The Most Reliable Rocket, Ranked

Choose the rocket you think is the most reliable!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 7, 2024 07:22
As humanity reaches further into space, the reliability of rockets becomes a critical aspect for missions. Knowing which rockets have a proven track record of success can guide decisions and foster trust in space exploration programs. This is essential not only for astronauts but also for the scientists and engineers who design these complex vehicles. On this website, users have the opportunity to voice their opinions and vote on the rocket they believe is the most reliable. Each vote contributes to a live ranking, reflecting the collective experience and perceptions of space enthusiasts and experts alike. Engage with the community here and help shape the consensus on the best in rocket reliability.

What Is the Most Reliable Rocket?

  1. 1
    66
    points
    Falcon 9

    Falcon 9

    A partially reusable rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX, known for its reliability and the first orbital class rocket capable of reflight.
    • Manufacturer: SpaceX
    • Success Rate: 98%
  2. 2
    40
    points
    Atlas V

    Atlas V

    An expendable launch system in the Atlas rocket family. It has been launched 86 times with 100% success rate since 2007.
    • Manufacturer: United Launch Alliance
    • Success Rate: 100%
  3. 3
    12
    points
    Soyuz

    Soyuz

    A Russian expendable launch system developed by OKB-1 and manufactured by Progress Rocket Space Centre, known for its extensive flight heritage.
    • Manufacturer: Roscosmos
    • Success Rate: 90%
  4. 4
    7
    points
    Falcon Heavy

    Falcon Heavy

    A partially reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX, known for being the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.
    • Manufacturer: SpaceX
    • Success Rate: 100%
  5. 5
    6
    points
    Ariane 5

    Ariane 5

    A European heavy-lift launch vehicle that is part of the Ariane rocket family, known for its high reliability in launching to geostationary transfer orbit.
    • Manufacturer: Arianespace
    • Success Rate: 95%
  6. 6
    4
    points
    H-IIA

    H-IIA

    A Japanese expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, known for its high reliability.
    • Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    • Success Rate: 97.6%
  7. 7
    0
    points
    Saturn V

    Saturn V

    An American super heavy-lift launch vehicle used by NASA between 1967 and 1973, known for launching the Apollo missions to the Moon.
    • Manufacturer: NASA
    • Success Rate: 100%
  8. 8
    0
    points
    Long March 3B

    Long March 3B

    A Chinese expendable launch system developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, mainly used to launch communication satellites into geostationary orbit.
    • Manufacturer: China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
    • Success Rate: 93%
  9. 9
    0
    points
    Delta IV Heavy

    Delta IV Heavy

    An American heavy-lift launch vehicle, the largest type of the Delta IV family and one of the world's most powerful operational rockets.
    • Manufacturer: United Launch Alliance
    • Success Rate: 89%
  10. 10
    0
    points
    Proton-M

    Proton-M

    A Russian heavy-lift launch vehicle used to carry payloads into orbit. It is part of the Proton rocket family and has been in operation since 1965.
    • Manufacturer: Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center
    • Success Rate: 88%

Missing your favorite rocket?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most reliable rocket. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or rocket is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2489 views
  • 135 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each rocket once every 24 hours. The rank of each rocket is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Reliable Rocket

Falcon 9
Rank #1 for the most reliable rocket: Falcon 9 (Source)
Rockets have been around for decades. They have carried humans and cargo into space. The quest for a reliable rocket has been a long journey. Engineers and scientists have worked hard to improve designs. They aim to make space travel safe and efficient.

Early rockets faced many challenges. They often exploded or failed to reach orbit. These failures taught valuable lessons. Engineers learned from mistakes. They improved materials and designs. Over time, rockets became more reliable.

A key factor in reliability is the engine. Early engines were prone to failure. Modern engines are more robust. They use better materials and advanced technology. This reduces the chance of malfunction.

Another important aspect is the guidance system. Early rockets had basic guidance systems. They often missed their targets. Modern rockets have advanced systems. They use computers to navigate. This increases accuracy and reliability.

The structure of the rocket also matters. Early rockets were made from simple materials. Modern rockets use advanced composites. These materials are strong and lightweight. They can withstand the stresses of launch and space travel.

Testing is crucial for reliability. Engineers test rockets in many ways. They use simulations and real-world tests. They test engines, guidance systems, and structures. This helps identify and fix problems before launch.

Redundancy is another factor. Modern rockets have backup systems. If one system fails, another takes over. This ensures the rocket can complete its mission. Early rockets lacked this feature. Modern rockets are much safer as a result.

Maintenance is also important. Engineers regularly inspect and maintain rockets. They check for wear and tear. They replace parts as needed. This keeps rockets in good condition.

The launch process has improved too. Early launches were risky. Modern launches follow strict procedures. Engineers check everything before launch. They ensure all systems are go. This reduces the chance of failure.

Training is vital for reliability. Engineers and astronauts undergo rigorous training. They learn how to handle emergencies. This prepares them for any situation. It also boosts confidence in the rocket.

Collaboration has played a role. Engineers from around the world share knowledge. They learn from each other’s successes and failures. This speeds up improvements. It also leads to more reliable rockets.

Funding is a factor too. Reliable rockets require investment. Governments and private companies fund research and development. This money helps create better rockets. It also supports ongoing maintenance and testing.

Public and private sectors both contribute. Governments often fund large projects. Private companies bring innovation. Together, they push the boundaries of what is possible. This collaboration leads to more reliable rockets.

Reliability is not just about technology. It is also about people. Engineers, scientists, and astronauts all play a role. Their dedication and hard work make reliable rockets possible.

The journey to reliable rockets has been long and challenging. Each failure has been a lesson. Each success has been a step forward. Today’s rockets are the result of decades of effort. They are a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance. The quest for reliability continues. Each new rocket builds on the last. The future of space travel looks bright.

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