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First Satellites by Country 2024

The most famous satellite is easily Sputnik 1, the first satellite to make it to space. It launched from Baikonur on October 4, 1957, when Russia was still the Soviet Union. Several months later, the second satellite made it to space: The United States' Explorer 1, which launched from Cape Canaveral on February 1, 1958. These successful launches added energy to the space race as the two countries competed to be the first to put a man in space and then on the moon.

It's sometimes easy to forget that the importance of satellites lasted well beyond the Cold War. Although it has been over 66 years since the launch of Sputnik 1, some countries have only recently launched their first satellites. For example, Vatican City launched SpeiSat on June 12, 2023, and Albania launched Albania 1 / Albania 2 on January 3, 2023. Uganda, Zimbabwe, Moldova, and Armenia both launched their first satellites in 2022, and Tunisia, Myanmar, Paraguay, Kuwait, and Bahrain all launched their first successful satellites in 2021.

Another change from the 1950s is that not all countries are competing with each other. There have been several instances of countries teaming up to launch satellites together. A great example of this is the ST-1, which launched from Kourou on August 25, 1998. This satellite was a joint effort between Taiwan and Singapore, and was the first successful satellite launch for both countries. Another example is the ESRO 2B, which launched from Vandenberg on May 17, 1968, a joint project of Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark.

Another point of interest is that while many countries have launched their own satellites, not all countries have the capability for a space launch within their borders. The launch site of ESRO 2B, Vandenberg, also launched the Vatican's SpeiSat, South Africa's SUNSAT, Canada's Alouette 1, and Jordan's JY1-SAT. China's space center in Xichang was the launch site for the first satellite of Bolivia, Laos, Hong Kong, Venezuela, and Pakistan. Slovakia, Latvia, and Austria all launched their first satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Center in India.

  • Countries often team up to launch satellites. For example, 1968's ERSO 2B was a collaboration between 10 European countries. In collaborations such as these, a single satellite may appear as multiple countries' first effort.
  • Sputnik 1 was launched by the Soviet Union, which dissolved/evolved into modern Russia.

