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Launches and Orbital Operations


Tyneside, UK
2020 Feb 29
Saturday, Day 60

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Timelines:







Zarya.info:



Go For Launch!

This page looks forward three months. It is more comprehensive and detailed than the simple launch lists that can be found on the webas it covers on-orbit events as well as re-entries and landings.

Once something reaches space, the menu on the left takes you to detailed lists of satellites and orbits, as well as information on those that failed to make it.

To see further into the future, go to zarya.info's Still In the Clean Room... page.

If there's something you might have missed, there is the Cleared the Tower! page that looks back over the last four weeks or so.

Dates and times are in UTC and are derived from a mix of open sources and private contacts within the industry. Notes are prepared through a combination of research, information released by satellite owners, operators and manufacturers, space agencies and launch service providers.

You can bookmark a short cut to here as https://www.zarya.info/321.


Nothing from this web page may be reproduced without express permission from the site owner who can be contacted via the mail icon on this page - see Copyright Notice at the foot of the page.


DARPA Challenge Launch
Rocket 3.0, Kodiak Island Spaceport, Alaska
No earlier than
2020 Feb 29, 20:30 UTC
Time is the opening of a three hour window. Postponed from Feb 25 as a result of adverse weather in the launch area. Launch aimed at 450 km sun-synchronous orbit, and undertaken in response to the DARPA Launch Challenge, will carry three payloads in a single 3U P-POD dispenser. Prometheus 1.5U Cubesat carrying a Department of Defense tactical communications system. ARCE-1 (Articulated Reconnaissance and Communications Expedition 1) Two 0.5U Cubesats from the University of South Florida equipped to test autonomous inter-satellite communications for use in future large constellations. A further payload will remain attached to the launch vehicle. SOARS (Space Object Automated Reporting System) Carries a radio beacon and transmitter to test passing of information to automated ground-based receivers. Website and live coverage of launch: https://www.darpalaunchchallenge.org


SS Alan Bean (Cygnus NG-12) Re-entry
Indian Ocean
2020 Mar 2, 07:00 UTC
(Approximate time)
Follows retro-fire. Precise timeline & details awaited.


Xingyun-2 01 and Xingyun-2 02 Launch
KZ-1A, Jiuquan SC, China
No earlier than
2020 Mar 4
Pair of internet comsats for polar orbit.


GISat (GEO Imaging Satellite) 1
GSLV Mk II F10, Satish Dhawan SC, india
2020 Mar 5, 12:13 UTC
Indian imaging satellite for geosynchronous orbit for monitoring ground events, particularly in connection with natural disasters. ISRO launch. announcement: https://www.isro.gov.in/launcher/gslv-f10-gisat-1


China launch
CZ 11, Xichang SC, China
No earlier than
2020 Mar 6
Payload details awaited.


Falcon Eye 2 Launch
Soyuz-ST A + Fregat-M (VS-24), CSG, French Guiana
2020 Mar 6, 01:53 UTC
United Arab Emirates' high resolution Earth observation satellite. Launch transferred to Soyuz at the customer's request following the loss of Falcon Eye 1 in the Vega launch failure 2019 Jul 11. Orbit will be sun-synchronous with LTDN 10:00. Precise launch time aimed for 01:53:03 UTC. Launch will carry additional payloads. Sun-synchronous with LTDN 10:30. Satellites in sun-synchronous orbit: https://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Launches/GeoSS/ss-Age.php


SpaceX Dragon CRS-20 Launch
Falcon 9, Kennedy SC
2020 Mar 7, 04:50 UTC
Supplies to ISS, plus cargo return. NASA TV coverage (from 04:30 UTC): https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


Beidou-3 G-3 Launch
CZ 3B, Xichang SC, China
No earlier than
2020 Mar 8
Phase 2 operational satellite in China's navigation satellite system aimed at geosynchronous orbit.


TJS 6 Launch
CZ 7A, Wenchang SC, China
No earlier than
2020 Mar 9
Government/military satellite - probably either a SIGINT (signals intelligence) or a missile early warning mission - aimed at geosynchronous orbit. Chinese satellites in GEO: http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Launches/GeoSS/geo-PRC.php


SpaceX Dragon CRS-20 Arrival
ISS, on orbit
2020 Mar 9, 11:00 UTC
(Approximate time)
Capture using RMS under control of ISS crew. Will be docked under ground control about 2 hr later. NASA TV coverage (from 09:30 UTC): https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


Starlink v1.0 Launch 5
Falcon 9 Block 5, CCAFS
No earlier than
2020 Mar 11
Cluster of 60 broadband communications satellites for SpaceX. Aimed at 450 km orbit, 53° inclination. https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/starlink The upper stage of the Falcon 9 will be caused to re-enter after about 1.5 circuits of the Earth and about two hours after lift-off. Any surviving fragments from its destructive re-entry will impact the southern Indian Ocean.


