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Launches and Orbital Operations


Tyneside, UK
2020 Jan 22
Wednesday, Day 22

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Go For Launch!

This page looks forward three months at launches plus on-orbit, re-entry and landing events of satellites and spacecraft.

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 and information released by satellite owners, operators and manufacturers, space agencies and launch service providers.

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.


ISS - Orbit Adjustment, part 1
ISS, on orbit
2020 Jan 23, 14:34 UTC
At 14>34:41 UTC, thrusters of Progress MS-13 will fire for 564 seconds to provide Δv 0.55 m/s and raise the orbit height by about 0.8 km.


ISS - Orbit Adjustment, part 2
ISS, on orbit
2020 Jan 23, 17:41 UTC
At 17:40:20 UTC, thrusters of Progress MS-13 will fire for 282 seconds to provide Δv 0.28 m/s and raise the orbit height by about 0.4km.


Meridian-M launch
Soyuz-2 1A + Fregat-M, Plesetsk SC, Russia
2020 Jan 24, 10:50 UTC
(Approximate time)
Launch time is +/-30 minutes and is an estimate based on relationship between orbit planes of satellites currently in space. Second Generation Military/government communications satellite - combines the military and civilian tasks of the former Molniya-1 and Molniya-3 satellites, together with the clandestine communications function of the former LEO Parus satellites. Upper stage of the Soyuz launch vehicle is expected to re-enter above the southern Indian Ocean about 50 min after launch. The Fregat stage will take the satellite to HEO. Reserve date Jan 25.


Starlink v1.0 Launch 3
Falcon 9 Block 5, CCAFS
2020 Jan 24, 15:54 UTC
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. Delayed from Jan 20 by weather in the launch area.


ISS EVA
Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2020 Jan 25, 12:10 UTC
One in a set spacewalks to repair the ISS Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment mounted on the outside of the station. The job is particularly complex because the instrument was not designed to be repaired. Participants - Luca Parmitano (ESA) and Andrew Morgan (NASA). Background notes: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/ams-spacewalks-attempt-to-revive-scientific-experiment NASA TV coverage from 10:30 UTC: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv ESA TV coverage from 11:50 UTC: http://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/ESA_Web_TV


IGS Optical 7 Launch
HIIA 202 (F-41), Tanegashima SC, Japan
2020 Jan 27, 01:21 UTC
(Approximate time)
Optical imaging reconnaissance satellite. Window announced as 01:00 - 03:00. Launch time estimate is consistent with previous IGS launches and will result in sun-synchronous orbit with LTDN at 10:15. Reserve dates run to Feb 29. Orbital elements will not be made available via Space-Track.


US Government Satellite Launch
Electron (NROL-151), Rocket Lab LC-1, Wairoa, New Zealand
2020 Jan 31, 00:00 UTC
Small intelligence gathering satellitefor the US National Reconnaissance Office. Precise mission not known. Launch vehicle procured under a Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract. Will given a number in the 'USA' series once in orbit. Launch window is open until 04:00 UTC, and the potential launch period runs until Feb. 13.


SS Alan Bean (Cygnus NG-12) Departure
ISS, on orbit
2020 Jan 31, 14:35 UTC
Release from ISS RMS under control of ground-based engineers, followed by release into independent orbit where it will remain for, possibly, a number of weeks before it executes a destructive re-entry. Undocking under ground control is set for several hours earlier. Cygnus carries a number of Cubesats that will be released during while in free flight. Nasa TV coverage of release from 14:15 UTC: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv.


Starlink v1.0 Launch 4
Falcon 9 Block 5, CCAFS
No earlier than
2020 Feb 1
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.


RISat 2BR2 and other passengers Launch
PSLV C-48 (QL version), Satish Dhawan SC, Sriharikota, India
No earlier than
2020 Feb 1
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.


LauncherOne Test Flight
Boeing 747 + LauncherOne, Mojave Air and Space Port, USA
No earlier than
2020 Feb 1
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.


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


Zafar Launch
Simorgh?, Imam Khomeini SC, Semnan, Iran
2020 Feb 1
Imaging remote sensing satellite for monitoring natural resources, and agricultural and environmental developments. Date is very approximate.


RISat 1A Launch
PSLV C-49, Satish Dharwan SC, Sriharikota, India
No earlier than
2020 Feb 3
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.


GLONASS-M Launch
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat-M, Plesetsk SC
No earlier than
2020 Feb 5
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. Alternate date is Feb 12. 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.