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Launch Site
Carrier Rocket
Afghanistan12-20-2008Eutelsat 48D / Afghansat 1KourouAriane 5ECAAfghanistan Ministry of Communications and InformationEADS Astrium
Albania01-03-2023Albania 1 / Albania 2Cape Canaveral SLC-40Falcon 9ASIGSatellogic
Algeria11-28-2002AlSAT-1PlesetskKosmos-3MSSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd.)
Angola12-26-2017AngoSat 1BaikonurZenit-3F / Fregat-SBAngoSatRSC Energia
Argentina01-22-1990LusatKourouAriane 40AMSAT Argentina
Armenia05-25-2022ARMSAT_1Cape Canaveral SLC-40Falcon 9Satlantis / GeocosmosSatlantis
Australia11-29-1967WRESATWoomeraSpartaWRE (Weapons Research Establishment)WRE (Weapons Research Establishment)
Austria02-25-2013TUGSAT-1/UniBRITESatish DhawanPSLV-CAUTAIS (University of Toronto)
Azerbaijan02-07-2013Azerspace-1/Africasat-1aKourouAriane 5ECASpace Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azercosmos)Orbital Sciences
Bahrain12-21-2021Light-1CCSFSFalcon 9New York University Abu DhabiEngineers from Bahrain's space agency, NSSA, in collaboration with Khalifa University
Bangladesh06-03-2017BRAC ONNESHAKennedyFalcon 9 Full ThrustBRACU (Brac University)Kyushu Institute of Technology
Belgium05-17-1968ESRO 2BVandenbergScout BESRO (European Space Research Organisation)Hawker Siddeley
Bermuda07-14-2000Bermudasat 1 (former EchoStar VI)Cape CanaveralAtlas IIASBermudasatSS/Loral
Bhutan06-29-2018Bhutan 1Cape CanaveralFalcon 9 Full ThrustBhutanese students under Kyutech-led second Joint Global Multination Birds Project (Birds-2)Kyushu Institute of Technology
Bolivia12-20-2013Túpac Katari 1XichangChang Zheng 3B/ECAST (China Academy of Space Technology)
Brazil02-08-1985Brasilsat A1KourouAriane 3EmbratelHughes
Bulgaria08-07-1981Bulgaria 1300PlesetskVostok-2MBSA (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Canada09-29-1962Alouette 1VandenbergThor DM-21 Agena-BDRDC (Defence Research and Development Canada)DRDC (Defence Research and Development Canada)
Chile08-31-1995FASat-AlfaPlesetskTsyklon-3SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd.)
China04-24-1970Dongfanghong IJiuquanChang Zheng 1CAST (China Academy of Space Technology)CAST (China Academy of Space Technology)
Costa Rica04-02-2018Proyecto IrazúCape CanaveralFalcon 9Costa Rica Institute of TechnologyCosta Rica Institute of Technology
Czech Republic10-24-1978Magion 1PlesetskKosmos-3M
Denmark05-17-1968ESRO 2BVandenbergScout BESRO (European Space Research Organisation)Hawker Siddeley
Ecuador04-26-2013NEE-01 PegasoJiuquanChang Zheng 2DEXA (Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency)EXA (Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency)
Egypt04-28-1998Nilesat 101KourouAriane 44PNilesatAstrium
Ethiopia12-20-2019Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite 1 (ETRSS-1)Taiyuan Satellite Launch CentreLong March 4BEthiopiaEthiopia Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute
Finland04-18-2017Aalto-2Cape CanaveralAtlas V 401Aalto UniversityAalto University
France11-26-1965AstérixHammaguirDiamant ACNES (National Centre for Space Studies)CNES (National Centre for Space Studies)
Georgia07-17-1999ReflektorBaikonur Site 1/5Soyuz-UEnergia-GPI SpaceEnergia-GPI Space
Germany05-17-1968ESRO 2BVandenbergScout BESRO (European Space Research Organisation)Hawker Siddeley
Ghana06-03-2017GhanaSat-1KennedyFalcon 9 Full ThrustAll Nations UniversityKyushu Institute of Technology
Greece05-13-2003Hellas-Sat 2Cape CanaveralAtlas V 401Hellas-SatAstrium
Guatemala03-07-2020Quetzal-1Cape Canaveral SLC-40Falcon 9Universidad del Valle de GuatemalaGuatemala Students from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
Hong Kong04-07-1990AsiaSat 1XichangChang Zheng 3AsiaSatHughes
Hungary02-13-2012MaSat-1KourouVegaBME (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)
India04-19-1975AryabhataKapustin YarKosmos-3MISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation)ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation)
Indonesia07-08-1976Palapa A1Cape CanaveralDelta 2914PerumtelHughes
Iran10-27-2005Sina-1PlesetskKosmos-3MNPO Polyot
Iraq06-19-2014TigrisatDombarovskyDneprMOSTÂ / La SapienzaLa Sapienza
Isle of Man10-19-2011ViaSat-1BaikonurProton-M/Briz-MViaSat-IOM, ManSat, Telesat-IOMSS/Loral
Israel09-19-1988Ofek-1PalmachimShavitIAI (Israel Aerospace Industries)
Italy12-15-1964San Marco 1WallopsScout X-4CNR (National Research Council)CRA (Centro di Ricerche Aerospaziali)
Japan02-11-1970OhsumiKagoshimaLambda-4SISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science)ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science)
Jersey06-25-2013O3b-1/O3b-2/O3b-3/O3b-4KourouSoyuz-STB/Fregat-MTO3b NetworksThales Alenia Space
Jordan12-03-2018JY1-SATVandenbergFalcon 9 Full ThrustJordanian students under the Crown Prince Foundation
Kenya04-02-20181KUNS-PFCape CanaveralFalcon 9University of NairobiUniversity of Nairobi
Kuwait06-30-2021QMR-KWTCCSFS SLC-40Falcon 9Orbital Space KuwaitOrbital Space Kuwait
Laos11-20-2015Laosat-1XichangChang Zheng 3B/ELaos National Authority for Science and TechnologyCAST (China Academy of Space Technology)
Latvia06-23-2017Venta 1Satish DhawanPSLV-CAVentspils University CollegeVentspils University College
Lithuania01-09-2014LitSat-1/Lituanica SAT-1MARS LP-0AAntares 120
Luxembourg12-11-1988Astra 1AKourouAriane 44LPSES AstraGE Astrospace
Malaysia01-13-1996MEASAT-1KourouAriane 44LMEASATHughes
