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SpaceX to launch ESA's Euclid space observatory - TWIRL #120

TWIRL logo in front of Euclid

We have two launches planned this week, the first is a Russian Soyuz rocket which is launching a Meteor-M 2 polar-orbiting weather satellite and the second is a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Euclid space observatory for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Tuesday, June 27

The first launch of the week will be Russia’s Soyuz rocket carrying the fourth Meteor-M 2 polar-orbiting weather satellite and 42 other smaller satellites. The Meteor-M 2 satellite is carrying four instruments that allow it to obtain infrared and visible images of clouds and ice cover, measure the temperature and humidity in the atmosphere, and monitor the ozone layer.

The mission has been delayed a number of times since 2020. This time it’s scheduled for launch at 11:34 a.m. UTC from Vostochny Cosmodrome.

Saturday, July 1

The second and last launch of the week is a Falcon 9 carrying ESA’s Euclid space observatory. Euclid is a space telescope designed to explore the evolution of the dark universe.

The data collected by Euclid will be used to make a 3D map of the universe in a third of the sky. The galaxies it will snap for this 3D model will be up to 10 billion light-years away.

Visual of Euclid telescope

This mission has been delayed since 2020 and was initially going to be launched on a Soyuz rocket, then switched to an Ariane 6, and finally a Falcon 9.

It’ll take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 3:11 p.m. UTC. It will be available to watch on SpaceX’s website and possibly via ESA.


The first launch we got last week was a Falcon 9 carrying Indonesia’s Satria-1 satellite, the first stage then landed.

Next up, China launched a Long March 6 rocket carrying the Shiyan-25 satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre.

On Thursday, we saw the launch of a Falcon 9 carrying 47 Starlink satellites to space from California.

Also on Thursday, United Launch Alliance launched a Delta IV Heavy carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office but it’s classified.

The final launch, on Friday, was another Falcon 9 taking more Starlink satellites to orbit.

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

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