TWIRL 92: Shenzhou 15 mission will take an unknown crew to the other space station

The TWIRL logo in front of the Chinese Space Station

We have a lot of rocket launches coming up this week. The most notable one will occur on Saturday, when China sends up a crew of three on the Shenzhou 15 to the Chinese Space Station. The crew members are as yet unknown, but we may hear more in the week.

Monday, November 21

  • The first launch we have this week is from SpaceX. At 2:57 a.m. UTC, the company, will launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral carrying the Eurtelsat 10B communications satellite. Once in orbit, the satellite will provide maritime and in-flight broadband, data, and video connectivity to customers in the Americas, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The launch should be available to watch through SpaceX’s website.

Tuesday, November 22

  • The second launch this week will also be conducted by SpaceX. At 8:54 p.m. UTC, a Falcon 9 will take off from Florida carrying a Dragon 2 spacecraft, which will take operational cargo to the International Space Station. Aboard the Dragon 2 will be two ISS Roll Out Solar Array (iROSA) for the ISS Power Augmentation (IPA) programme. This mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract. This mission will also feature on the SpaceX website.

Thursday, November 24

  • At 1:50 p.m. UTC, China will launch a Long March 2D rocket carrying three Yaogan 36 satellites. These remote sensing satellites will perform many jobs including science experiments, land and resource surveys, agricultural production estimates, and disaster prevention and mitigation. Unlike the SpaceX launches, it’s unlikely this one will be broadcasted live, so check next week’s Recap section for a video of the launch.

Friday, November 25

  • The first launch today is Arianespace’s Vega C rocket, which is carrying Pleiades Neo 5 and 6, Earth observation satellites. There will also be an OQ Technology nano satellite catching a ride to space too. The two Pleiades satellites were made by Airbus Defence & Space and are capable of taking picture with a 30 cm ground resolution. They will use laser communication to transmit data. This mission is due to take off at 1:47 a.m. UTC from French Guyana.
  • The second launch of the day will be ExPace’s Kuaizhou 1A rocket. It’ll take off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 6:00 a.m. UTC with an unknown payload.

Saturday, November 26

  • China is set to launch its second Long March rocket on the weekend, this time it will be the Long March 2F/G. It will be carrying the Shenzhou 15 spacecraft to the Chinese Space Station with a crew of three, who are yet to be named. The spacecraft will feature an upgraded guidance, navigation, and control system (GNC) to meet new demands. It’s not clear what time the mission will launch, but it’ll take off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
  • The final launch of the week comes from India. The South Asian nation will launch a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying the Earth Observation Satellite 6 (EOS 6). The satellite will perform ocean observation, gathering data such as ocean colour, sea surface temperature, and wind vector data. Several secondary payloads will launch on this rocket as well. The mission is due to launch from Sriharikota at 8:00 a.m. UTC.

Recap

  • On November 15 at 1:38 a.m. UTC, China launched a Long March 4C carrying the third Yaogan 34 remote sensing satellite from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
  • A day later, we got the launch we’ve all been waiting for, NASA’s Artemis I mission. The Space Launch System sent an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a trip to the Moon.
  • On the same day, a Ceres 1 rocket launched five Jilin 1 Gaofen 03D satellites into orbit.
  • Possibly the most dramatic launch of the week came from India when the country launched a VIKRAM-S suborbital rocket. Check out the video below.

Be sure to check back next week for more rocket launches!

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