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Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg
The launch of STS-1, the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle
Fact Sheet
Orbital Launches
First 6 January
Last 23 December
National Firsts
Space Traveller  Mongolia
 Romania
Rockets
Maiden Flights N-II
Space Shuttle Columbia
Retirements Atlas F
Manned flights
Orbital 5
Total travellers 10

Contents


Launches

This is a list of spaceflights launched in 1981.

Date/Time
(UTC)
Rocket Site LSP Payload Operator Orbit Function Decay
(UTC)
Outcome Remarks
6 January, 12:15 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1237 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 20 January 1981 Successful
9 January, 14:57 UTC Molniya-M/ML
(R-7 8K78M/ML)
LC-41/1, Plesetsk RVSN Molniya 3-14 MOM Molniya Comsat 3 July 1999 Successful
10 January, 18:22 UTC Nike Tomahawk Siple Station, Ellsworth Island NASA NASA Sub-orbital Ionospheric research 10 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 198 km (123 mi)
14 January, 22:00 UTC TT-500A LA-T, Tanegashima NASDA NASDA Sub-orbital Test rocket 14 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 300 km (186 mi)
16 January, 09:00 UTC Kosmos-3M
(R-14 11K65M)
LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1238 (Taifun-1) MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration Still in orbit Successful
16 January, 12:00 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1239 (Zenit-4MT) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 28 January 1981 Successful
19 January, 03:37 UTC Black Brant VB Fort Churchill NRCC NRCC Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 19 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 263 km (163 mi)
20 January, 04:50 UTC Astrobee-F White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Ultraviolet astronomy 20 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 209 km (130 mi)
20 January, 11:00 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
LC-31/6, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1240 (Yantar-2K) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 17 February 1981 Successful
21 January, 00:25 UTC Black Brant 8C White Sands NASA SPAR-9 NASA Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 21 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 209 km (130 mi)
21 January, 08:29 UTC Kosmos-3M
(R-14 11K65M)
LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1241 (DS-P1-M) MO SSSR LEO ASAT target Still in orbit Successful
21 January, 21:46 UTC S-310 Kagoshima ISAS ISAS Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 21 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 174 km (108 mi)
23 January, 11:20 UTC Tsyklon-3
(R-36 11K68)
LC-32/1, Plesetsk RVSN Geo-IK S/N 1 MO SSSR Intended: MEO Geodetics 23 January 1981 Failure Fairing failed to separate
24 January, 14:18 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
LC-1/5, Baikonur RVSN Progress 12 MOM LEO, docked to Salyut 6 Resupply Salyut 6 20 March 1981, 16:58:58 UTC Successful
26 January, 07:20 UTC Black Brant IVB Fort Churchill NRCC NRCC Sub-orbital Auroral research 26 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 584 km (363 mi)
27 January, 14:58 UTC Vostok-2M
(R-7 8A92M)
Plesetsk Kosmos 1242 (Tselina-D) MOM LEO SIGINT satellite Still in orbit Successful
29 January, 04:12 UTC Astrobee-F Fort Churchill NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 29 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 189 km (117 mi)
29 January, 17:00 UTC S-520 LA-K, Kagoshima ISAS TPE-2 ISAS Sub-orbital Ionospheric/tether research 29 January 1981 Successful Apogee: 323 km (201 mi)
30 January, 16:27 UTC Molniya-M/ML
(R-7 8K78M/ML)
Plesetsk RVSN Molniya 1-49 MOM Molniya Comsat Still in orbit Successful
2 February, 02:19 UTC Tsyklon-2
(R-36 11K69)
LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1243 (IS-A) MO SSSR LEO ASAT test 2 February 1981 Failure Intended to destroy Kosmos 1241, passed within 50 m (164 ft) of target, failed to explode.
