Cape Canaveral will be the busiest spaceport in the world during 2015, with 24 flights scheduled through the end of the year.
SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) both have launches due to lift off from Cape Canaveral through 2015. Eight of these flights will utilize the ULA Atlas 5 rocket, and two payloads will be lifted into space on top of Delta Four rockets, on missions scheduled for March and July. The first of the flights using the Atlas 5 system is currently planned for January 20.
One flight for SpaceX has already lifted off from the Florida spaceport, and 13 additional launches are planned before the end of the year.
If all of these planned missions take off as scheduled, Cape Canaveral will be the busiest launch center in the world, according to Col. Thomas Falzarano, commander of the 45th Operations Group of the United States Air Force. This would be the busiest year for the personnel at Cape Canaveral since 1992.
"In 2015, if we hit the mark, the Cape will be the busiest spaceport in the world. Business is picking up," Falzarano said.
Most of the missions scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral will lift military satellites into orbit. SpaceX is one of the private space developers working to win these contracts.
On January 11, a SpaceX flight lifted off from Cape Canaveral, heading toward the International Space Station (ISS) with a payload of supplies for space travelers aboard the orbiting outpost. This was the first successful launch of the year from the spaceport, although the booster crashed when mission planners attempted to bring the rocket in for a controlled landing.
The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was the world's busiest spaceport in 2014. Of the 21 missions engineers attempted to launch in space from the facility, 19 were successful. During the same year, 16 launches blasted off from the Florida space center. This was the busiest year there since 2003.
The Falcon Heavy launch vehicle is designed to lift space travelers into deep space, and is due to be utilized for a human mission to Mars in the 2030's. The first test flight of that rocket is scheduled to take off from NASA's space center in the third quarter of 2015.
Cape Canaveral is likely to become even busier next year, with 36 launches already scheduled for 2016.
Rocket launches are notoriously difficult, and are frequently postponed due to technical problems or adverse weather. This makes it unlikely that all the launches scheduled for 2015 will take off, lowering the number of missions that will lift off from the center during the year.