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TWIRL 68: SpaceX's Dragon 2 craft to take cargo to the space station

The TWIRL logo in front of Falcon 9

We have two rocket launches in the upcoming week, both of which will be performed by SpaceX. The first launch is due on Wednesday and the second will take place on Friday. The second of these events will be the most interesting of the two as a Dragon 2 craft will be sent to the space station carrying cargo.

Wednesday, June 8

The first launch of the week will be a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket carrying the Nilesat 301 communications satellite. The satellite will be operated by the Egyptian firm Nilesat who will use it to provide internet connectivity services. The satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space and will be placed in a geostationary transfer orbit. It was delayed from April 30 and should be streamed by SpaceX on its website.

Friday, June 10

The second and final launch of the week is yet another Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket but this time it will be carrying the SpaceX Dragon 2 craft which itself will be hauling cargo up to the International Space Station to resupply resources for astronauts working there. This mission is being conducted as part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract which is now in its second phase.


The first launch we got this week was a Long March 2C carrying the Geely Constellation Group 01 satellites. They are nine low Earth orbit remote sensing and comms satellites.

Next up, while not a launch, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover sent back footage of dust devils in Jezero Crater on Mars. This fantastic footage really brings a new perspective to the planet which normally seems so dead and motionless.

The second launch we saw this week was a Soyuz 2.1a carrying the Progress MS-20 spacecraft which was heading to the ISS carrying cargo. It took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Here is footage of Progress MS-20 docking with the ISS.

Finally, Blue Origin carried out its Blue Origin NS-21 mission carrying several private space tourists including Evan Dick who has already been up on New Shepard before.

To conclude, China could send its Shenzhou 14 mission to its space station tomorrow and we’ll be sure to update this post with footage if we get it.

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