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Orienspace to launch the first Gravity 1 rocket from a sea platform - TWIRL #143

The TWIRL logo in front of the Gravity 1 rocket

We don’t have too many launches This Week in Rocket Launches. Probably the most interesting is the Gravity 1 rocket which is planned to launch on Sunday because it is its first launch. It will launch 17 satellites into orbit from a sea platform.

Sunday, 17 December

  • Who: Orienspace
  • What: Gravity 1 rocket
  • When: Unknown
  • Where: Yellow Sea
  • Why: The Gravity 1 rocket will perform its first flight and tak 17 satellites into orbit. It will be launching from a sea platform this time but it can also do land launches. One of the satellites it’ll launch is called Jilin Gaofen 05.

Monday, 18 December

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 4:00 - 8:31 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will be launching 23 Starlink satellites into a low Earth orbit. These satellites will join the huge Starlink constellation to beam internet to customers on Earth. This batch of satellites is designated as Starlink Group 6-34; this can be used to track the satellites on apps like ISS Detector.

Friday, 22 December

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 9:46 - 11:45 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will launch the Ovzon 3 satellite into orbit before the satellite moves itself into a final orbit over the next several months. It will be the first commercial satellite to use a Roll-Out Solar Array. Ovzon will offer mobile broadband service via satellite combining high bandwidth satellite communication services with highly mobile terminals.


  • The first launch we got this week was a Chinese Long March 2D carrying the Yaogan-39 05 satellite to orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. It is a remote sensing satellite.
  • Next up, Chinese company iSpace launched the Hyperbola-2 in a vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) test, which it completed successfully. The rocket is a small two-stage launch vehicle that will be able to launch 1.9 tons into a low-Earth orbit and then land again for reuse.
  • The third launch of the week was Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket carrying the QPS-SAR-5 satellite for iQPS. The mission was called “The Moon God Awakens” and the satellite is called TSUKUYOMI-I. It took off from Pad B at the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.
  • The final launch this week was a Long March 5 carrying the Yaogan-41 high-orbit optical remote sensing satellite.

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

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