Yaogan-30 Launch
CZ 2C, Xichang SC, China
No earlier than
2020 Mar 15
Three satellites - numbers 16, 17 & 18. Described as being for "electromagnetic environment detection and related technological tests”. That may indicate they are electronic intelligence gathering satellites. The three satellites will be manoeuvred to positions at 120º intervals around the orbit.


LauncherOne Test Flight
Boeing 747 + LauncherOne, Mojave Air and Space Port, USA
No earlier than
2020 Mar 15
First orbital launch of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket. Will be released from Virgin's Boeing 747 'Cosmic Girl' above the Pacific Ocean off the Los Angeles region of California. Date is fluid. Payload is currently unknown. Date will probably slip.


GLONASS-M Launch
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat-M, Plesetsk SC
Approximate date
2020 Mar 16
Navigation satellite fill a gap in the constellation as a replacement for a failed satellite. Will receive number in the Cosmos series once in orbit. Third stage of the Soyuz launch vehicle will be caused to re-enter above the southern Pacific Ocean, in an area south of Australasia, about 55 min after lift-off.


RISat 2BR2 and other passengers Launch
PSLV C-48 (QL version), Satish Dhawan SC, Sriharikota, India
No earlier than
2020 Mar 19
Multiple satellite launch to 555 km orbit at 37° inclination. RISat (Radar imaging Satellite) 2B Principal satellite on the launch. Indian remote sensing satellite equipped with an imaging radar.


AEHF 6 Launch
Atlas V 551, CCAFS, USA
2020 Mar 19, 20:22 UTC
Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite. Time is the opening of a two hour launch window. Notes https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/advanced-extremely-high-frequency-aehf/ Satellites in geosynchronous orbit: https://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Launches/GeoSS/geo-age.php


OneWeb Launch 3
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat, Baikonur SC, Russia
No earlier than
2020 Mar 21, 20:07 UTC
Cluster of 30-35 satellites for the OneWeb constellation of broadband distribution satellites. The precise quantity will be advised nearer the date. https://oneweb.world/technology Aimed at 1200km orbit at 88° inclination.


SSMS Launch
Vega (VV-16), CSG, French Guiana
2020 Mar 24, 01:51 UTC
(Approximate time)
Demonstration flight of the Arianespace Small Spacecraft Mission Service using a new ESA-produced multi-satellite dispenser to orbit 42 small satellites. Aimed at sun-synchronous orbit with LTDN 10:30. Potential payload list released by ESA - contains more than 42 satellites but some may be released as conjoined groups of two or more with later separation from each other. All are subject to confirmation: UPMSat-2 ESail NEMO-HD FSSCat Phi-Sat SIMBA PICASSO TRISAT TTU100 RTAFSaT-1 (Royal Thai Air Force) DIDO-3 GHGSat-C1 Planet Labs Flock 4V (26 satellites) Lemur-2 (multiple satellites?) Four unidentified payloads


SAOCOM 1B (SAtélite Argentino de Observación COn Microondas) Launch
Falcon 9, CCAFS, USA
No earlier than
2020 Mar 30
Argentinean radar-imaging earth observation satellite. 2019 Nov - SpaceX changed launch site from Vandenberg to Cape Canaveral. Background: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/space/workshops/2019-SatSymp/Presentations/206%20%20Passive%20Bands%20-%20SAOCOM%20-CONAE%20--Invap%20Argentina.pdf


Military/Government Payload
Minotaur 4 (NROL-129), Wallops FC, USA
2020 Mar 31
Payload details awaited.


RISat 1A Launch
PSLV C-49, Satish Dharwan SC, Sriharikota, India
No earlier than
2020 Apr 1
Tentative date. Multi satellite launch aimed at 555 km orbit at 37° inclination. Manifest to be confirmed. RISat 1B Principal satellite on the launch. Indian satellite equipped with an Earth imaging radar as a follow-on to RISat 1 (38248/2012-017A). Kleos Three satellites in Kleos Space "Kleos Scouting Mission", a technology demonstrator for the company's proposed maritime surveillance service. Originally due to be carried by Rocket Labs Electron but moved because of scheduling problems. Lemur Four 3U Cubesats for earth observation and weather monitoring.


STP-27RM Launch
Electron, Wallops Island, USA
2020 Apr 1
Air Force Research Laboratory satellite.


Bars-М 3 Launch
Soyuz-2 1A, Plesetsk SC
No earlier than
2020 Apr 2
Military imaging and cartography satellite. Will receive a number in the Cosmos series once it reaches orbit.