4 February, 01:10 UTC Aries LC-36, White Sands US Air Force US Air Force Sub-orbital ABM technology development 4 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 387 km (240 mi)
4 February, 05:00 UTC Centaure Thumba ISRO ISRO Sub-orbital Ionosphere research 4 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
4 February, 15:00 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-141 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 4 February 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
4 February, 15:33 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-139 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 4 February 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
4 February, 15:53 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-140 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 4 February 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
5 February, 11:25 UTC Sergeant Poker Flat US Air Force FWIF IV US Air Force Sub-orbital Auroral research 5 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 130 km (81 mi)
6 February, 08:00 UTC Kosmos-3M
(R-14 11K65M)
LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Interkosmos-21 Interkosmos LEO Technology development 7 July 1982 Successful Deactivated 2 June 1982
7 February, 20:13:45 UTC Petrel 2 Esrange SERC SERC Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 7 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 140 km (87 mi)
7 February, 20:30 UTC Nike Orion Kiruna SSC OXYGEN SSC Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 7 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 120 km (75 mi)
9 February Minuteman III LF-08, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-79GM US Air Force Sub-orbital ICBM test 9 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 km (808 mi)
9 February Minuteman III LF-09, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-80GM US Air Force Sub-orbital ICBM test 9 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 km (808 mi)
11 February, 08:30 UTC N-II LA-N, Tanegashima NASDA Kiku 3 (ETS-4) NASDA MEO Test carrier rocket/technology development Still in orbit Successful Maiden flight of N-II
12 February, 05:27 UTC Centaure 2B Thumba ISRO ISRO Sub-orbital Ionosphere research 12 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 158 kilometres (98 mi)
12 February, 18:21 UTC Kosmos-3M
(R-14 11K65M)
LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1244 (Parus) MO SSSR LEO Navigation Still in orbit Successful
13 February, 11:15 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1245 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance satellite 27 February 1981 Successful
13 February, 17:15 UTC Black Brant 8C LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Solar research 13 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 265 km (165 mi)
17 February, 17:15 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-143 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 17 February 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
17 February, 17:51 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-142 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 17 February 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
17 February, 19:17 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-144 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 17 February 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
18 February, 09:00 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
LC-31/6, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1246 (Yantar-1KFT) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 13 March 1981 Successful
18 February INTA-300 El Arenosillo INTA INTA Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 18 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 285 km (177 mi)
18 February Minuteman IB LF-06, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force ABRES IRS-1 US Air Force Sub-orbital Test re-entry vehicle 18 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 km (808 mi)
19 February, 10:00 UTC Molniya-M/2BL
(R-7 8K78M/2BL)
LC-16/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1247 (Oko) MOM Molniya Missile early warning Still in orbit Successful so far First launch from LC-16/2
21 February, 00:30 UTC Mu-3S LA-M, Kagoshima ISAS Hinotori (ASTRO-A) ISAS LEO Solar research 11 July 1991 Successful
21 February, 23:23 UTC Atlas-Centaur SLV-3D LC-36A, Cape Canavaral Comstar 4 (Parallax 1/Esiafi 1) LMGT (1981-2001)
SSC Parallax (2001-2002)
Tongasat (2002—)
GSO Comsat Still in orbit Successful Renamed Parallax 1 in 2001 and Esiafi 1 in 2002
21 February Minuteman III LF-26, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-81GM US Air Force Sub-orbital ICBM test 21 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 km (808 mi)
25 February, 17:20 UTC Sergeant-Hydac Poker Flat US Air Force HAVE SLED US Air Force Sub-orbital Test flight 25 February 1981 Successful Apogee: 400 km (249 mi)
28 February, 19:15 UTC Titan 24B/Agena-D SLC-4W, Vandenberg AFB OPS 1166 (KH-8) US Air Force/NRO LEO Reconnaissance 20 June 1981 Successful
1 March, 09:20 UTC OTRAG Seba Oasis OTRAG OTRAG Sub-orbital Test flight 1 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
5 March, 15:00 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
LC-41/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1249 (Yantar-2K) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 4 April 1981 Successful
5 March, 16:48 UTC Sergeant-Hydac Poker Flat US Air Force HAVE SLED US Air Force Sub-orbital Test flight 5 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 400 km (249 mi)
5 March, 18:09 UTC Tsyklon-2
(R-36 11K69)
LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1249 (US-A) MO SSSR LEO Ocean reconnaissance 19 July 1981 Successful
6 March, 11:31 UTC Kosmos-3M
(R-14 11K65M)
LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1250 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1251 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1252 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1253 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1254 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1255 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1256 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1257 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
7 March, 08:09 UTC Taurus-Orion Poker Flat US Air Force AURORAL E1 US Air Force Sub-orbital Auroral research 7 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 156 km (97 mi)
7 March, 08:09 UTC Taurus-Orion Poker Flat US Air Force AURORAL E3 US Air Force Sub-orbital Aeronomy/Ionospheric/Plasma research 7 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 203 km (126 mi)
