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Stellar week ahead: Weather sats, crew launch, and more! - TWIRL #153

TWIRL logo in front of Dragon capsule interior

This Week in Rocket Launches, we have several missions all grouped at the end of the week. The most interesting mission will take place on Friday when SpaceX launches several astronauts from NASA and Roscosmos to the International Space Station (ISS).

Thursday, 29 February

  • Who: Glavkosmos (Roscosmos subsidiary)
  • What: Soyuz 2.1b
  • When: 5:43 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia
  • Why: Glavkosmos will launch a Soyuz rocket carrying the fifth Meteor-M 2 weather satellite, Marafon-D 11L, TUSUR-GO, Vizard-ion, Gorizont, Colibri-s, RTU MIREA 1, and several other small satellites.

  • Who: CNSA
  • What: Long March 3B/E
  • When: 12:00 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China
  • Why: The payload of this mission is unknown, for this reason it's probably going to be some sort of reconnaissance or military satellite.

Friday, 1 March

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 5:04 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will launch Crew-8 on a Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s commercial crew program (CCP). The crew includes NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, Jeanette Epps, and cosmonaut Aleksandr Grebyonkin.


  • The first launch we got last week was a Rocket Lab Electron rocket carrying the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) satellite. This satellite will be important as Japan attempts to clean up its space debris.
  • Next, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 carrying the Merah Putih 2 satellite for Telkomsat. The first stage of the rocket performed a landing on a SpaceX drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean so that it may be reused.
  • The third launch was another Falcon 9 from SpaceX, but this time, it was carrying 22 Starlink satellites, which will bolster SpaceX’s satellite internet project.
  • The final launch of the week was a Long March 5, which was carrying the TJSW-11 communication test satellite.

That’s all for this week. Check back next time.

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