Home 1961 Spacecrafts
1960 Summary 1962 Summary
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Table of the 60 Spacecrafts Launched in 1961
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# Spacecraft Sponsor Launch Date Mission Type Categories
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1) Mercury-Redstone 2 / MR-2 NASA 31 Jan 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USA,
2) Samos 2 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
31 Jan 61 M Photo Surveillance
(1st Radio-relayed Images)
USA,
3) Venera Soviet Union (Korolev's OKB-1) 4 Feb 61 C Planetary Exploration (Venus) USSR, Fail,
4) Venera 1 Soviet Union (Korolev's OKB-1) 12 Feb 61 C Planetary Exploration
(First Venus Flyby)
USSR,
5) Explorer 9 NASA 16 Feb 61 C Earth/Space Science USA,
6) Discoverer 20 / KH-5 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
17 Feb 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
7) Discoverer 21 / RM 2 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
18 Feb 61 M Science & Technology
(MIDAS Early Warning R&D)
USA,
8) Mercury-Atlas 2 / MA-2 NASA 21 Feb 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USA,
9) Transit 3B U.S. Navy 22 Feb 61 M Navigation
(1st Dual Launch)
USA, Fail,
10) Lofti 1 U.S. Navy 22 Feb 61 M Science & Technology
(Low-Frequency Radio 
Wave Propagation)
USA, Fail,
11) Explorer S-45 NASA 25 Feb 61 C Earth/Space Science USA, Fail,
12) Korabl Sputnik 4 Soviet Union (Korolev's OKB-1) 9 Mar 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USSR,
13) Korabl Sputnik 5 Soviet Union (Korolev's OKB-1) 25 Mar 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USSR,
14) Explorer 10 NASA 25 Mar 61 C Earth/Space Science USA,
15) Discoverer 22 / KH-2 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
30 Mar 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
16) Discoverer 23 / KH 5 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
8 Apr 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
17) Vostok Soviet Union (Korolev's OKB-1) 12 Apr 61 C Piloted Spaceship
(1st Man in Space)
USSR,
18) Mercury-Atlas 3 / MA-3 NASA 25 Apr 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USA, Fail,
19) Explorer 11 NASA 27 Apr 61 C Earth/Space Science USA,
20) Mercury 3 (MR-3 / Mercury-Redstone 3) NASA 5 May 61 C Piloted Spaceship USA,
21) Explorer S-45A NASA 24 May 61 C Earth/Space Science USA, Fail,
22) Discoverer 24 / KH-5 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
8 Jun 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
23) Discoverer 25 / KH-2 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
16 Jun 61 M Photo Surveillance USA,
24) Transit 4A U.S. Navy 29 Jun 61 M Navigation
(1st Triple Launch)
USA,
25) Injun 1 U.S. Navy 29 Jun 61 M Science & Technology
(Radiation Studies)
USA, Fail,
26) Solrad 3 / GRAB 3 U.S. Navy 29 Jun 61 M Electronic Intelligence USA, Fail,
27) Explorer S-55 NASA 30 Jun 61 C Earth/Space Science USA,
28) Discoverer 26 / KH-2 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
7 Jul 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
29) Tiros 3 NASA 12 Jul 61 C Meteorology USA,
30) Midas 3 U.S. Department 
of Defense
12 Jul 61 M Missile Early Warning USA,
31) Mercury 4 (MR-3 / Mercury-Redstone 4) NASA 21 Jul 61 C Piloted Spaceship USA,
32) Discoverer 27 / KH-5 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
21 Jul 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
33) Discoverer 28 / KH-2 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
4 Aug 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
34) Vostok 2 Soviet Union (Korolev's OKB-1) 6 Aug 61 C Piloted Spaceship USSR,
35) Explorer 12 / EPE-A NASA 16 Aug 61 C Earth/Space Science USA,
36) Ranger 1 NASA 23 Aug 61 C Planetary Exploration (Moon) USA, Fail,
37) Explorer 13 NASA 25 Aug 61 C Earth/Space Science USA, Fail,
38) Discoverer 29 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
30 Aug 61 M Photo Surveillance USA,
39) Samos 3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
