2020s in spaceflight - Wikipedia

2020s in spaceflight

  (Redirected from 2025 in spaceflight)

This article documents expected notable spaceflight events during the 2020s.

2020s in spaceflight
Orion visiting Deep Space Gateway.jpg
NASA plans to assemble a Lunar Gateway as a permanent base in lunar orbit during the 2020s.


The trend towards cost reduction in access to orbit is expected to continue. In 2020 SpaceX plans to launch its new fully reusable Starship.[1] In 2021, Blue Origin plans the maiden flight of New Glenn with a reusable first stage.[2] Ariane 6 and Vulcan are planned to replace their more expensive predecessors in 2021.

Mars stays a focus for missions to other planets, with three missions launched in 2020 (by China, the United Arab Emirates and the United States) and at least two missions planned for 2022 (ESA and Japan) and 2024 (India and Japan), respectively.

NASA plans a return of humans to the Moon by 2024. A first uncrewed launch of the Space Launch System is planned for November 2021, followed by a first crewed launch in 2023. In addition it plans to assemble the Lunar Gateway in lunar orbit. A crewed exploration of Mars could follow in the mid 2030s. An uncrewed and then a crewed trip to Jupiter and Europa have been commonly contemplated, but no space agencies or companies have yet announced definite plans to launch a crewed mission further than Mars. SpaceX, a private company, has also announced plans to land humans on Mars in the mid-2020s, with the long-term goal of enabling the colonization of Mars.

India plans its first crewed flight with a spacecraft called Gaganyaan for December 2021 on a home-grown GSLV Mark III rocket. The mission would make India the 4th nation to launch a crewed space flight after Russia, US and China. India also plans to launch its second Mars probe, Mars Orbiter Mission 2 (Mangalyaan 2), in 2024.

The number of small satellites launched annually was expected to grow to around one thousand (2018 estimate),[3] although SpaceX alone plans to launch more than that for its Starlink constellation (12,000 satellites from 2019 to 2027).[4] In the first half of 2020, over 600 satellites were launched to orbit. The majority of the satellites are expected to be communication satellites in large constellations.

Orbital launchesEdit







Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
Q1 (TBD)[5][6]   Soyuz-2.1a / Fregat   Vostochny Site 1S   Roscosmos
  Kanopus-VO №2 Roscosmos Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
August (TBD)[7][8]   Soyuz-2.1b / Fregat   Baikonur   Roscosmos
  Luna 27 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander  
September (TBD)[9][10]   Angara A5P   Vostochny Site 1A   Roscosmos
  Orel Roscosmos Low Earth (ISS) Crewed flight test  
Crewed flight test of the Orel capsule at the International Space Station.
Q3 (TBD)[11][12]   Ariane 62   Kourou ELA-4   Arianespace
  MTG-I2[13] EUMETSAT Geosynchronous Meteorology  
23 October[14][15]   Angara A5 / DM-03   Vostochny Site 1A   Roscosmos
  Spektr-UV[16] INASAN IGSO Ultraviolet astronomy  
October (TBD)[18][19]   Commercial launch vehicle   Cape Canaveral   TBA
  Roman Space Telescope NASA Sun–Earth L2 Infrared astronomy  
Formerly known as WFIRST.[17]
2025 (TBD)[20]   Long March 7   Wenchang LC-2   CASC
    eXTP[21] CAS Low Earth X-ray astronomy  
Chinese-led X-ray astronomy collaboration between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and multiple European institutions.[20]
2025 (TBD)[22]   Soyuz-6   Baikonur Site 1/5   Roscosmos
  TBA Roscosmos Low Earth Flight test  
First flight of the Soyuz-6.
2025 (TBD)[23]   Vega-C   Kourou ELV   Arianespace
  e.Deorbit[24] ESA Low Earth Satellite servicing
Space debris removal
2025 (TBD)[25]   Vega-E   Kourou ELV   Arianespace
TBA ESA Low Earth Flight test  
First flight of Vega-E.
2025 (TBD)[26]   TBA   Kourou   Arianespace
  ClearSpace-1 ClearSpace Low Earth Space debris removal  
ClearSpace-1 will capture and de-orbit the Vespa payload adapter that deployed PROBA-V in 2013.
2025 (TBD)[27][28]   TBA   TBA   TBA
  NEO Surveyor NASA Sun–Earth L1 Infrared astronomy
Near-Earth object detection
Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission (NEOSM).
2025 (TBD)[29]   TBA   TBA   TBA
    Sentinel-6B NASA / NOAA / Eumetsat / ESA Low Earth Earth observation  


Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
April (TBD)[31]   TBA   TBA   TBA
  Dragonfly NASA Heliocentric (to Saturn) Exploration of Titan  
Rotorcraft probe to fly in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.[30]
July (TBD)[32][33]   Commercial launch vehicle   TBA   TBA
    Sample Retrieval Lander NASA / ESA TMI to Martian Surface Mars sample-return  
Lander component of the NASA–ESA Mars sample-return mission. It will carry the ESA's Sample Fetch Rover and the Mars Ascent Vehicle.
October (TBD)[32][33]   Ariane 6   Kourou ELA-4   Arianespace
  Earth Return Orbiter ESA Areocentric Mars sample-return  
Orbiter component of the NASA–ESA Mars sample-return mission. It will collect the sample return canister delivered into orbit by the Mars Ascent Vehicle and carry it back to Earth.
2026 (TBD)[9]   Angara A5P   Vostochny Site 1A   Roscosmos
  Orel Roscosmos Low Earth Crewed flight test  
2026 (TBD)[34]   Soyuz ST-B / Fregat-MT   Kourou ELS   Arianespace
  PLATO ESA Sun–Earth L2 Exoplanetary science  
2026 (TBD)[36]   Vega-C   Kourou ELV   Arianespace
  FORUM ESA Low Earth (SSO) Earth observation  
Ninth Earth Explorer mission for ESA's Living Planet Programme. FORUM is baselined for launch on the Vega-C, and will fly in a loose sun-synchronous formation with MetOp-SG A1.[35]


Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
2027 (TBD)[37][38]   Angara A5 / DM-03   Vostochny Site 1A   Roscosmos
  Luna 28 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar lander
Lunar sample return
2027 (TBD)[9]   Angara A5P   Vostochny Site 1A   Roscosmos
  Orel Roscosmos Low Earth Crewed flight test  
2027 (TBD)[39]   H3   Tanegashima LA-Y2   MHI
  LiteBIRD[40] JAXA Sun–Earth L2 Space observatory  
2027 (TBD)[41]   Long March 5   Wenchang LC-1   CASC
  Chang'e 8 CNSA Selenocentric Lunar lander  


Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
2028 (TBD)[42]   Angara A5 / KVTK[43]   Vostochny Site 1A   Roscosmos
  Luna 29 Roscosmos Selenocentric Lunar rover
Lunar sample return
2028 (TBD)[44][45]   Ariane 62   Kourou ELA-4   Arianespace
  ARIEL ESA Sun–Earth L2 Exoplanetary science  
    Comet Interceptor ESA / JAXA Sun–Earth L2 Comet flyby  
2028 (TBD)[46][47]   Yenisei   Vostochny PU3   Roscosmos
  Orel Roscosmos Low Earth Flight test  
First flight of the Yenisei super heavy-lift launch vehicle.


Date and time (UTC) Rocket Flight number Launch site LSP
(⚀ = CubeSat)
Operator Orbit Function Decay (UTC) Outcome
2029 (TBD)[9]   Yenisei   Vostochny PU3   Roscosmos
  Orel Roscosmos Lunar free-return Crewed lunar flyby  
Crewed lunar flyby in preparation for a Russian crewed mission to the lunar surface in 2030.

Deep-space rendezvous after 2024Edit

Date (UTC) Spacecraft Event Remarks
9 January 2025 BepiColombo Sixth gravity assist at Mercury
5 December 2025 BepiColombo Hermocentric orbit insertion at Mercury


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External linksEdit

Generic references:
  Spaceflight portal