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SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and China ready rockets this week - TWIRL #119

TWIRL logo in front of Falcon 9

We have a packed schedule coming up This Week in Rocket Launches, with missions from SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and China. Most of the launches we normally get from SpaceX are Starlink and Transporter rideshare missions, but this week, the company will also launch the Satria comms satellite for various Indonesian entities too.

Sunday, June 18

The first launch of the week involves the Satria comms satellite. At 10:04 p.m. UTC SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral carrying the satellite. It is being launched for the Indonesian Satelit Nusantara Tiga (SNT) consortium, the Indonesian government, and the Indonesian satellite operator PSN.

The Satria satellite will provide broadband internet and communications capacity for schools, hospitals, and other public use facilities in rural regions of Indonesia. You’ll be able to tune into the launch on SpaceX’s website.

Tuesday, June 20

There’s not a lot to say about China’s launch of its Long March 6 rocket due on Tuesday. It will be taking off at 3:19 a.m. UTC from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre but as for the payload, that is unknown. The event won’t be streamed either but there should be a video recording later on.

Wednesday, June 21

On Wednesday at 7:29 a.m. UTC, United Launch Alliance will launch a Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral carrying a classified spy satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. The mission designated NROL 68 and dubbed Nusquam Celare or Nowhere to Hide, will be streamed live on ULA’s website.

Thursday, June 22

We have an interesting launch next. China will launch a Long March 2D rocket carrying the Liangxi space return capsule on a test flight. Apparently, the capsule can return to Earth carrying 300kg of cargo and has electronic components on board that can provide customized research data. The mission will launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre at an unspecified time.

Saturday, June 24

The final launch will be a common Starlink satellite launch atop a Falcon 9. As you probably know if you read TWIRL, the Starlink satellites beam internet back down to the planet for paying customers. This mission will take off at an undisclosed time from Cape Canaveral. You’ll be able to watch the launch via the SpaceX website.


The first launch we got last week was a Falcon 9 carrying Starlink satellites to space, the first stage of the Falcon 9 also landed after takeoff.

Next, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9, this time carrying the Transporter-8 rideshare satellites.

Finally, China launched a Long March 2D rocket carrying 41 satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre.

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

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