This week we have to witness a ton of satellite launch missions from various parts of the world. For those who prefer manned launches, you’re out of luck because there aren’t any. Among the satellites being launched are two Galileo satellites mounted on a modified Soyuz 2.1b rocket and 53 Starlink satellites mounted on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Wednesday December 1
The first launch scheduled for Wednesday will take place in New Zealand. Rocket Lab will launch an Electron rocket carrying several small satellites including ADLER 1, AuroraSat 1, WISA Woodsat, Unicorn 2A, TRSI 2 & 3 and MyRadar 1. It is not known what time the mission will take off, but when it does, it should. have a live broadcast on Rocket Lab website.
The second mission scheduled to launch on Wednesday takes place in French Guiana at 00:35 UTC (it will still be Tuesday in French Guiana). An Arianespace Soyuz ST-B rocket will carry two Galileo satellites into orbit and they will work within the Galileo navigation constellation. The names of these two satellites are Patrick and Shriya. Looking at the list of Galileo satellites on Wikipedia it is not known which designation (PRN) the last two satellites will receive, but if you come back to it in the future, the page should be updated. Using the GPS test The app on Android will let you see which satellites you are connected to, if your phone supports Galileo you can connect to Patrick and Shriya so be on the lookout for that.
The Soyuz 2.1b rocket used for the Galileo mission was adapted from typical Soyuz 2.1b rockets as it was fitted with a flight termination system and pyrotechnic igniters on the boosters and first stage engines.
The third and final launch will take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Wednesday. SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 53 Starlink satellites equipped with laser communication terminals. Once in orbit, they will join the rest of the Starlink constellation to send the internet back to the planet.
Thursday 2 December
We only have one launch on Thursday; Virgin Orbit will pilot its LauncherOne rocket which will perform an aerial launch from the Boeing 747 “Cosmic Girl” carrier plane. While the rocket takes off in the air, the plane will take off from the air and space port of Mojave. The rocket will carry the Ignis technology demonstration satellite for Astro Digital, ElaNa 29 CubeSats PAN A and PAN B, several STP-27VPB payloads and the STORK 3 and SteamSat 2 nanosatellites for the Polish company SatRevolution. This mission should take place between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. UTC.
Sunday 5 December
The last launch of the week will be from Cape Canaveral, Florida between 9:04 am and 11:04 am UTC. A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket will launch the STP-3 mission for the US Air Force to put two military spacecraft into orbit; STPSat 6 and LDPE 1 – both of which carry smaller payloads. The launch will be available on the ULA website.
The first launch of the week was a 4C Long March carrying the second Gaofen-3 satellite that will perform ocean observation and monitor disasters, among other things.
You’ve probably seen the next launch on the news. SpaceX has launched NASA’s DART mission that will eventually strike an asteroid to test Earth’s defenses against an asteroid strike.
Then, Russia launched its Prichal module to boost its capabilities aboard the International Space Station.
On Wednesday, a Kuaizhou-1A rocket launched the Shiyan-11 satellite which will be used for land surveying, urban planning, crop yield estimation, and more.
On Thursday, a Soyuz 2.1ba launched the Kosmos 2552 satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. The satellite will help protect the country from various missile attacks.
On Friday, a 3B Long March launched the ZhongXing 1D satellite into orbit. Satellite is a communications satellite that will provide high quality voice, data, radio and television transmission services.