Zarya - Soviet, Russian and International Spaceflight
carousel image
Launches and Orbital Operations

Scarborough, UK
2014 Oct 26
Sunday, Day 299

Maintained by:

Go For Launch!

Launch events for the past week, plus on-orbit and re-entry or landing events of satellites and spacecraft.

Date and time information comes from open sources and from private contacts within the industry. Notes are prepared through a combination of research and information released by satellite owners, operators and manufacturers; space agencies and launch services providers.

Date Time (UTC) Event
2014 Oct 23
Chang'e 5 Test Vehicle - Launch
CZ-3C/2, Xichang SC
Engineering test mission for components of a Lunar sample return mission.

The final stage of the launch vehicle carries an experiments package from the company Luxspace called 4M (Manfred Memorial Moon Mission) to commemorate the late Professor Manfred Fuchs. 4M includes a radio transmitter operating in the 2m amateur band that will operate continuously throughout the mission.

The launch plan allowed for contingency days Oct 23 and Oct 24.

The launch vehicle was an uprated and lengthened version of the current CZ-3C.

2014 Oct 23
Chang'e 5 Test Vehicle - Trans-Lunar Injection
on orbit
Upper-stage re-ignited for a 3-4 minute firing to push itself from LEO into a trajectory aimed at the Moon. The Lunar vehicle separated from the launch vehicle at a distance of 5000 km from Earth shortly after engine shut-down..

The journey to the Moon and subsequent return to Earth will be a full command and control ‘dress rehearsal’ for Chang'e 5 in 2017 including setting up the Earthbound trajectory, conducting mid-course corrections, tracking, atmosphere re-entry and vehicle recovery.

2014 Oct 24
Chang'e Lunar Sample Container Test Flight - Course Correction
Precise Time 08:18:05 UTC.

2014 Oct 25
SpaceX CRS-4 Departure
Undocked using the ISS Remote Manipulator System. Time is for release into independent orbit.

Delayed five days from Oct 21 by high seas in the Pacific Ocean recovery zone.

2014 Oct 25
SpaceX CRS-4 Retro-fire
Followed by Re-entry and splashdown.

2014 Oct 25
SpaceX CRS-4 Splashdown
Splashdown in Pacific Ocean off California, near 33°.5 N 122°.5 W.

Time is ±1 min.

2014 Oct 27
Progress M-24M Undocking
on orbit - ISS
Undocking from Pirs module.

Progress M-24M will then undertake three weeks of Radar-Progress experiments.

Will be followed by de-orbit over southern Pacific Ocean.

NASA TV coverage (from 05:30 UTC):

2014 Oct 27
Shijian 11-08 Launch
CZ-2C, Jiuquan SC
Reported as an "experimental satellite". The orbit, and images of one of its predecessors, indicate that it has an Earth observation rôle. Orbit Descending Node will be at 13:16 local time.

Shijian 11-08 is also reported as completing the constellation.

A news report from China, a few days after the Shijian 11-07 lift off, indicated that this satellite was being prepared for launch in parallel.

2014 Oct 27
Orb 3 CRS (Deke Slayton) Launch
Antares, Wallops Flight Facility LC-0A
Cargo delivery mission under the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement.

The Cygnus pressurized cargo vessel is based the on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) carried as Shuttle cargo, and the avionics have been developed for other satellites.

NASA TV coverage (from 21:45 UTC):

Mission notes:

NASA TV coverage (from 22:45 UTC):

2014 Oct 28
Chang'e Third Stage Rocket - Lunar Fly-by
near Moon
Approximate time of passage behind the Moon as seen from Earth of upper rocket stage carrying the 4M amateur radio experiment.

The time shown is based on information provided by AMSAT.

2014 Oct 28
Chang'e 5 Test Vehicle - Lunar Fly-by
near Moon
Approximate time of passage behind the Moon as seen from Earth. Vehicle will meet the Moon near its orbit descending node.

