When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works.

India set to launch its first polarimetry mission this week - TWIRL #145

A PSLV rocket

We don’t have many launches coming up This Week in Rocket Launches with it being the new year, however, there are a lot of videos to watch in the recap section. This week, India will be launching its first polarimetry mission to study X-ray sources.

Monday, 1 January

  • Who: NewSpace India Limited (NSIL)
  • What: PSLV DL
  • When: 3:40 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Dhawan Space Centre
  • Why: NSIL will be launching the XPoSat satellite in this mission. The satellite is India’s first polarimetry mission that will study bright astronomical X-ray sources. The satellite will be carrying two scientific payloads called POLIX and XSPECT.

Wednesday, 3 January

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 2:13 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Vandenberg AFB
  • Why: SpaceX will be conducting a launch that should have taken place last week but got delayed. A Falcon 9 will be carrying Starlink’s first direct-to-cell satellites which means that the internet can be directly delivered to devices. The other 15 satellites will be standard Starlink satellites.


  • The first launch last week was on Christmas Eve. SpaceX used a Falcon 9 to launch the SARah-2 and SARah-3 reflector satellites before landing the Falcon 9 first stage back on the pad.
  • Next, private Chinese space firm ExPace launched a Kuaizhou 1A rocket carrying four Tianmu 1 meteorological satellites from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. The satellites were numbers 11 to 14. They will be used to provide commercial data services.
  • On Christmas Day, the Chinese National Space Administration launched a Long March 11 rocket carrying three Shiyan-24C satellites from a sea-based platform. These satellites will be used for space science and technology experiments.
  • On Boxing Day, a Long March 3B was launched carrying two backup BeiDou-3 navigation satellites. These backup satellites will operate in a medium Earth orbit and are the second and third satellites to act as backups for the BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS-3).
  • Following this, ExPace launched another Kuaizhou 1A carrying four more Tianmu 1 satellites, these were number 19 to 22.
  • Probably the most interesting launch of the week was a SpaceX Falcon Heavy carrying the Boeing X-37B spy plane for the US government. We don’t get that many Falcon Heavy launches so they’re nice to watch.
  • Finally, SpaceX launched more Starlink internet satellites before landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.

That’s all for this week, check back next time.

Report a problem with article
The Garmin Fenix 7X Pro
Next Article

The Garmin fēnix 7X Pro is currently discounted by $300 on Amazon

Microsoft Copilot app in the App Store
Previous Article

Microsoft's Copilot app for iOS is here only days after Android launch

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

2 Comments - Add comment