Sciences 1,450 -- -- -- 9 9 Active 1989 -- [95] Var:2110, 3110, 3210
Thor  USA Douglas 1,270 -- 38 -- 357 -- -- Retired 1957 1980 [28] Launched Pioneer & Explorer probes
Titan I-II-III-IV  USA Martin Marietta 21,900 5,773 8,600 350 369 -- -- Retired 1959 2005 [96][97] Var: I, II, IIIA, IIIB, IIIC, IIID, IIIE, 34D, IVA, IVB
Gemini launcher
Tsyklon R-36 Tsyklon  USSR
 Ukraine
Yuzhmash 4,100 -- -- -- 259 -- -- Active 1967 2009 [98] Var: 1, 2, 3. Tsyklon 4 in dev.
Unified Launch Vehicle  India ISRO 15,000 6,200 -- -- 0 -- -- -- Devel. -- -- [99] Var: 6S12, 2S60, 2S138, 2S200
Unha  North Korea KCST 100 -- -- -- 3 1 1  ? Active 2006 -- [100] Variants: Paektusan based on Taepodong-1 missile; Unha based on TaepoDong-2 missile.
Vanguard  USA Martin 23 -- -- -- 12 -- 3 Retired 1957 1959 [101]
Vega  Europe ESA ASI Avio 2,300 -- -- 23 5 5 5 5 Active 2012 -- [102]
VLS-1  Brazil CTA 380 -- -- -- 2 0 0 Active 1997 2003 [103] Var in dev: Alfa, VLM
Zenit  USSR
 Ukraine
 Russia
Yuzhnoye 13,740 6,160 4,098 -- 82 71 69 Active 1985 -- [104] Var: 2, 2M, 2SLB, 3SL, 3SLB, 3SLBF

See also

References

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