Updated List of Smallsat Launch Vehicles

Boeing's ALASA launch system features a F-15E aircraft and an innovative booster. (Credit: Boeing)
Boeing’s ALASA launch system features a F-15E aircraft and an innovative booster. (Credit: Boeing)

Below are two updated tables showing smallsat launchers that are either operational or under development. The launch vehicles are focused on delivering up to 1,000 kg to LEO or SSO.

The bulk of the information comes from a recent survey by Carlos Niederstrasser and Warren Frick of Orbital ATK. They presented their results in a paper titled, “Small Launch Vehicles – A 2015 State of the Industry Survey,” during the Smallsat 2015 conference in Utah last month. Their list included launch vehicles that are commercially available.

I’ve added launchers to the list based on reader comments made to an earlier post. Not all launch vehicles on the list are commercially available.

UPDATE: Added additional table showing operational satellite lauch vehicles.

SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCH VEHICLES

Organization(s)Launch Vehicle Name
Country of Origin
Current First Launch Date
PerformanceOrbit(s)
Projected Launch Cost
Estimated Cost Per Kg
Tranquility AerospaceDevon 2United Kingdom4 kgLEO
Ventions LLCSALVOUSA20154 kgLEO
CubeCabCubeCabUSAJuly 20175 kg400 km$0.25 M$50 k
Lin IndustrialТаймырRussia9 kgLEO$0.18 M$20 k
Bagaveev CorporationUSA10-12 kgLEO, SSO
XCOR AerospaceLynx Mark IIIUSA2017+15 kg400 km
Garvey Spacecraft CorporationNanosat Launch VehicleUSA20 kg450 km
Generation OrbitGO Launcher 2USAQ4 201630 kg425 km 300$2.5 M$56 k
Interorbital SystemsNEPTUNE N5USAQ4 201540 kg310 km SSO$0.25 M$13 k
Celestia AerospaceSagitarius Space ArrowSpainQ1 20164-16 nanosats600 km$0.24 MNo mass spec
BoeingALASAUSAQ1 201645 kgLEO$1 M$22 k
Open Space OrbitalNeutrino 1Canada50 kgLEO
Iranian Space AgencySafir 2Iran201250 kgLEO
zero2infinityBloostarSpain75 kg600 km SSO
Rocket LabElectronUSA/New Zealand2015100 kg500 km SSO$4.9 M$49 k
SpaceLSPrometheus-1UK100 kgLEO
PLD SpaceArion-2Spain150 kgLEO
Scorpius Space Launch CompanyDemi-SpriteUSA160 kgLEO$3.6 M$23 k
Comisión Nacional de Actividades EspacialesTronador IIArgentina200 kg600 km SSO
CTAVLMBrazil/Germany2018200 kgLEO
Swiss Space SystemsSOARSwitzerland2017250 kgLEO<$10 M$40 k
U. Hawaii, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sandia National LabSuper StrypiUSAOctober 2015250 kg400 km SSO$12 M$48 k
China Aerospace Science and Industry CorporationKuaizhouChina2013300 kgLEO
CTAVLS-1Brazil380 kgLEO
Firefly Space SystemsFirefly αUSA2017200 kg SSO 400 kg LEOLEO/ SSO$8-9 M$20 k
Virgin GalacticLauncherOneUSALate 2017200 kg SSO 400+ kg LEOLEO/ High SSO<$10 M<$20 k
ARCA Space Corp.Haas 2CRomania/USA400 kgLEO
MISHAAL AerospaceM-OVUSA454 kgLEO
Orbital ATKPegasus XLUSA1990468 kg200 km 00
Orbital ATKMinotaur IUSA2000584 kg200 km 28.50
China Academy of Launch Vehicle TechnologyLong March 11China2015350 kg SSO
700 kg LEO
700 km SSO
LEO
Comisión Nacional de Actividades EspacialesTronador IIIArgentina750 kg600 km SSO
Lockheed MartinAthena IcUSAAfter contract award470 kg
760 kg
700 km SSO
500 km
Israel Aerospace IndustriesShavitIsrael 1988350 to 800 kg LEO