7 March, 08:26 UTC Taurus-Orion Poker Flat US Air Force AURORAL E2 US Air Force Sub-orbital Auroral research 7 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 169 km (105 mi)
7 March, 08:38 UTC Paiute-Tomahawk Poker Flat US Air Force AURORAL E4 US Air Force Sub-orbital Auroral research 7 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 187 km (116 mi)
8 March, 16:00 UTC Nike Orion Poker Flat US Air Force CWAS 1 US Air Force Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 8 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 140 km (87 mi)
12 March, 04:30 UTC Sergeant-Hydac Poker Flat US Air Force HAVE SLED US Air Force Sub-orbital Test flight 12 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 400 km (249 mi)
12 March, 19:00 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
LC-1/5, Baikonur RVSN Soyuz T-4, 2 cosmonauts MOM LEO, docked to Salyut 6 Manned orbital flight 25 May 1981, 12:37 UTC Successful Salyut 6 Expedition 6
13 March, 16:00 UTC Nike Orion Fort Churchill NASA CWAS 2 NASA Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 13 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 140 km (87 mi)
14 March, 16:55 UTC Tsyklon-2
(R-36 11K69)
LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1258 (IS-A) MO SSSR LEO ASAT test 14 March 1981 Failure Intended to destroy Kosmos 1241. Spacecraft malfunction
15 March Minuteman IB LF-03, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force ABERS TDV-4 US Air Force Sub-orbital Test re-entry vehicle 15 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 km (808 mi)
16 March, 19:24 UTC Titan IIIC LC-40, Cape Canaveral IMEWS 11 US Air Force GEO. Moved to Graveyard orbit after retirement Missile early warning Still in orbit Successful Retired on 1 January 1992
17 March, 08:40 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
LC-31, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1259 (Zenit 6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 31 March 1981 Successful
18 March, 04:40 UTC Proton-K/DM LC-200/40, Baikonur RVSN Raduga 8 MOM GEO. Moved to Graveyard orbit after retirement Comsat Still in orbit Failure Deactivated on 11 April 1981
20 March, 23:45 UTC Tsyklon-2
(R-36 11K69)
LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1260 (US-P/EORSAT) MO SSSR LEO Ocean reconnaissance 22 May 1982 Successful
22 March, 14:58 UTC Soyuz-U
(R-7 11A511U)
LC-31/6, Baikonur RVSN Soyuz 39, 2 cosmonauts MOM LEO, docked to Salyut 6 Manned orbital flight 30 March 1981 Successful
24 March, 03:00 UTC Black Brant 8C LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Ultraviolet astronomy 24 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 261 km (162 mi)
24 March, 03:31 UTC Molniya-M LC-41/1, Plesetsk Cosmodrome RVSN Molniya 3-15 MOM Molniya Comsat 19 October 1992 Successful
25 March, 08:05 UTC Taurus-Tomahawk Poker Flat NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 25 March 1981 Successful Apogee
28 March, 01:54 UTC Black Brant VB Fort Churchill NRCC FALCONS NRCC Sub-orbital Ionosphere research 28 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 327 km (203 mi)
28 March, 01:54 UTC Black Brant IVB Fort Churchill NRCC FALCONS NRCC Sub-orbital Ionosphere research 28 March 1981 Successful Apogee: 675 km (419 mi)
28 March, 09:30 UTC Soyuz-U LC-31/6, Baikonur RVSN Yantar-2K 979 MOM Intended: LEO Reconnaissance satellite 28 March 1981 Failure Carrier rocket malfunction, failed to orbit
30 March, 05:52 UTC Nike Orion Poker Flat DNA LADY LOU Ba DNA Sub-orbital Aeronomy research 30 March 1981 Successful
31 March, 09:40 UTC Molniya-M LC-41/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1261 (Oko) MOM Molniya Missile defence Still in orbit Successful so far
1 April, 09:04:35 UTC Taurus-Tomahawk Poker Flat NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 1 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
1 April, 09:10 UTC Trident C-4 USS Simon Bolivar, ETR US Navy DASO-7 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 1 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
1 April Minuteman III LF-04, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-75GM2 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 1 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
2 April Taurus-Orion Wallops Island NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 2 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
3 April, 06:20:55 UTC Nike Orion Poker Flat DNA DNA Sub-orbital Aeronomy 3 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)
3 April Taurus-Orion Wallops Island NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 3 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
4 April Minuteman IB LF-06, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force ABRES 500-PAS-1 US Air Force Sub-orbital Re-entry test 4 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
7 April, 10:51 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1262 (Zenit-6) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 21 April 1981 Successful
7 April, 14:00 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-146 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 7 April 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
7 April, 14:19 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-147 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 7 April 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
7 April, 14:40 UTC Pershing 1A LC-16, Cape Canaveral US Air Force FOT-148 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 7 April 1981 Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
9 April, 12:00 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1263 (Taifun-1) MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration Still in orbit Successful so far
12 April, 12:00:03 UTC Space Shuttle Columbia LC-39A, Kennedy United Space Alliance STS-1, 2 astronauts NASA LEO Manned orbital flight 14 April 1981, 18:20:57 UTC Successful Maiden flight of Space Shuttle orbiter and Space Shuttle Columbia
DFI NASA LEO, attached to Columbia Flight recorder Successful
15 April, 10:30 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1264 (Zenit-6) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 29 April 1981 Successful
16 April, 11:30 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1265 (Zenit-6) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 28 April 1981 Successful
18 April MR-UR-100U LC-172, Baikonur RVSN RVSN Sub-orbital Operational test flight 18 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
21 April, 03:45 UTC Tsyklon-2 LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1266 (US-A/RORSAT) MO SSSR LEO Reconnaissance Still in orbit Successful