SpaceX Dragon CRS-20 departure
ISS, on orbit
2020 Apr 2, 15:24 UTC
Release from ISS remote manipulator, by ISS crew. Will have been undocked from ISS under ground control several hours earlier. NASA TV coverage from 15:00 UTC: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


Express 80 & Express 103 Launch
Proton-M + Briz-M, Baikonur
No earlier than
2020 Apr 3
Pair of Russian satellites for GEO. Express 80 - Domestic comsat owned by RSCC (the Russian Satellite Communications Company), aimed at 80° east longitude. Express 103 - Domestic comsat owned by RSCC (the Russian Satellite Communications Company), aimed at 96°.5 east longitude.


Soyuz MS-16 Launch
Soyuz-2 1A, Baikonur SC
2020 Apr 9, 08:04 UTC
Carrying Anatoly Ivanishin & Ivan Wagner (Roscosmos) and Chris Cassidy (NASA) to ISS. The third seat was originally allocated to Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA) but NASA planning during 2019 pushed him off the flight. 2020 Feb 19, it was announced that Roscosmos prime crew cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov & Andrei Babkin were being replaced by their backups. First piloted Soyuz to use Soyuz-2 1A launch vehicle. NASA TV coverage: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


Soyuz MS-16 Docking
ISS on orbit
2020 Apr 9, 14:20 UTC


CSO 2 (Composante Spatiale Optique) Launch
Soyuz-ST-B + Fregat (VS-25), CSG, French Guiana
2020 Apr 10
French government/military high resolution optical imaging satellite for photo-reconnaissance. Aimed at near-500 0 km, sun-synchronous orbit.


Cosmonautics Day - Anniversary
2020 Apr 12
Anniversary of the first Human spaceflight - Yuri Gagarin in Vostok. Established 1962 April 9 by Decree of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. TASS: http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Vostok/VostokTASS.php Vostok Chronology: http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Vostok/Vostok.php


Galaxy 30 and MEV-2 Launch
Ariane 5ECA, CSLG, French Guiana
No earlier than
2020 Apr 15
Comsat for Intelsat to be located at 125° west. https://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabilities/CommunicationsSatellites/Documents/Galaxy30.pdf Second Northrop Grumman Mission Extension vehicle. Detailed mission awaited. https://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabilities/SpaceLogistics/Documents/MEV_Factsheet.pdf Satellites in geosynchronous orbit: https://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Launches/GeoSS/geo-age.php


Piloted spacecraft test launch
CZ 5B, Wenchang SC, China
No earlier than
2020 Apr 15
Test mission of new generation piloted spacecraft. No cew will be carried. First mission for CZ 5B launch vehicle.


Soyuz MS-15 Return to Earth
ISS ==> Kazakhstan
2020 Apr 16, 13:54 UTC
Undocking - Carrying Oleg Skripotchka, Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan. Retro-fire at 16:23 UTC will lead to landing near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan at 17:18 UTC. NASA TV coverage: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


Progress MS-14 Launch
Soyuz-2 1A, Baikonur SC
No earlier than
2020 Apr 25


Angara Test Launch
Angara-A5 + URM-1 upper stage, Plesetsk
No earlier than
2020 May 1
Second test mission of new heavy lift rocket. Payload details awaited. Date is very uncertain.


GLONASS-K Launch
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat, Plesetsk SC
No earlier than
2020 May 1
Navigation satellite fill a gap in the constellation as a replacement for a failed satellite. Will receive number in the Cosmos series once in orbit.


OTV-6 Launch
Atlas V 501 (AFSPC-7), Cape Canaveral AFS, USA
No earlier than
2020 May 1
Sixth mission for X-37B space plane, probably using flight vehicle #1. Payload is classified.


Kounotori 9 (HTV 9) Launch
H-IIB, Tanegashima SC
No earlier than
2020 May 1
Supplies to ISS.


Aditya L1
PSLV-XL, Satish Dhawan SC, India
No earlier than
2020 May 1
Indian solar studies mission. To be placed in halo orbit around the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrange Point.


Virgin LauncherOne
Boeing 747 + LauncherOne, Mojave Air and Space Port, USA
No earlier than
2020 May 1, 09:00 UTC
Will be released from Virgin's Boeing 747 'Cosmic Girl' above the Pacific Ocean off the Los Angeles region of California. Carrying NASA's ELaNa 20 batch of ten Cubesats: PolarCube - University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado MiTEE - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan CACTUS-1 - Capitol Technology University, Laurel, Maryland Q-PACE - University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida TechEdSat-7 - NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California RadFXSat-2 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee EXOCUBE California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California CAPE-3 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana PICS - Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah INCA - New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico


Crew Dragon mission 2
Falcon 9, Kennedy SC
Approximate date
2020 May 7
First SpaceX mission to carry a crew. Planned to carry NASA passengers to ISS. To be flown by SpaceX astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Duration not yet set. Actual date will move earlier or later - dependent on external. factors such as ISS planning.


Beidou-3 G-4 Launch
CZ 3B, Xichang SC, China
No earlier than
2020 May 7, 18:00 UTC
Phase 2 operational satellite in China's navigation satellite system aimed at geosynchronous orbit.



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