Mauritius12-21-2007Rascom-QAF 1KourouAriane 5GSRascomAlcatel
Mexico06-17-1985Morelos 1KennedySpace Shuttle DiscoverySCT (Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation)Hughes
Moldova07-15-2022TUMnanoSATKennedy LC-39AFalcon 9Technical University of MoldovaTechnical University of Moldova
Monaco09-03-2020OSM-1 CiceroKourouVegaOrbital Solutions MonacoOrbital Solutions Monaco
Mongolia06-03-2017MazaalaiKennedyFalcon 9 Full ThrustNational University of MongoliaKyushu Institute of Technology
Morocco12-10-2001Maroc-TubsatBaikonurZenit-2TU Berlin
Myanmar02-20-2021Lawkanat-1MARS LP0AAntares 230Myanmar Aerospace Engineering UniversityHokkaido University / Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University
Nepal04-17-2019NepaliSat-1MARS LP0AAntares 230NASA for Nepal Academy of Science and TechnologyKyushu Institute of Technology
Netherlands05-17-1968ESRO 2BVandenbergScout BESRO (European Space Research Organisation)Hawker Siddeley
New Zealand01-21-2018Humanity StarRocket Lab Launch Complex 1ElectronRocket LabRocket Lab
Nigeria09-27-2003NigeriaSat-1PlesetskKosmos-3MSSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd.)
North Korea12-12-2012Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2SohaeUnha-3KCST (Korean Committee of Space Technology)
Norway05-20-1997Thor 2Cape CanaveralDelta II 7925TelenorHughes
Pakistan07-16-1990Badr-1XichangChang Zheng 2ESUPARCO (Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission)SUPARCO (Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission)
Paraguay02-20-2021GuaraniSat-1MARS LP0AAntares 230Paraguayan Space Agency and Kyutech-led fourth Joint Global Multination Birds ProjectKyushu Institute of Technology
Peru11-21-2013PUCP-Sat 1DombarovskyDnepr
Philippines03-20-1987Mabuhay (Agila 1) (former Palapa B2P)Cape CanaveralDelta-3920Mabuhay
Poland02-13-2012PW-SatKourouVegaWarsaw University of Technology, Space Research Centre
Portugal09-26-1993PoSAT-1KourouAriane 40PoSATSSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd.)
Qatar08-29-2013Eutelsat 25B / Es'hail 1KourouAriane 5ECAEutelsat Es'hailSatSS/Loral
Russia10-04-1957Sputnik 1BaikonurSputnik 8K71PSOKB-1 (Special Design Bureau number 1 of RD Institute number 88)OKB-1 (Special Design Bureau number 1 of RD Institute number 88)
Rwanda09-24-2019RWASAT-1Tanegashima Space Center Yoshinobu Launch ComplexH-IIBRwanda Utilities Regulatory AuthorityRwandan engineers with support from the University of Tokyo
Saudi Arabia02-08-1985Arabsat-1AKourouAriane 3ArabsatAérospatiale
Singapore08-25-1998ST-1KourouAriane 44PSingTel ChunghwaAstrium
Slovakia06-23-2017skCUBESatish DhawanPSLV-CASOSA (Slovak Organization for Space Activities)SOSA (Slovak Organization for Space Activities)
Slovenia09-03-2020TRISAT/NEMO-HDKourouVegaUniversity of Maribor/Space-SIUniversity of Maribor/UTIAS / Space-SI
South Africa02-23-1999SUNSATVandenbergDelta II 7920StellenboschStellenbosch
South Korea08-10-1992Kitsat-1KourouAriane 42PKAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd.)
Spain05-17-1968ESRO 2BVandenbergScout BESRO (European Space Research Organisation)Hawker Siddeley
Sri Lanka04-17-2019Raavana 1MARS LP0AAntares 230Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern TechnologiesKyushu Institute of Technology
Sudan11-03-2019Sudan Remote Sensing Satellite 1 (SRSS-1)Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre LC-9Long March 4BSudanISRA
Sweden05-17-1968ESRO 2BVandenbergScout BESRO (European Space Research Organisation)Hawker Siddeley
Switzerland05-17-1968ESRO 2BVandenbergScout BESRO (European Space Research Organisation)Hawker Siddeley
Taiwan08-25-1998ST-1KourouAriane 44PSingTel ChunghwaAstrium
Thailand12-18-1993Thaicom-1KourouAriane 44LShin SatelliteHughes
Tonga02-21-1981Esiafi 1 (formerly Comstar D4)Cape CanaveralAtlas SLV-3D Centaur-D1ARTONGASATSS/Loral
Tunisia03-22-2021Challenge-1Baikonur Site 31/6Soyuz-2.1a / FregatTelnet TunisieTelnet Tunisie
Turkey08-10-1994Turksat 1BKourouAriane 44LPTürksatAérospatiale
Turkmenistan04-27-2015TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSATCape CanaveralFalcon 9TNSA (Turkmenistan National Space Agency)Alcatel
Uganda11-07-2022PearlAfricaSat-1MARS LP-0AAntaresMinistry of Science, Technology and InocationMinistry of Science, Technology and Inocation
United Arab Emirates10-21-2000Thuraya 1OdysseyZenit-3SLThurayaBoeing
United Kingdom04-26-1962Ariel 1Cape CanaveralThor DM-19 DeltaRAE (Royal Aircraft Establishment)NASA / SERC (National Aeronautics and Space Administration / Science and Engineering Research Council)
United States02-01-1958Explorer 1Cape CanaveralJuno I RS-29ABMA (Army Ballistic Missile Agency)JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Vatican City06-12-2023SpeiSatVandenberg SLC-4EFalcon 9Dicastery for Communication/ASIASI
Venezuela10-29-2008Venesat-1XichangChang Zheng 3B/ECAST (China Academy of Space Technology)
Vietnam04-18-2008Vinasat-1KourouAriane 5ECAVietnam Posts and Telecommunications GroupLockheed Martin
Zimbabwe11-07-2022ZIMSAT-1MARS LP-0AAntaresZimbabwe National Geospatial and Space AgencyZimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency
showing: 106 rows

Which countries launched satellites first?

The first satellite, Sputnik, was launched in October 1957 by the (then) Soviet Union. Six months later, in January 1958, the United States of America launched Explorer I, the USA's first orbital satellite.

Frequently Asked Questions