24 April, 21:32 UTC Titan 34B SLC-4W, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force OPS-7225 (SDS-1) US NRO Molniya Comsat Still in orbit Partial failure
25 April, 02:01 UTC Proton-K LC-200/39, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1267 (TKS-2) MOM LEO, docked to Salyut 6 Technology demonstration 29 July 1982 Successful
27 April, 23:15 UTC Aries LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Ultraviolet astronomy 27 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 263 kilometres (163 mi)
28 April, 09:00 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1268 (Zenit-6) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 12 May 1981 Successful
30 April, 06:00 UTC Skylark 7 LA-S, Esrange DFVLR TEXUS-3B DFVLR Sub-orbital Microgravity research 30 April 1981 Successful Apogee: 253 kilometres (157 mi)
4 May, 07:55 UTC Black Brant 8C LC-36, White Sands NASA XRB-2 NASA Sub-orbital X-Ray astronomy 4 May 1981 Successful Apogee: 294 kilometres (183 mi)
6 May, 08:00 UTC Black Brant 8C LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Aeronomy 6 May 1981 Successful Apogee: 322 kilometres (200 mi)
7 May, 13:21 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1269 (Strela-2M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
8 May, 05:27 UTC Skylark 7 LA-S, Esrange DFVLR TEXUS 4 DFVLR Sub-orbital Microgravity research 8 May 1981 Successful Apogee: 258 kilometres (160 mi)
14 May, 17:16:38 UTC Soyuz-U LC-1/5, Baikonur RVSN Soyuz 40 MOM LEO, docked to Salyut 6 Manned orbital flight 22 May 1981 Successful
14 May, 21:45 UTC Vostok-2M Plesetsk RVSN Meteor-2 MOM LEO Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful
15 May, 06:07:17 UTC Scout G-1 SLC-5, Vandenberg AFB NASA Nova 1 US Navy LEO (Polar) Navigation Still in orbit Successful so far
18 May, 11:50 UTC Soyuz-U LC-31/6, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1270 (Yantar-2K) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 17 June 1981 Successful
19 May, 03:49 UTC Vostok-2M Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1271 (Tselina-D) MOM LEO ELINT Still in orbit Successful
21 May, 09:10 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1272 (Zenit-6) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 4 June 1981 Successful
22 May, 07:10 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1273 (Zenit-4MKT) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 4 June 1981 Successful
22 May, 22:29 UTC Delta 3914 LC-17A, Cape Canaveral NASA GOES-5 NOAA GSO Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful so far
23 May, 22:42 UTC Atlas-Centaur SLV-3D LC-36B, Cape Canaveral NASA Intelsat 501 Intelsat GSO Comsat Still in orbit Successful
27 May, 04:25 UTC Black Brant VC LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Ultraviolet astronomy 27 May 1981 Successful Apogee: 225 kilometres (140 mi)
31 May, 05:00 UTC SLV FLP, Sriharikota ISRO Rohini 2 ISRO LEO Technology demonstration 8 June 1981 Failure Placed in incorrect orbit, quickly decayed.
May MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
May MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
May MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
May MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
3 June, 14:00 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1274 (Yantar-2K) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 3 July 1981 Successful
3 June SSBS S3 BL-B, Biscarosse DMA DMA Sub-orbital Operational test flight 3 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
4 June, 15:41 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1275 (Parus) MO SSSR LEO Navigation Still in orbit Successful
9 June, 03:33 UTC Molniya-M Plesetsk RVSN Molniya-3 MOM Molniya Comsat 10 February 1998 Successful
12 June DOT Kwajalein Atoll US Air Force DOT-4 US Air Force Sub-orbital Test interceptor 12 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 303 kilometres (188 mi)
12 June Minuteman III LF-09, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-82GM US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 12 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
16 June, 07:00 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1276 (Yantar-4MKT) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 29 June 1981 Successful
17 June, 09:30 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1277 (Zenit-6) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 1 July 1981 Successful
19 June, 12:32:59 UTC Ariane 1 ELA-1, CSG Arianespace Meteosat 2 ESA GEO, then graveyard orbit Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful Retired on 4 December 1991
Apple ISRO GEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful Retired on 20 September 1983
CAT-3 ESA GTO Flight data recorder Still in orbit Successful Recorded carrier rocket performance
19 June, 19:37:04 UTC Molniya-M Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1278 (Oko) MOM Molniya Missile detection 2 September 2000 Successful
19 June Poseidon USS Lewis and Clark, ETR US Navy FOT-43 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 19 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
19 June Poseidon USS Lewis and Clark, ETR US Navy FOT-43 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 19 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
19 June Poseidon USS Lewis and Clark, ETR US Navy FOT-43 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 19 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
19 June Poseidon USS Lewis and Clark, ETR US Navy FOT-43 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 19 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
23 June, 10:52:59 UTC Atlas-F SLC-3W, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force NOAA-7 NOAA LEO (SSO) Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful so far Final flight of Atlas-F
24 June, 17:47 UTC Molniya-M Plesetsk RVSN Molniya-1 MOM Molniya Comsat 14 December 1991 Successful
25 June, 23:55 UTC Proton-K/DM LC-200/40, Baikonur RVSN Ekran-7 MOM GSO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far Retired on 1 August 1982
26 June Minuteman III LF-26, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-83GB US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 26 June 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
June MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
June MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
June MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
June MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
1 July, 09:30 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1279 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 15 July 1981 Successful
2 July, 07:10 UTC Soyuz-U LC-43/3, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1280 (Resurs F1) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 15 July 1981 Successful