While in the vicinity of the Moon, a simulated transfer of a soil sample between a sample collecting vehicle and the return vehicle may be attempted.

A thruster firing while near the Moon will be used to adjust the Earth-return trajectory to mimic that of a vehicle lifting off from the Lunar surface.

The time shown is an estimate based extrapolated from information provided by AMSAT, and is ±5 hours.

2014 Oct 29
Progress M-25M Launch
Soyuz-U, Baikonur SC
Supplies to ISS. Will fly the six-hour fast track route.

Precise time aimed for 07:09:42 UTC.

NASA TV coverage (from 06:45 UTC):

2014 Oct 29
Progress M-25M Docking
Docking with the Pirs module. <-- diaryISS -->

NASA TV coverage (from 12:30 UTC):

2014 Oct 29
Navstar GPS IIF-08
Atlas V, CCAFS LC-41
Eighth Block 2F, Generation 2 GPS Navsat.

Time is the opening of an 18 minute window.

Background information:

2014 Oct 30
Meridian 7 Launch
Soyuz 2-1a/Fregat, Plesetsk SC
Military/government communications satellite for Molniya-type eccentric orbit - 1000 x 39700 km, 63° inclination, 724 minutes period.

Time approximate.

2014 Oct 30
ASNARO 1 Launch
Dnepr, Dombarovsky SC
ASNARO (Advanced Satellite with New system Architecture for Observation) is a Japanese Earth observation satellite aimed at sun-synchronous orbit with Descending Node at 11:00 local time. It was created in collaboration between the NEC Corporation and Japan Space Systems uder contract for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The launch vehicle will also carry four smaller Japanese payloads:

Hodoyoshi-1 - Small satellite from the University of Tokyo and NESTRA (Next Generation Space System Technology Association) to produce medium-high resolution Earth images,

ChubuSat-1 (Kinshachi) - Technology demonstration satellite from Nagoya University and Daido University. It carries an Earth imager, sensors to detect space debris and an amateur radio communications system,

TSUBAME - Small satellite for Earth observation and observation of gamma ray bursts from the sky,

QSAT-EOS (KYUsh SATellite - Earth Observation System) - Small satellite from Kyushu University with a range of sensors for disaster monitoring in the Kyushu region, observing the Earth's magnetic field, detection of space micro-debris, and observing water vapour in the upper atmosphere.

The date is approximate and is to be confirmed, the time is ±5 min (based on expected LTDN).

2014 Nov 1
Chang'e 5 Test Vehicle - Landing
Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia
On return to the vicinity of the Earth, the probe will release a prototype re-entry vehicle to test the heat shield.

The re-entry vehicle is aimed to land in Mongolia in an area near the Shenzhou landing zone. It will follow a 'skip' re-entry where an initial dip into the atmosphere will slow the speed and lead to reduced heat loading. It will be followed by a second re-entry on a ballistic trajectory.

Date and time shown are for the expected time of landing and were provided by Luxspace. Formal confirmation awaited.

2014 Nov 2
Orb 3 - ISS Arrival
Antares, Wallops Flight Facility LC-0A
Will be captured by the ISS Remote Manipulator and attached to the Harmony Node about 2.5 hrs later.

BEWARE..... time is from NASA and the time zone (EDT or EST) was not stated, may occur one hour earlier.

NASA TV coverage:

2014 Nov 8
GSLV Atmospheric Test Flight
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

2014 Nov 8
MAVEN - Start of Science Mission
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

2014 Nov 10
SoyuzTMA-13M Undocking
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

2014 Nov 10
Soyuz TMA-13M Landing
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

2014 Nov 12
Rosetta - Landing of Philae
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

2014 Nov 15
Cygnus Orb 3 Undocking
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

2014 Nov 18
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

2014 Nov 20
Further details - see Zarya's Closed Orbit pages.

A more comprehensive version of this list that looks much further ahead can be found in the password-protected section of the website. To request a password, see notes on the 'Closed Orbit' introductory page.

Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited