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Watch Virgin Galactic launch its second tourist mission to space - TWIRL #127

Galactic 02 crew

We have a pretty calm week when it comes to rocket launches. Both of the upcoming missions are Chinese satellite launches.

Unusually, there aren’t any Starlink missions locked in at the time of writing, but after the amount of Starlink missions last week, the company is probably just catching its breath.

Sunday, 13 August

The first launch this week will be a Chinese Long March 3B/E carrying the Ludi Tance 4A L-SAR satellite which will snap photos of the Earth. The launch probably won’t be available to live stream but there should be footage afterwards.

This mission will take off at 4:55 p.m. UTC from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. We mentioned this mission last week, it was supposed to take off on August 11 but got delayed.

Monday, August 14

The second and final launch of the week is an ExPace Kuaizhou 1A rocket carrying an unknown payload. It should have taken off on Sunday but was pushed back to Monday.

This mission will take off at 5:35 a.m. UTC, also from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. The delay of the Ludi Tance 4A launch could have had a knock on impact on this launch.


The first launch we got last week was a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Starlink 96 mission into orbit consisting of many Starlink satellites.

Just a day later, Starlink 97 was launched by a Falcon 9.

Next, China launched a Long March 2C carrying the Huanjing-2 06 satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre. It’s going to be used to support disaster prevention, reduction, relief, and environmental protection.

On 10 August, we got a Ceres-1 launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It was carrying seven satellites which were successfully put into orbit.

Virgin Galactic’s second commercial spaceflight got a fair amount of press coverage this week, you can check out the footage below.

Next, Russia launched a Soyuz 2.1b rocket carrying the Luna-25 lunar lander mission from Vostochny Cosmodrome. Luna-25 launched on 10 August and is due to arrive at the lunar south pole on 21 August.

The lander will carry several scientific apparatus and it’s worth noting that the lunar south pole contains water so they’ll be on the lookout for that. Another interesting note is that the Luna-24 mission took off on 9 August 1976.

Finally, we got another Falcon 9 launch carrying the Starlink 98 mission.

That’s all for this week, check back next time!

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