7 July, 12:30 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1281 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 21 July 1981 Successful
10 July, 05:14 UTC Vostok-2M rowspan="2"Baikonur RVSN Meteor 1-31 (Meteor-Priroda) MOM LEO (SSO) Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful
Iskra MOM LEO (SSO) Microgravity research 16 April 1990 Successful
11 July Poseidon USS George C. Marshall, , ETR US Navy FOT-44 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 11 July 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
11 July Poseidon USS George C. Marshall, , ETR US Navy FOT-44 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 11 July 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
11 July Poseidon USS George C. Marshall, , ETR US Navy FOT-44 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 11 July 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
11 July Poseidon USS George C. Marshall, , ETR US Navy FOT-44 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 11 July 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
15 July, 13:00 UTC Soyuz-U LC-31/6, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1282 (Yantar-2K) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 14 August 1981 Successful
17 July, 08:00 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1283 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 31 July 1981 Successful
29 July, 11:55 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1284 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 12 August 1981 Successful
30 July, 21:38 UTC Proton-K/DM LC-200/39, Baikonur RVSN Raduga-9 MOM GSO Comsat Still in orbit Successful Retired on 1 May 1986
31 July, 10:50 UTC Aries LC-36, White Sands US Air Force ZIP-II US Air Force Sub-orbital Infrared astronomy 31 July 1981 Successful Apogee: 395 kilometres (245 mi)
July MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
July MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
July MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
1 August, 22:00 UTC TT-500A LA-T, Tanegashima NASDA NASDA Sub-orbital Test flight 1 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 300 kilometres (190 mi)
3 August, 09:56 UTC Delta 3913 SLC-2W, Vandenberg AFB NASA Dynamics Explorer 1 NASA HEO Magnetosphere research Still in orbit Partial failure
Dynamics Explorer 2 NASA HEO Magnetosphere research Still in orbit Partial failure
4 August, 00:13 UTC Molniya-M Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1285 (Oko) MOM Molniya Missile detection Still in orbit Successful so far
4 August, 08:28 UTC Tsyklon-2 LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1286 (US-P/EORSAT) MO SSSR LEO ELINT 16 October 1982 Successful
6 August, 08:16:00 UTC Atlas-Centaur SLV-3D LC-36A, Cape Canaveral NASA FLTSATCOM-5 US Navy GEO Comsat Still in orbit Partial failure Damaged during ascent due to fairing problem, retired on 12 July 1986
6 August, 11:49 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1287 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1288 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1289 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1290 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1291 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1292 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1293 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1294 (Strela-1M MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
7 August, 13:35 UTC Vostok-2M LC-43/3, Plesetsk RVSN Interkosmos 22 (IKB-1300) MOM LEO Ionosphere research Still in orbit Successful Retired on 10 August 1983
9 August Nike Orion Wallops Island NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 9 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)
9 August Taurus-Orion Wallops Island NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 9 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
10 August, 20:03 UTC N-II LA-N, Tanegashima NASDA GMS-2 (Himawari-2) NASDA GSO Weather satellite Still in orbit Successful so far Retired on 1 February 1988
12 August, 05:46 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1295 (Parus) MO SSSR LEO Navigation Still in orbit Successful so far
13 August, 02:26 UTC Trident C-4 USS John C. Calhoun, ETR US Navy OT-6 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 13 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
13 August, 02:46 UTC Trident C-4 USS John C. Calhoun, ETR US Navy OT-6 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 13 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
13 August, 03:32 UTC Trident C-4 USS John C. Calhoun, ETR US Navy OT-6 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 13 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
13 August, 03:32 UTC Trident C-4 USS John C. Calhoun, ETR US Navy OT-6 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 13 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
13 August, 16:20 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1296 (Yantar-2K MOM LEO Reconnaissance 13 September 1981 Successful
14 August, 07:43 UTC Black Brant X Wallops Island NASA NASA Sub-orbital Test flight 14 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 625 kilometres (388 mi)
18 August, 09:30 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1297 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 30 August 1981 Successful
21 August, 10:20 UTC Soyuz-U LC-1/5, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1298 (Yantar-4K1) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 2 October 1981 Successful
22 August, 01:00 UTC Poseidon USS Nathanael Greene, ETR US Navy US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 22 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
24 August, 12:00 UTC S-310 Kagoshima ISAS ISAS Sub-orbital Aeronomy and Auroral research 24 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 187 kilometres (116 mi)
24 August, 16:37 UTC Tsyklon-2 LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1299 (US-A/RORSAT) MO SSSR LEO Naval reconnaissance Still in orbit Successful
24 August, 21:40 UTC Tsyklon-3 LC-32/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1300 (Tselina-D) MO SSSR LEO SIGINT Still in orbit Successful
25 August Taurus-Orion LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Aeronomy 25 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
27 August, 10:30 UTC Soyuz-U LC-41/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1301 (Resurs-F1) MOM LEO Reconnaissance and remote sensing 10 September 1981 Successful
28 August, 00:03 UTC Trident C-4 USS Simon Bolivar, ETR US Navy OT-7 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 28 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
