It’s a pretty busy week in rocket launches this week, with SpaceX making up the bulk of the launches with its Falcon 9. Perhaps the most interesting Falcon 9 launch takes place on Sunday when the rocket will carry a Dragon 2 spacecraft to orbit before heading off to the ISS to resupply the crew.
Sunday, June 4
On Sunday there are going to be two launches, both by SpaceX and both in Florida. The first launch sees a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 Starlink satellites to a low Earth orbit. It is scheduled to take off at 9:56 a.m. and the event will be streamed on SpaceX’s website.
Several hours later, another Falcon 9 will take off carrying a Dragon 2 spacecraft. The Dragon 2 will be performing a cargo delivery mission to the ISS. You’ll be able to tune in to this launch on the SpaceX website too. The launch is due at 4:12 p.m.
Wednesday, June 7
Next up is CAS Space’s Kinetica 1 rocket. This is its second launch and it will orbit 26 satellites including the Fucheng 1. This mission will take off at 4:11 a.m. from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. Given that the launch is coming from China, it’s unlikely there will be a live stream of the event.
Thursday, June 8
On Thursday, there will be yet another Falcon 9 launch but this time it will be carrying the Transporter-8 rideshare mission. In terms of payloads, this mission will carry dozens of small microsatellites and nanosatellites for commercial and government customers. There is no scheduled time given for this launch but it will be taking off from Florida and should be streamable on the SpaceX website.
Friday, June 9
The fourth and final mission is another Falcon 9 rocket carrying two O3b mPOWER broadband internet satellites into a medium Earth orbit for SES. Just like the other Falcon 9 launches, this one will take off from Cape Canaveral at 7:15 p.m. and will be watchable on the SpaceX website.
The first launch last week was an Indian GLSV Mk II rocket carrying the NVS-01 navigation satellite to orbit. The satellite will make up part of India’s NavIC satnav system that works over the subcontinent.
Later on in the week, China launched a Long March rocket carrying three astronauts to the Chinese Space Station aboard Shenzhou-16. These astronauts were temporarily in space with the Shenzhou-15 crew before the latter departed back for Earth. For a short while last week, there were a whopping 17 people in space - that’s quite a lot more than usual.
The final launch was a Falcon 9 carrying 52 satellites to orbit where they will help power the Starlink internet constellation.
That’s all for this week, check in next time!