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Spaceports of the World

Since the launch of Sputnik 1 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in 1957, 29 spaceports around the world have been used to launch satellites to orbit. This data repository shows the cumulative launches from each spaceport by year (from 1957 to 2017), as well as the destination orbital regime and inclination for each launch’s primary payload. Click the play button in the legend and hover over a spaceport to explore its cumulative launch history. Click a spaceport to learn more about the orbital destinations of each of each primary payload launched from that facility.

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Key Definitions

 

Spaceport

In this database, a spaceport is defined as a ground-based launch facility that has been used for at least one successful orbital launch. Platforms used for air- and submarine-based launches as well as ground-based facilities with only failed orbital launch attempts have been excluded.

Primary Payload

The term “primary payload” is defined as either the only payload on board a particular launch, according to the Space-Track catalog, or the payload labeled with the “A” letter code in its international designator.

Orbital Regimes

In each spaceport’s first subplot, primary payloads are divided into five orbital regime categories: LEO, GEO, MEO, Other, and Missing. The LEO orbital regime includes primary payloads with apogees that do not exceed 2,000 kilometers. The GEO regime includes primary payloads with apogees and perigees that fall within 2,000 kilometers of the geosynchronous altitude (35,786 km). Those primary payloads with altitudes that place them between LEO and GEO were sorted into the MEO category.

Primary payloads with orbital parameters that do not place them within the LEO, GEO, or MEO regimes—such as those in lunar, heliocentric, or barycentric orbit—were labeled “Other.” Those primary payloads with no initial elements included in the Space-Track Catalog were labeled “Missing.”

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Active

A spaceport is labeled “active” if it has already achieved a successful orbital launch and is currently capable of supporting an orbital launch.

Inactive

A spaceport is labeled “inactive” if it has achieved a successful orbital launch but is no longer supporting orbital launches.

Human Launch

A spaceport is outlined with a blue circle if it has achieved a vertical launch of a human.