9 Sep 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
40) Discoverer 30 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
12 Sep 61 M Photo Surveillance USA,
41) Mercury-Atlas 4 MA-4 NASA 13 Sep 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USA,
42) Discoverer 31 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
17 Sep 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
43) Discoverer 32 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
13 Oct 61 M Photo Surveillance USA,
44) Midas 4 U.S. Department 
of Defense
21 Oct 61 M Missile Early Warning USA,
45) Westford U.S. Department 
of Defense
21 Oct 61 M Science & Technology
(Communications R&D)
USA, Fail,
46) Discoverer 33 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
23 Oct 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
47) Kosmos (DS-1 1) Soviet Union 
Defense Ministry
27 Oct 61 M Science & Technology
(Launch vehicle test)
USSR, Fail,
48) Mercury-Scout 1 / MS-1 NASA 1 Nov 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USA, Fail,
49) Discoverer 34 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
5 Nov 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
50) Discoverer 35 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
15 Nov 61 M Photo Surveillance USA,
51) Transit 4B U.S. Navy 15 Nov 61 M Navigation USA,
52) Traac U.S. Navy 15 Nov 61 M Science & Technology
(Navigation R&D)
USA,
53) Ranger 2 NASA 18 Nov 61 C Planetary Exploration (Moon) USA, Fail,
54) Samos 4 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
22 Nov 61 M Photo Surveillance USA,
55) Mercury-Atlas 5 / MA-5 NASA 29 Nov 61 C Piloted Spaceship Test USA,
56) Kosmos (Zenit-2 1) Soviet Union 
Defense Ministry
11 Dec 61 M Photo Surveillance
(1st Soviet Reconsat)
USSRFail,
57) Discoverer 36 / KH-3 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
12 Dec 61 M Photo Surveillance USA,
58) OSCAR I Amateurs 12 Dec 61 C Radio-Amateur (1st) Amateur (1st),
59) Kosmos (DS-1 2) Soviet Union 
Defense Ministry
21 Dec 61 M Science & Technology USSR, Fail,
60) Samos 5 U.S. National Re-
connaissance Office
22 Dec 61 M Photo Surveillance USA, Fail,
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1960 Summary All Summaries 1962 Summary
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Table Summary of 1961 Launches
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No. .. Soviet
Success
 T  Soviet 
failures*
No.  .. American 
success
 T  American 
failures
1) C 1VA No. 1 1) Mercury-Redstone 2 C
2) Venera 1 C 2) Samos 2 M
3) Koralb Sputnik 4 C 3) Explorer 9 C
4) Koralb Sputnik 5 C 4) KH-5 M
5) Vostok C 5) Discoverer 21 M
6) Vostok 2 C 6) Mercury-Atlas 2 C
7) M DS-1 #1  7) Transit 3B M
8) M Zenit-2 #1 8) Lofti 1 M
9) . M DS-1 #2 9) C Explorer (S-45)
10) Explorer 10 C
11) M KH-2
12) KH 5 M
13) Mercury-Atlas 3 C
14) Explorer 11 C
15) Mercury 3 C
16) C Explorer (S-45A)
17) M KH-5
18) KH-2 M
19) Transit 4A M
20) Injun 1 M
21) Solrad 3 M
22) C Explorer (S-55)
23) KH-2 M
24) Tiros 3 C
25) Midas 3 M
26) Mercury 4 C
27) M KH-5
28) M KH-2
29) Explorer 12 C
30) Ranger 1 C
31) Explorer 13 C
32) KH-3 M
33) M Samos 3
34) KH-3 M
35) Mercury-Atlas 4 C
36) KH-3 M
37) KH-3 M
38) Midas 4 M
39) Westford M
40) M KH-3
41) C Mercury-Scout 1
42) KH-3 M
43) KH-3 M
44) Transit 4B M
45) Traac M
46) Ranger 2 C
47) M Samos 4
48) Mercury-Atlas 5 C
49) KH-3 M
50) OSCAR I C
51) Samos 5 M
Total 5 Soviet 
launch success
4 Soviet 
launch failures*
40 American 
launch success
11 American launch 
failures
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55.6 % launch success (5 in 9)
(6 Civilian, 3 Military)
 78.4 % launch success (40 in 51)
(20 Civilian, 31 Military)
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55.6 % launch success (5 in 9)
(6 Civilian, 3 Military)
 78.4 % launch success (40 in 51)
(20 Civilian, 31 Military)
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© Claude Lafleur, 2004-10 Mes sites web: claudelafleur.qc.ca
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