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TWIRL 46: Rocket launch schedule quiet as Earthlings welcome in the New Year

The TWIRL logo on a Christmassy background

For the first time in TWIRL’s short history, the launch schedule for the upcoming week is empty so we’ll just provide you with a recap of the launches that took place last week. If you’re wondering about the progress of the James Webb Space Telescope, it has travelled almost 800,000 km from Earth but still has another 650,000 km left to go before it reaches its destination. There are about three weeks left now until it gets to the L2 orbit to start its work.


The first launch of the week was on Monday, it was a Soyuz 2.1b carrying 36 OneWeb satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. OneWeb is constructing a satellite constellation in Earth orbit, much like SpaceX, and beams internet connectivity back down to customers on the ground.

Also launching on Monday was Russia’s Angara-A5 from Plesetsk Cosmodrome. It was the rocket’s third test launch.

On Wednesday, China launched the Long March-2D carrying the TianHui-4 satellite which will conduct scientific experimental research, land resource census, geographic information mapping, and more.

Also launching on Wednesday was a Chinese Long March-3B carrying the Communication Technology Test Satellite 9 (TJSW-9). This satellite will perform multi-band and high-speed satellite communication technology verification.

It’s still too early to predict what will launch in the week beginning January 10 but it does look like there could be at least two launches to look forward to, but until then, we have a quiet week ahead.

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