28 August, 00:04 UTC Trident C-4 USS Simon Bolivar, ETR US Navy OT-7 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 28 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
28 August, 00:04 UTC Trident C-4 USS Simon Bolivar, ETR US Navy OT-7 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 28 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
28 August, 00:04 UTC Trident C-4 USS Simon Bolivar, ETR US Navy OT-7 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 28 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
28 August, 16:18 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1302 (Strela-2M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
28 August R-5V Kapustin Yar MO SSSR Vertikal-9 MO SSSR Sub-orbital Solar research 28 August 1981 Successful Apogee: 500 kilometres (310 mi)
August MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
August MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
August MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
August MR-12 Professor Zubov MO SSSR MO SSSR Sub-orbital Aeronomy Within an hour of launch Successful Apogee: 150 kilometres (93 mi)
3 September, 18:29 UTC Titan IIID SLC-4E, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force OPS-3984 (KH-11) US NRO LEO (SSO) Reconnaissance 23 November 1984 Successful
4 September, 08:00 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1303 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 18 September 1981 Successful
4 September, 11:06 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1304 (Tsikada) MO SSSR LEO Navigation Still in orbit Successful so far
5 September, 01:00 UTC S-520 LA-K, Kagoshima ISAS ISAS Sub-orbital Ionosphere research 5 September 1981 Successful Payload recovered
Apogee: 224 kilometres (139 mi)
7 September, 09:38 UTC S-310 Kagoshima ISAS ISAS Sub-orbital Aeronomy 7 September 1981 Successful Apogee: 193 kilometres (120 mi)
8 September UR-100N Baikonur RVSN RVSN Sub-orbital Operational test flight 8 September 1981 Failure
11 September, 08:43 UTC Molniya-M LC-43/3, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1305 (Molniya-3) MOM Intended: Molniya
Achieved: MEO
Comsat Still in orbit Failure Fourth stage malfunction resulted in incorrect orbit
12 September Minuteman IB LF-06, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force ABRES Mk500-PAS-2 US Air Force Sub-orbital Re-entry test 12 September 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
14 September, 20:31 UTC Tsyklon-2 LC-90, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1306 (US-P/EORSAT) LEO SIGINT 16 July 1982 Successful
15 September, 11:30 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1307 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 29 September 1981 Successful
18 September, 03:34 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1308 (Parus) MO SSSR LEO Navigation Still in orbit Successful so far
18 September, 09:30 UTC Soyuz-U Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1309 (Zenit-4MT) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 1 October 1981 Successful
18 September, 17:59:58 UTC Vertikal LC-107, Kapustin Yar RVSN Gruziya-60-Spurt RVSN Sub-orbital Plasma research 18 September 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,514 kilometres (941 mi)
19 September, 21:28:40 UTC Feng Bao 1 LA-2B, JSLC CALT Shi Jian 2 CASC LEO Technology development 17 August 1982 Successful
Shi Jian 2A CASC LEO Technology development 26 September 1981 Successful
Shi Jian 2B CASC LEO Technology development 6 October 1982 Successful
21 September, 13:10 UTC Tsyklon-3 LC-32/1, Plesetsk RVSN Oreol-3 (Arkad-3/IK-23) RVSN/CNES LEO Magnetosphere research Still in orbit Successful
23 September, 08:00 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1310 (Taifun) MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 3 April 1989 Successful
24 September, 23:09 UTC Delta 3910/PAM LC-17A, Cape Canaveral NASA SBS-2 SBS GEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful Retired on 7 September 1996
28 September, 21:00 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1311 (Taifun-2) MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 August 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 1 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 27 February 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 2 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 26 February 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 3 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 5 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 4 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 5 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 5 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 17 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 6 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 16 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 7 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 22 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 8 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 23 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 9 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 24 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 10 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 18 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 11 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 17 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 12 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 17 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 13 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 16 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 14 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 31 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 15 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 31 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 16 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 31 December 1982 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 17 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 18 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 19 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 20 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 21 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 22 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 23 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 24 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 28 February 1983 Successful
Kosmos 1311 Romb 25 MO SSSR LEO Radar calibration 27 February 1983 Successful
29 September Topol LC-167, Plesetsk RVSN RVSN Sub-orbital Test flight 29 September 1981 Successful Maiden flight of Topol missile.
Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
30 September, 08:00 UTC Tsyklon-3 LC-32/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1312 (Geo-IK) MO SSSR LEO Geodetics research Still in orbit Successful so far
30 September, 23:20:00 UTC Black Brant 8C Esrange SSC PIRAT SSC Sub-orbital Auroral research 30 September 1981 Successful Apogee: 270 kilometres (170 mi)
30 September Black Brant VC LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Solar research 30 September 1981 Successful Apogee: 243 kilometres (151 mi)
1 October, 09:00 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1313 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 15 October 1981 Successful
4 October Minuteman IB LF-03, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force ABRES AMARV-3 US Air Force Sub-orbital Re-entry test 4 October 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
6 October, 11:27 UTC Delta 2310 SLC-2W, Vandenberg AFB NASA SME NASA LEO (SSO) Solar research 5 March 1991 Successful
Oscar 9 (UoSAT-1/UO-9) SSTL/UoSAT LEO (SSO) Technology demonstration
Amateur radio
13 October 1989 Successful
9 October, 10:40 UTC Soyuz-U LC-41/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1314 (Zenit-4MKT) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 22 October 1981 Successful
9 October, 16:59 UTC Proton-K/DM LC-200/39, Baikonur RVSN Raduga 10 MOM GSO Comsat Still in orbit Successful Retired on 1 October 1987
13 October, 23:01 UTC Vostok-2M Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1315 (Tselina-D) MOM LEO SIGINT Still in orbit Successful
14 October Nike Orion Wallops Island NASA NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 14 October 1981 Successful Apogee: 140 kilometres (87 mi)
15 October, 09:15 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1316 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 29 October 1981 Successful
16 October Nike Tomahawk White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Aeronomy 16 October 1981 Successful Apogee: 270 kilometres (170 mi)
17 October, 05:59 UTC Molniya-M LC-41/1, Plesetsk RVSN Molniya-3-17 MOM Molniya Comsat 9 January 1997 Successful
17 October Astrobee-F White Sands NASA NASA/MIT Sub-orbital X-Ray astronomy 17 October 1981 Successful Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
21 October Pershing 1A McGregor Range, Fort Bliss US Air Force AO-212 US Air Force Sub-orbital Test flight 21 October 1981 Successful Apogee: 250 kilometres (160 mi)
25 October, 19:01:00 UTC Nike Tomahawk Andøya NDRE Ferdinand-51 NDRE Sub-orbital Auroral research 25 October 1981 Successful Apogee: 184 kilometres (114 mi)
30 October, 06:04 UTC Proton-K/D-1 LC-200/40, Baikonur RVSN Venera 13 Bus MOM Heliocentric Venus flyby Still in orbit Successful
Venera 13 Lander MOM Heliocentric Venus lander 1 March 1982 Successful
31 October, 09:22:00 UTC Titan IIIC LC-40, Cape Canaveral US Air Force OPS-4029 (Chalet/Vortex) US NRO GEO ELINT Still in orbit Successful so far
31 October, 22:54 UTC Molniya-M LC-16/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1317 (Oko) MOM Molniya Missile detection Still in orbit Successful so far
3 November, 13:00 UTC Soyuz-U LC-41/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1318 (Yantar-2K) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 4 December 1981 Successful
4 November, 05:31 UTC Proton-K/D-1 LC-200/39, Baikonur RVSN Venera 14 Bus MOM Heliocentric Venus flyby Still in orbit Successful
Venera 14 Lander MOM Heliocentric Venus lander 5 March 1982 Partial failure Lens cover ejected on ground under surface sampling arm, preventing arm from reaching the surface.
7 November, 12:03:40 UTC Sergeant Poker Flat US Air Force FWIF-V US Air Force Sub-orbital Auroral research 7 November 1981 Successful Apogee: 130 kilometres (81 mi)
9 November Taurus-Orion LC-36, White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Aeronomy 9 November 1981 Successful Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
12 November, 15:09:59 UTC Space Shuttle Columbia LC-39A, Kennedy United Space Alliance STS-2, 2 astronauts NASA LEO Manned orbital flight 14 November 1981, 21:23:11 UTC Successful First manned spacecraft to make two orbital flights.
DFI NASA LEO, attached to Columbia Flight recorder Successful
OSTA-1 (SIR-A) NASA LEO, attached to Columbia Remote sensing Successful
13 November, 09:30 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1319 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 27 November 1981 Successful
15 November, 17:50 UTC Trident C-4 USS Benjamin Franklin, ETR US Navy DASO-8 US Navy Sub-orbital Operational test flight 15 November 1981 Failure Apogee: 20 kilometres (12 mi)
17 November, 15:25 UTC Molniya-M Plesetsk RVSN Molniya-1-51 MOM Molniya Comsat 2 November 1993 Successful
17 November Black Brant 8B White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital X-Ray astronomy 17 November 1981 Successful Apogee: 253 kilometres (157 mi)
17 November Black Brant 8B White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital X-Ray astronomy 17 November 1981 Successful Apogee: 253 kilometres (157 mi)
20 November, 01:37 UTC Delta 3910/PAM LC-17A, Cape Canaveral NASA Satcom 3R (Satcom 4) RCA Americom GSO Comsat Still in orbit Successful Retired on 10 April 1991
20 November, 08:30 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-107/2, Kapustin Yar RVSN Bhaskara 2 ISRO LEO Earth observation 30 November 1991 Successful
