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Launches and Orbital Operations

Tyneside, UK
2019 Nov 22
Friday, Day 326

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.

X-37B Landing
Shuttle Facility, Kennedy SC, USA
2019 Oct 27, 07:51 UTC
Touchdown at end of 780 day mission. Launch, mission and orbit details:

Kounotori 8 (HTV 8) Undocking
2019 Nov 1, 13:45 UTC
Undocking from Harmony was by use of the ISS RMS under ground control. Kounotori carries trash from the ISS including batteries removed during space walks in 2017.

Kounotori 8 (HTV 8) Departure
2019 Nov 1, 17:21 UTC
Release from the ISS RMS was under the control of Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Jessica Meir of NASA. Kounotori carries trash from the ISS including batteries removed during space walks in 2017.

SS Alan Bean (Cygnus NG-12) Launch
Antares, Wallops Island
2019 Nov 2, 13:59 UTC
Supplies to ISS. First launch under Northrop Grumman's CRS-2 contract with NASA. Time is the opening of a window of approximately five minutes. Precise launch time aimed for - 13:59:47 UTC. Cargo summary from NASA: Delayed from Oct 21 to avoid schedule conflict with spacewalks and departure of Kounotori 8 from ISS. Launch, mission and orbit details:

Kounotori 8 (HTV 8) Re-entry
Upper atmosphere, western Pacific
2019 Nov 3, 01:41 UTC
Final retro-fire leading to destructive re-entry at about 02:09 UTC. Any surviving fragments impacted the southern Pacific Ocean some 4500 km east of New Zealand at around 02:30 UTC.

Gaofen 7 plus three small satellites
CZ-4B, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Nov 3, 03:22 UTC
Gaofen 7 High resolution stereoscopic Earth imaging satellite for mapping. The three smaller payloads are respectively from the Shanghai Aerospace Technology Research Institute, the Shenzhen Aerospace Oriental Red Sea Satellite Co and the Changsha Tianyi Space Science & Technology Research Institute. For more information follow the link to orbit details (below). launch, mission and orbit details: Chinese satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit:

SS Alan Bean (Cygnus NG-12) Arrival
ISS, on orbit
2019 Nov 4, 07:00 UTC
(Approximate time)
Arrival was followed by capture using ISS RMS at 09:10 UTC under control of Jessica Meir and Christina Koch of the ISS crew. Control of the RMS was handed to mission control shortly after.

SS Alan Bean (Cygnus NG-12) Docking
ISS, on orbit
2019 Nov 4, 11:21 UTC
Docked with downward-facing port of Unity module using ISS RMS under control of ground-based engineers.

Boeing CST-100 Starliner Abort Test
White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, USA
2019 Nov 4, 14:15 UTC
Test to demonstrate ability to carry astronauts away from the scene of a launch pad emergency or during the ascent to orbit. Time was fifteen minutes into a three hour period during which the test could have been conducted. From engine firing to landing was just under 80 seconds. Test appeared to be successful but only two of three parachutes were deployed meaning the vehicle landed 15-20 seconds earlier than anticipated. Starliner background:

Beidou-3 IGEO-3 Launch
CZ 3B, Xichang SC, China
2019 Nov 4, 17:43 UTC
Phase 2 operational satellite in China's navigation satellite system aimed at inclined geosynchronous orbit. Orbit and mission details: ‪‬

ISS - Orbit Adjustment
ISS, on orbit
2019 Nov 7, 22:40 UTC
Thrusters of Progress MS-12 fired for 406 seconds to provide Δv 0.46 m/s and raised the orbit height by about 0.7 km. The manoeuvre refined the ground track to ensure optimum alignment for the Progress MS-13 and Dragon CRS-19 launches early December, and the landing of Soyuz MS-13 2020 Feb.

Starlink Launch
Falcon 9 Block 5, CCAFS
2019 Nov 11, 14:56 UTC
Launch mission press kit: Launch time was at the centre of an approximately ten minute window. Cluster of 60 broadband communications satellites for SpaceX. Aimed at 450 km orbit, 53° inclination. The upper stage of the Falcon 9 was 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 impacted the southern Indian Ocean. Mission and detailed orbits:

Jilin-1 02A Launch
Kuaizhou 1A, Jiuquan SC, China
2019 Nov 13, 03:40 UTC
High resolution Earth observation satellite for sun-synchronous orbit. Possible replacement for Jilin-1 Optical A (40961/2015-057D). Postponed two days from Oct 27 because of upper atmosphere winds. Oct 29 attempt cancelled shortly before planned lift off because of an issue with the launch vehicle guidance system. Orbit notes: Chinese satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit:

Ningxia-1 Launch (five satellites)
CZ 6, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Nov 13, 06:35 UTC
Constellation of five commercial satellites, possibly for monitoring radio transmissions from ships and aircraft over ocean areas. Orbit notes:

Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2019 Nov 15, 11:39 UTC
First in a set of four spacewalks to repair the ISS Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment mounted on the outside of the station. EVA began about 25 min ahead of schedule. The job is particularly complex because the instrument was not designed to be repaired. Participants - Luca Parmitano (ESA) and Andrew Morgan (NASA). Completed at 18:18 UTC AFTER 6 hr 39 min. Background notes:

KL-Alpha A and KL-Alpha B Launch
Kuaizhou 1A, Jiuquan SC, China
2019 Nov 17, 10:00 UTC
Successful launch of a pair of proof-of-concept satellites for a multi-media communications system, built by the Institute of Microsatellite Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to be operated by German company. That company is almost certainly KLEO Connect that has the contract to provide demonstrator satellites for the proposed "eightyLEO" constellation. Choice of launch date may have been influenced by the wait for an outcome of the investigation into Jilin-1 launch postponement of Oct 29 that used a similar launch vehicle. Orbit notes

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