1959 Rocket Launch Recap

Our roundup of all the launches that happened in 1959, along with key stats, trends and info. You can learn more about our data, and how we present it here.

Include notable suborbital launches

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Total Launches


Successful Launches


Failed Launches


Success Rate


Humans launched to space

Notable 1959 Achievements

πŸš€ First spacecaft to escape Earth's gravity
🌞 First spacecraft in heliocentric orbit
🌦️ First weather satellite
πŸ“Έ First photo of Earth from orbit
πŸŒ• First spacecraft to impact another celestial body (the Moon)
🌘 First images of the Moon's far side

How 1959 Compares to Previous Years

There were 14 successful launch attempts in 1959 and 14 failed launch attempts. These figures include test/development launches, which are more prone to failure.

Rocket Launches by Year

By RocketLaunch.org

Launches by Nation in 1959

In 1959, companies and agencies from 2 Nations attempted launches. These Nations were the United States (24 launches) and Russia (4 launches).

Total Rocket Launches by Nation in 1959

By RocketLaunch.org

Launches by Launch Service Providers in 1959

4 Launch Service Providers completed launches in 1959, including United States Air Force (11 launches), NASA (9 launches) and Soviet Space Program (4 launches).

Top Space Launch Service Providers in 1959 by total launch count

By RocketLaunch.org

Launches by Launch Vehicle in 1959

9 different Launch Vehicles launched off in 1959. The top 3 were the Thor Agena A (8 launches), Vostok-L 8K72 (4 launches) and Vanguard (4 launches) launch vehicles.

Top 10 Launch Vehicles in 1959 by total launch count

By RocketLaunch.org

Launches by Launch Sites in 1959

Rockets launched from 4 Launch Sites in 1959. The most active launch sites were Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (12 launches), Vandenberg SFB (8 launches) and Baikonur Cosmodrome (4 launches).

Top Launch Sites in 1959

By RocketLaunch.org

Where we launched to in 1959

We launched off to 4 different locations beyond earth in 1959 (including flybys). Most launches were to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) (15 launches), The Moon (6 launches) and Suborbital (5 launches).

Top Launch Destinations in 1959

By RocketLaunch.org

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