23 November Black Brant 8C White Sands NASA NASA Sub-orbital Solar research 23 November 1981 Successful Apogee: 322 kilometres (200 mi)
24 November Minuteman III LF-09, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-84GM1 US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 24 November 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
28 November, 18:08 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1320 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1321 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1322 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1323 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1324 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1325 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1326 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
Kosmos 1327 (Strela-1M) MO SSSR LEO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
1 December, 01:38 UTC Black Brant X Cape Parry NASA CENTAUR NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 1 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 612 kilometres (380 mi)
1 December, 15:50:00 UTC Petrel Esrange SRC SRC Sub-orbital Aeronomy 1 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 187 kilometres (116 mi)
1 December R-39 Rif Nonoksa RVSN RVSN Sub-orbital Test flight 1 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
3 December, 11:47 UTC Tsyklon-3 LC-32/1, Plesetsk RVSN Kosmos 1328 (Tselina-D) MO SSSR LEO SIGINT Still in orbit Successful so far
4 December, 09:50 UTC Soyuz-U Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1329 (Zenit-6U) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 18 December 1981 Successful
6 December, 23:14:58 UTC Black Brant IVB Cape Parry NRCC CENTAUR NRCC Sub-orbital Auroral research 6 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 615 kilometres (382 mi)
7 December, 00:00:40 UTC Terrier-Malemute Cape Parry NASA CENTAUR NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 7 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 451 kilometres (280 mi)
7 December Dong Feng 5 LA-2B, JSLC CALT CALT Sub-orbital Test flight 7 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
8 December Aerobee 150 LC-35, White Sands NASA UM Airglow NASA Sub-orbital Magnetosphere research 8 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 200 kilometres (120 mi)
9 December, 17:17:00 UTC Petrel 2 Esrange SRC SRC Sub-orbital Aeronomy 9 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 188 kilometres (117 mi)
9 December, 21:25:35 UTC Skylark 7 LA-S, Esrange DFVLR ENERGY-EB2 DFVLR Sub-orbital Ionosphere/Plasma research 9 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 237 kilometres (147 mi)
9 December Minuteman III LF-26, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GT-85GB US Air Force Sub-orbital Operational test flight 9 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,300 kilometres (810 mi)
10 December Sonda-3 Natal IAE IAE Sub-orbital Ionosphere research 10 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 239 kilometres (149 mi)
13 December, 21:31:38 UTC Black Brant IVB Cape Parry NRCC CENTAUR NRCC Sub-orbital Auroral research 13 December 1981 Failure Apogee: 50 kilometres (31 mi)
13 December, 22:54:25 UTC Black Brant X Cape Parry NASA CENTAUR NASA Sub-orbital Plasma research 13 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 662 kilometres (411 mi)
15 December, 23:35 UTC Atlas-Centaur SLV-3D LC-36B, Cape Canaveral NASA Intelsat 503 Intelsat GSO Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far
16 December, 14:10:00 UTC Petrel Esrange SRC LITHIUM SRC Sub-orbital Aeronomy 16 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 187 kilometres (116 mi)
17 December, 11:00 UTC Kosmos-3M LC-132/2, Plesetsk RVSN Radio-Sputnik 3 Iskra LEO Amateur radio Still in orbit Successful so far
Radio-Sputnik 8 Iskra LEO Amateur radio Still in orbit Successful so far
Radio-Sputnik 5 Iskra LEO Amateur radio Still in orbit Successful so far
Radio-Sputnik 4 Iskra LEO Amateur radio Still in orbit Successful so far
Radio-Sputnik 7 Iskra LEO Amateur radio Still in orbit Successful so far
Radio-Sputnik 6 Iskra LEO Amateur radio Still in orbit Successful so far
19 December, 01:10 UTC Atlas-E/SVS SLC-3E, Vandenberg AFB US Air Force GPS-7 (Navstar-7) US Air Force Intended: MEO Prototype navigation satellite 19 December 1981 Failure Failed to reach orbit
19 December, 11:50 UTC Soyuz-U LC-31/6, Baikonur RVSN Kosmos 1330 (Yantar-2K) MOM LEO Reconnaissance 19 January 1982 Successful
19 December, 20:00 UTC Petrel El Arenosillo INTA FOCCA-I INTA Sub-orbital Aeronomy 19 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 106 kilometres (66 mi)
20 December, 01:29:00 UTC Ariane 1 ELA-1, CSG Arianespace Marecs 1 Inmarsat GEO, then Graveyard orbit Comsat Still in orbit Successful Retired on 20 August 1996
CAT-4 ESA GTO Flight data recorder Still in orbit Successful
Technological Capsule (ESA/81/04) ESA GTO Flight data recorder 21 November 1988 Successful
21 December, 18:37 UTC Vertikal LC-107, Kapustin Yar RVSN Vertikal-10 RVSN Sub-orbital Aeronomy/Ionosphere research 21 December 1981 Successful Apogee: 1,500 kilometres (930 mi)
23 December, 13:15 UTC Molniya-M Baikonur RVSN Molniya-1-52 MOM Molniya Comsat Still in orbit Successful so far

Deep-space rendezvous

Date (GMT) Spacecraft Event Remarks
26 August Voyager 2 Flyby of Saturn Gravity assist; Closest approach: 101,000 kilometres (63,000 mi)

References

Generic references:

Footnotes


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