# Which has been the most gregarious rocket, launched from the most sites?

Which orbital launch vehicle has been "getting around" the most? Which rocket has put things in orbit from the largest number of different launch sites?

For the purposes of this question, allow for some flexibility; adding an extra side booster doesn't necessarily make it a different rocket. Two launch adjacent launch pads don't count as different sites, but Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and KSC would be different.

Launches from mobile launch platforms (on the ocean or land) shouldn't necessarily be counted as different just because each launch coordinate is slightly different, but use of different ports, or substantially different areas at sea would.

• I like this question and it definitely has a canonical answer as of this point in spacetime. However, I’m concerned that the answer to this question is likely to change over time. Perhaps there is a way to modify this question so that the answer withstands the test of time...
– Paul
Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 1:18
• The Apollo Lunar Module has put itself into orbit from a number of lunar sites, which seems like it should be notable. I'll let someone more learned decide if that's within the scope of this question. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 15:04
• @Roger I would certainly consider that a good answer. I've mentioned that interpretation should be flexible, and launch from an airplane is something I didn't expect but it certainly fits. Launch from the Moon is at least from the surface of a body, much more of a launch site than an airplane's underbelly. I'd say just go for it in this case.
– uhoh
Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 15:26
• @Puffin I'm using something like $d_{tot}=d_{t}+d_{ap}$ where $d$ stands for distance measured in "difficulty" units. There is both transportation difficulty or $d_t$ which measures how hard and far it would be to change your mind and move a rocket from one site to the other, and administrative and programatic difficulty which is sort-of self explanatory and redundant. Looking at ...difference between Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center? it sounds like it wouldn't be so easy to change your mind at the last minute and move between sites.
– uhoh
Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 1:32
• @RedSonja I'd thought about working "strap-on" in there somehow, in place of "adding an extra side booster" but then I thought it just got weird.
– uhoh
Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 12:08

The Apollo Lunar Module has launched from six lunar sites:

Apollo 11 — Mare Tranquillitatis

Apollo 12 — Oceanus Procellarum

Apollo 14 — Fra Mauro

Apollo 16 — Descartes

Apollo 17 — Taurus-Littrow

• Great! Launch sides on good-old Terra firma oh, that's Luna firma in this case. At least none of this air or water launching; these are real, solid launch sites, equipped with real launch platforms
– uhoh
Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 16:04
• Launching from a Mare scores half a point for water launch. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 16:05
• Super answer! +1 Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 16:12
• Technically correct -- the best kind of correct! (Usually when I make this comment I don't mean it as a compliment, but this is the exception.) Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 16:30
• Plus one "air" launch (Apollo 10). Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 16:33

Thanks to Vikki - formerly Sean who pointed out that not one, but two east central Florida airstrips were used.

Pegasus, whose carrier plane has lifted off from

1. Edwards AFB
2. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station skid strip
3. Wallops Flight Facility
4. Base Aerea de Gando, Gran Canaria, Spain
5. Vandenberg AFB
6. Kwajalein Atoll
7. Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility (SCD-1)

on successful space launch missions.

• Aha! I totally forgot about air-launches, but indeed this jet-setting rocket certainly "gets around" quite a bit.
– uhoh
Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 4:23
• @RonJohn I think they kinda ground ruled this out: "Launches from mobile launch platforms (on the ocean or land) shouldn't necessarily be counted as different just because each launch coordinate is slightly different, " (although air launch isn't specifically listed, I thought this applied) Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 13:56
• Make that seven "launch site"s; one Pegasus flight took off from KSC (SCD-1 in February 1993, the third-ever Pegasus launch). Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 21:09
• @Vikki-formerlySean ,thanks ! I listed the Cape already. I'll see if flights left from more than one airstrip in east central Florida. Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 22:31
• @Vikki-formerlySean you're right, thanks! I found documents that confirmed use of both the SLF and the skid strip. Beers on me. Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 23:28

The Soyuz booster have been launched from:

• Baikonur
• Plesetsk
• Kourou
• Vostochny

Making it the only rocket to have been launched from 3 (4 if you count USSR) different countries and 3 different continents !

Contenders would be: the Falcon 9, launched from

• Kennedy Space Center
• Vandenberg Air Force Base
• Cape Canaveral

Tied with Minotaur IV and Athena 1

• Vandenberg Air Force Base
• Kodiak
• Cape Canaveral
• you count KSC and Cape Canaveral as 2 sites? Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 7:18
• @Hobbes I wouldn't, but OP specified they should be treated as different spaceports. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 8:33
• Soyuz has been launched from Plesetsk as well. If you count the number of distinct pads its 8: 4 at Plesetsk, some decomissioned now, 2 at Baikonur and one at each of the other two. Complicated, because I think the Russian pads are at the same base but not "adjacent" in the terms of the OP question. Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 15:44
• @Puffin I had totally forgotten about this ! Since they share the same name I think we can consider them as the same spaceport? Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 16:12
• For KSC versus Cape Canaveral see this comment. new question: How far is Cape Canaveral from Kennedy Space Center, administratively and programmatically?
– uhoh
Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 3:30
• yes, that's the one Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 14:48
• not so fast ! It’s a tie with the Soyuz, see my edit thanks to Puffin :-) Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 16:15
• Kerbal Space Center is a fictional location... wait... oh. I've been playing that game too much, haven't I? Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 1:32
• Where is the San Marco Launch Platform now?
– uhoh
Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 4:41