How many capsules have visited the ISS more than once?

Just that. But if the number is very small, then their IDs or any commemorative markings they might have would be a bonus.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Do Endeavour, Atlantis and Discovery count as "capsules"? $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2018 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ @DiegoSánchez Wikipedia (with references) would not include them. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage "This article has multiple issues." $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2018 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove None of which are with the definition. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Dec 7, 2018 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ @called2voyage. The comment was indeed a request for clarification, if uhoh had just capsules in mind or if he wanted any kind of spacecraft. $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2018 at 23:42

2 Answers 2


Dragon Capsules: 5 Return Visitors as of 12/2018

The SpaceX subreddit has a nice table with information on the individual Dragon spacecraft. Several of the Dragon capsules have flown multiple ISS missions. The Dragon 1 spacecraft IDs are of the form C1xx, sometimes presented with a '.2' suffix on second flight (i.e. C106 is reflown as C106.2).

The Dragon capsule (spacecraft C112) of the CRS-16 mission is a return visitor, with an ISS silhouette marking to commemorate its previous visit. It was previously flown for CRS-10.

enter image description here

Four other Dragons have visited ISS twice each:

  • CRS-11 (June 2017) (C106) reflew the capsule from CRS-4 (September 2014), the first reflown space capsule since a Gemini test flight in 1966;
  • CRS-13 (December 2017) (C108) reflew the capsule from CRS-6
  • CRS-14 (April 2018) (C110) reflew the capsule from CRS-8
  • CRS-15 (June 2018) (C111) reflew the capsule from CRS-9 (ID listed as C11 in WP).

No special markings on those flights are mentioned in the respective WP articles. It's a little surprising, given SpaceX's tendency towards whimsy, that they haven't been given individual names; I suspect that NASA discourages it.

Progress and Soyuz: No

The Russian Progress supply craft are not reused; they dispense with the heat shields of the Soyuz to save mass.

Individual internal components of Soyuz spacecraft are reused, but the reentry capsules are not reflown.

STS: Three Return Visitors

If we stretch the definition of "capsule" to include spaceplanes, as @Diego Sánchez notes in comments, three of the space shuttle orbiters visited ISS multiple times before they were retired.

  • $\begingroup$ So for capsules, the answer would be five? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 8, 2018 at 0:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, just the 5 Dragons if we discount spaceplanes. $\endgroup$ Dec 8, 2018 at 0:16

Not so obvious, but Leonardo module could be on the list.

It made like 8 visits to the ISS within different Shuttle missions as MPLM, and then was left there permanently attached as PMM.

And so could Raffaello with his four flights as MPLM-2. Although it has ended up its days on the ground.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting answer, though worth noting that this wouldn't be included in a strict definition of space capsule (see my comment on the question). $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:27

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