We have a big week coming up with SpaceX preparing to launch its Super Heavy rocket in its first suborbital flight. It will be carrying Starship which is expected to do a lap of the planet before splashing down in the sea near Hawaii. The company is also planning a Falcon Heavy and a Falcon 9 launch.
Sunday, April 16
- The first launch this week will be a Long March 4C taking off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at 1:36 a.m. UTC. It will be carrying the Fengyun 3G meteorological satellite to a polar orbit. Like other Chinese launches, there may not be live footage of this launch but there should be a recap video next week.
Monday, April 17
- With any luck, SpaceX will be able to launch its Super Heavy rocket in its first suborbital test flight on Monday. The launch window is between 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. UTC and it’ll take off from Orbital Launch Pad 1 at the Starbase in Texas. The Super Heavy rocket will be carrying a Starship prototype and the mission will see SpaceX attempt one full orbit of the planet. Afterwards, Starship will perform a re-entry and splashdown near Hawaii. You can check out SpaceX’s website at the designated time to watch the launch.
Tuesday, April 18
- Just a day later and SpaceX will be launching its Falcon Heavy rocket, this time carrying the ViaSat 3 Americas, Arcturus, and G-Space 1 communications satellites into orbit. The ViaSat satellite will provide broadband communications from a geostationary orbit. This flight is due for take-off from 11:29 p.m. UTC in Florida and should be available on the SpaceX website as well.
Wednesday, April 19
- Completing a hat trick, SpaceX will perform its third launch of the week. This time is a Falcon 9 carrying several Starlink internet-beaming satellites to orbit. To help keep the cost of launches down, SpaceX typically lands the first stage of the rocket so that it can be reused in the future. Additionally, Starlink satellites now go to space with anti-reflective coatings to minimize disruption to astronomers. This mission will take off at 1:33 p.m. UTC from Cape Canaveral.
Saturday, April 22
- Finally, on Saturday, India will launch its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to launch the TeLEOS 2 SAR satellite for AgilSpace Singapore. This satellite will perform Earth observation tasks. It will take off at 9:00 a.m. from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
- The first launch this week was an Ariane 5 rocket carrying the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission. You can see footage of the launch below.
- The final launch was a Falcon 9 rocket performing the Transporter-7 mission, a rideshare that delivers 51 payloads into space for various entities.
That’s all we have this week, be sure to check in next time.