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Launches and Orbital Operations

Tyneside, UK
2019 Oct 22
Tuesday, Day 295

Maintained by:


Cleared The Tower!

This page looks back one month at launches, plus on-orbit and re-entry or landing events of satellites and spacecraft.

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.

Kounotori 8 (HTV 8) Launch
H-IIB, Tanegashima SC
2019 Sep 24, 16:05 UTC
Supplies to ISS. Precise launch time 16:05:05 UTC. Postponed from Sep 10 when a fire broke out on the launch pad about 3.5 hrs before planned lift off. Orbit notes:

Soyuz MS-15 Launch
Soyuz-FG, Baikonur SC
2019 Sep 25, 13:57 UTC
Carrying Oleg Skripochka (Roscosmos), Jessica Meir (NASA), Hazza Al Mansouri (UAE spaceflight participant). Precise launch time 13:57:43 UTC. Orbit notes:

Soyuz MS-15 Docking
Rear port, Zvezda, ISS
2019 Sep 25, 19:42 UTC
Successful, crew transferred to ISS about 3 hr later.

Cosmos 2541 (EKS 3) Launch
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat-M, Plesetsk SC
2019 Sep 26, 07:46 UTC
Missile Early Warning satellite. Orbit notes:

Konoutori 8 Arrival
2019 Sep 28, 11:12 UTC
Capture with RMS at 11:13 UTC and docked with downward facing port of the ISS Harmony node at 15:08 UTC.

Soyuz MS-12 Return to Earth
ISS ---> Kazakhstan
2019 Oct 3, 07:36 UTC
Carrying Alexey Ovchinin (Roscosmos), Nick Hague (NASA) and Hazzaa Al Mansouri (UAE spaceflight participant). Undocked from Rassvet module of ISS at 07:37:33 UTC. Retrofire for 282 seconds was at 10:06:19 UTC giving Δv of 128 m/s. Landing was about 147 km south east of Dzhezkazgan at 10:59:45 UTC. Landing point was near 47°.20 north, 69°.36 east. Ovchinin and Hague are returned in the vehicle that launched them 2019 Mar 14. Al Mansouri launched 2019 Sep 25 aboard Soyuz MS-15.

Gaofen 10 Launch
CZ 4C, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Oct 4, 18:51 UTC
Remote sensing satellite to be used for land use surveys, urban planning, road network design, crop estimation and disaster prevention/mitigation. Orbit notes: An unspecified issue on Oct 2 caused launch postponement from Oct 3.

Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2019 Oct 6, 11:39 UTC
First in set of five planned, related spacewalks. EVA tasks involve replacing batteries on the far end of the station’s port truss. Twelve existing nickel-hydrogen batteries will be upgraded by using six more powerful lithium-ion batteries transported to the station aboard Kounotori 8. EVA continues overall upgrade of the ISS power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks during 2017 Jan. Participants - Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan, expected duration around 6.5 hrs. EVA began eleven minutes ahead of schedule. All tasks were completed before the 4 hr 30 min point so time was spent on 'get ahead' tasks prior to the next planned EVA. EVA ended at 18:40 UTC after 6hr 1 min. EVA background:

Eutelsat 5 West B & MEV-1
Proton-M + Briz-M, Baikonur
2019 Oct 9, 10:17 UTC
Precise launch time - 10:17:56 UTC, Eutelsat separation - Oct 10 at 01:53 UTC, MEV-1 separation Oct 10 at 02:11 UTC. Eutelsat 5 West A Comsat to join Eutelsat 5 West A at 5° west longitude and eventually take over its functions. Coverage is aimed at France, Italy and Algeria. Satellite includes EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) to improve the precision of ESA's Galileo navigation system for users needing very precise position information. MEV--1 Northrop Grumman Mission Extension Vehicle 1 - planned to rendezvous and attach itself to the Intelsat 901 comsat at 29° west and take over its pointing and station-keeping functions in order to extend its on-orbit life by five years. May then move to another satellite. Postponed from Sep 30 because, on Sep 24, prelaunch checks detected an incorrect electrical or electronic connection between the Briz-M stage and the separation system for the MEV-1 satellite. Orbit notes:

Alexei Leonov Died - 2019
2019 Oct 11
Undertook world's first EVA in 1965, commanded ASTP Soyuz 19 in 1965, participant in Soviet Union's preparations for a piloted lunar mission. Died today aged 85.

ICON Launch
Lockheed L-1011 + Pegasus XL, CCAFS, USA
2019 Oct 11, 01:59 UTC
NASA satellite - Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) to study the influences of terrestrial weather and space weather on the ionosphere. The L-1011 took off from Cape Canaveral AIr Force Station at 00:31 UTC and climbed to about 12,500 metres. The Pegaus rocket was released thirty four minutes into a ninety minute launch window that opened at 01:25 UTC. The originally planned release at 01:30 UTC was abandoned because of communications dificulties between the aircraft and the ground. Delayed one day from Oct 10 due to weather. Orbit notes:

Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2019 Oct 11, 11:38 UTC
Second in set of five planned, related spacewalks. Started 12 mins ahead of schedule. EVA tasks involved replacing batteries on the far end of the station’s port truss. The existing nickel-hydrogen batteries will be upgraded to more powerful lithium-ion batteries transported to the station aboard Kounotori 8 that arrived Sep 28. EVA continues overall upgrade of the ISS power system that began with similar battery replacement during spacewalks during 2017 Jan and 2019 Oct. All work was completed along with some 'get ahead' tasks for the next EVA. Participants - Andrew Morgan and Christina Koch. EVA completed at 18:23 UTC after 6 hr 45 min. EVA background:

Palisade Demonstrator Launch
Electron, Rocket Lab LC-1, Wairoa, New Zealand
2019 Oct 17, 01:22 UTC
Imaging satellite owned by Aquila Systems, built to test systems for its upcoming Palisade satellites. Based on shape of non-standard 16U (4x4) Cubesat as used for Aquila's Corvus satellites. Released from Electron kick stage at 02:33 UTC. Launch delayed from Oct 14 due to thunderstorms in the launch area. Launch was within a time window that closed at 03:00 UTC. Launch Press Kit: Orbit notes:

TJS 4 Launch
CZ 3B, Xichang SC, China
2019 Oct 17, 15:21 UTC
Possibly military signals intelligence gathering (SIGINT). Orbit notes:

Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2019 Oct 18, 11:38 UTC
EVA to replace a power controller that was found to have failed after a recent battery replacement EVA. The Battery Charge-Discharge Unit (BCDU) in question had been in continuous operation since 2000 Dec. It will be returned to Earth for inspection aboard the next Dragon resupply vehicle. also performed some extra tasks relating to future ISS missions. Participants - Christina Koch and Jessica Meir. Completed 18:55 UTC, Duration 7hr 17 min.

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