TWIRL 116: China to send people to space and SpaceX to resupply ISS

TWIRL logo in front of EVA at ISS

We have several launches coming up this week including China’s crewed Shenzhou 16 mission to the Chinese Space Station and SpaceX sending a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Be sure to check out the mammoth recap section too.

Monday, May 29

On Monday, India will launch a GSLV Mk.II rocket will carry the NVS-1 navigation satellite to a geostationary orbit. It’s the first next-gen in the NaVIC constellation and will replace a satellite called IRNSS 1G.

The mission will take off at 5:12 a.m. UTC from Sriharikota. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) provides positioning and timing services to India and the surrounding areas.

Tuesday, May 30

We have several launches on Tuesday, first, China will launch a Long March 2F/G rocket carrying the Shenzhou 16 spacecraft to the Heavenly Palace space station. It will be a manned mission carrying three unknown astronauts.

The mission is due for launch at 1:31 a.m. UTC from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. The Shenzhou 15 crew are set to come back to Earth sometime in May too.

The second and final launch on Tuesday will be a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying 22 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit. The satellites will beam internet connectivity down to Earth for customers.

The launch will occur at 10:42 a.m. UTC from Cape Canaveral. If you want to watch it, head over to SpaceX’s website at that time and date, where it will be streamed if there are no delays.

Saturday, June 3

The week of launches will end on Saturday with SpaceX sending up another Falcon 9 carrying a Dragon 2 spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission is a cargo delivery mission so nobody will be aboard.

The launch is set for 4:34 p.m. UTC from Florida. As with the last Falcon 9 launch, this one will also be streaming on SpaceX’s website.


The first launch last week was a Long March 2C carrying Macao Science and LuoJia satellites. It took off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre.

Next was a Falcon 9 launch carrying Axiom astronauts to the ISS.

Here you can see the astronauts entering the ISS.

On Wednesday, Russia launched a Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress MS-23 spacecraft to the ISS on a resupply mission.

South Korea performed the third launch of its Nuri rocket which carried eight satellites to a Sun-synchronous orbit.

Virgin Galactic sent a crew up to the edge of space on its VSS Unity craft in the final flight before it begins its commercial service.

On Friday, Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket launched NASA’s TROPICS satellites.

Then we got another Soyuz launch from Russia, this time carrying a Kondor-FKA satellite.

Finally, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 carrying the Arabsat BADR-8 satellite.

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

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