TWIRL 39: Arianespace and Rocket Lab set to launch satellites this week

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket launching behind the TWIRL logo

There are two launches planned for the upcoming week with both of them consisting of satellites being put into Earth orbit. The two companies launching the satellites this week are Arianespace which will be using a Vega rocket and Rocket Lab which will be using an Electron rocket. We had a fairly interesting last week with the launch of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission and the splashdown of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission. You can find footage of these missions and more in the recap towards the end of the piece.

Tuesday, November 16

The first launch of the week is Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket which will be carrying two satellites into Earth orbit; BlackSky 10 and BlackSky 11. The mission is whimsically called ‘Love At First Insight’ and will help BlackSky Global build further its BlackSky constellation which can snap images of the planet at 1-metre resolution. Once complete, the constellation will consist of 60 satellites with each being renewed every three years. The mission is due to launch at 5:32 a.m. UTC from New Zealand. You’ll be able to watch the event on Rocket Lab’s website.

The second and final launch of the week will also be taking place on Tuesday but this time at 9:27 a.m. UTC and from the other side of the planet in French Guiana, South America. Arianespace will launch a sprightly Vega rocket carrying three CERES signals intelligence satellites into orbit for the French military. No information on live streams has been provided for this mission but we should have a recording of it in next week’s recap.


While not a launch, the Chinese astronauts that are currently aboard the Chinese Space Station performed their first space walk. You can see some highlights of the event below:

Two days later on November 9, the SpaceX Crew-2 mission splashed down in the sea off the coast of Florida:

On Thursday, SpaceX Crew-3 launched to the ISS:

On the following day, they had safely arrived:

The latest launch this week has been SpaceX’s Starlink 31 mission which puts an additional 53 Starlink satellites into orbit which will beam internet back down to Earth:

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