Solar Orbiter Launch
Atlas V 441, CCAFS, USA
2020 Feb 6, 04:27 UTC
Joint ESA/NASA Solar probe to be placed into an elliptical heliocentric orbit with perihelion 42 million km and 168 days orbital period. The orbit will be resonant with that of Venus. Arrival will be early 2021 after using gravity assist from Venus. It will then use the gravity of Venus to raise the inclination to 25° relative to the ecliptic plane. The orbit has been chosen to allow about four weeks "dwell" time above a fixed location on the Sun each time the vehicle passes through perihelion. Time is the opening of a two hour window. Mission notes https://sci.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter/home


Soyuz MS-13 Undocking
ISS
2020 Feb 6, 05:49 UTC
Carrying Aleksandr Skortsov, Luca Parmitano and Christina Koch. NASA TV coverage from 05:15: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


Soyuz MS-13 Landing
ISS
2020 Feb 6, 09:14 UTC
Carrying Aleksandr Skortsov, Luca Parmitano and Christina Koch. Touchdown near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan follows retro-fire at 08:19 UTC. NASA TV coverage 08:00 UTC: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


OneWeb Launch
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat-M, Baikonur SC, Russia
2020 Feb 7
Cluster of 34 satellites for the OneWeb constellation of broadband distribution satellites. https://oneweb.world/technology Aimed at 1200km orbit, 88° inclination.


SS Robert H Lawrence (Cygnus NG-13) Launch
Antares, Wallops Island, USA
2020 Feb 9, 22:39 UTC
Supplies to ISS.


Starlink v1.0 Launch 5
Falcon 9 Block 5, CCAFS
No earlier than
2020 Feb 14
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.


GISat (GEO Imaging Satellite) 1
GSLV Mk2, Satish Dhawan SC, india
No earlier than
2020 Feb 17
Indian imaging satellite for geosynchronous orbit for monitoring ground events, particularly in connection with natural disasters.


JCSAT 17 & GEO-Kompsat 2B Launch
Ariane 5ECA (VA-252), CSG, French Guiana
2020 Feb 18, 22:14 UTC
Two comsats for geosynchronous transfer orbit. JCSat17 Comsat serving east Asia, owned jointly by Sky Perfect of Japan. Expected location 110° east. https://www.jsat.net/en/contour/satellite-fleet.html GEO-Kompsat 2B South Korean meteorological satellite for ocean and environmental monitoring around the Korean peninsula. Expected location 128°.2 east. https://www.kari.re.kr/eng/sub03_02_02.do


SpaceX Dragon CRS-20
Falcon 9, Kennedy SC
Approximate date
2020 Mar 1
Supplies to ISS, plus cargo return.


Angara Test Launch
Angara-A5 + URM-1 upper stage, Plesetsk
No earlier than
2020 Mar 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 Mar 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.


AEHF 6 Launch
Atlas V 551, CCAFS, USA
No earlier than
2020 Mar 1
Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite. 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


SAOCOM 1B (SAtélite Argentino de Observación COn Microondas) Launch
Falcon 9, CCAFS, USA
No earlier than
2020 Mar 1
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 1
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


OneWeb Launch
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat, Baikonur SC, Russia
No earlier than
2020 Mar 15
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.


Express 80 & Express 103 Launch
Proton-M + Briz-M, Baikonur
No earlier than
2020 Mar 23
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 103° east longitude.


Kepler Launch
Soyuz-2, Plesetsk, Russia
No earlier than
2020 Apr 1
Pair of LEO comsats for Kepler Communications/Innovative Space Logistics. As of 2010 October, date given as 2nd or third quarter 2020.


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


Galaxy 30 and MEV-2 Launch
Ariane 5ECA, CSLG, French Guiana
No earlier than
2020 Apr 1
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


Crew Dragon mission 2
Falcon 9, Kennedy SC
No earlier than
2020 Apr 1
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. Actual date will be driven by the result of a Crew Dragon abort test early 2020.


Soyuz MS-15 Return to Earth
ISS ==> Kazakhstan
Approximate date
2020 Apr 1
Carrying Oleg Skripotchka, Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan. NASA TV coverage: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv


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


Soyuz MS-16 Launch
Soyuz-2 1A, Baikonur SC
Approximate date
2020 Apr 9
Carrying Nikolai Tikhonov & Andrei Babkin (Roscosmos) and Chris Cassidy (NASA) to ISS. Third seat was originally allocated to Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA) but NASA planning pushed him off the flight. 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


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



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