LAUNCH METHODS & LOCATIONS

Organization(s)Launch Vehicle Name
Launch Method
Launch Location(s)
Current First Launch Date
Performance Orbit(s)
Projected Launch Cost
Tranquility AerospaceDevon 2Land4 kgLEO
Ventions LLCSALVOAirCCAFS20154 kgLEO
CubeCabCubeCabAirInt’l WaterJuly 20175 kg400 km$0.25 M
Lin IndustrialТаймырLand9 kgLEO$0.18 M
Bagaveev CorporationLand10-12 kgLEO, SSO
XCOR AerospaceLynx Mark IIIAir/ SuborbitalKSC or Mojave2017+15 kg400 km
Garvey Spacecraft CorporationNanosat Launch VehicleLandPSC-Alaska20 kg450 km
Generation OrbitGO Launcher 2AirUSA, PR, UKQ4 201630 kg425 km 300$2.5 M
Interorbital SystemsNEPTUNE N5LandQ4 201540 kg310 km SSO$0.25 M
Celestia AerospaceSagitarius Space ArrowAirInt’l WaterQ1 20164-16 nanosats600 km$0.24 M
BoeingALASAAirGlobalQ1 201645 kgLEO$1 M
Open Space OrbitalNeutrino 1Land50 kgLEO
Iranian Space AgencySafir 2LandIran Space Center201250 kgLEO
zero2infinityBloostarBalloonInt’l Water75 kg600 km SSO
Rocket LabElectronLandBirdling’s Flat, NZ2015100 kg500 km SSO$4.9 M
SpaceLSPrometheus-1Land100 kgLEO
PLD SpaceArion-2Land150 kgLEO
Scorpius Space Launch CompanyDemi-SpriteLand160 kgLEO$3.6 M
Comisión Nacional de Actividades EspacialesTronador IILandPuerto Belgrano Naval Base200 kg600 km SSO
CTAVLMLandAlcantara Launch Center2018200 kg LEO
Swiss Space SystemsSOARAir/ Suborbital2017250 kgLEO<$10 M
U. Hawaii, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sandia National LabSuper StrypiLandPMRF Barking Sands — HawaiiOctober 2015250 kg400 km SSO$12 M
China Aerospace Science and Industry CorporationKuaizhouLandJiuquan Satellite Launch Center2013300 kgLEO
CTAVLS-1Land Alcantara Launch Center380 kgLEO
Firefly Space SystemsFirefly αLandPSC-Alaska preferred2017200 kg SSO 400 kg LEOLEO/ SSO$8-9 M
Virgin GalacticLauncherOneAirInt’l WaterLate 2017200 kg SSO 400+ kg LEOLEO/ High SSO<$10 M
ARCA Space Corp.Haas 2CLand400 kgLEO
MISHAAL AerospaceM-OVLand454 kgLEO
Orbital ATKPegasus XLAirInt’l Water — Multiple locations demonstrated1990468 kg200 km 00
Orbital ATKMinotaur ILandCCAFS, PSC-Alaska, VAFB, WFF2000584 kg200 km 28.50
China Academy of Launch Vehicle TechnologyLong March 11LandJiuquan Satellite Launch Center2015350 kg SSO
700 kg LEO
700 km SSO
LEO
Comisión Nacional de Actividades EspacialesTronador IILandPuerto Belgrano Naval Base750 kg600 km SSO
Lockheed MartinAthena IcLand4 US SpaceportsAfter contract award470 kg
760 kg
700 km SSO
500 km
Israel Aerospace IndustriesShavitLand Palmachim Airbase1988350 to 800 kgLEO

OPERATIONAL SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCH VEHICLES

Organization(s)Launch Vehicle Name
Country of Origin
First Launch
PerformanceOrbit(s)
Launch Method
Launch Location(s)
Ventions LLCSALVOUSA20154 kgLEOAirCCAFS
Iranian Space AgencySafir 2Iran201250 kgLEOLandIran Space Center
China Aerospace Science and Industry CorporationKuaizhouChina2013300 kgLEOLandJiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Orbital ATKPegasus XLUSA1990468 kg200 km 00AirInt’l Water — Multiple locations demonstrated
Orbital ATKMinotaur IUSA2000584 kg200 km 28.50LandCCAFS, PSC-Alaska, VAFB, WFF
China Academy of Launch Vehicle TechnologyLong March 11China2015350 kg SSO
700 kg LEO
700 km SSO
LEO
LandJiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Israel Aerospace IndustriesShavitIsrael1988350 to 800 kgLEOLandPalmachim Airbase