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China is sending yet another BeiDou navigation satellite into a geosynchronous orbit on their Long March 3B rocket. This will continue to build the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). Similar to the American Global Positioning System (GPS), BDS is a Chinese satellite constellation that provides users with positioning data.

Falcon 9 Block 5 | CRS-20

SpaceX will be launching its original Dragon capsule to resupply the ISS for a final time. The spacecraft will fly on top of the company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral space Force Station, Florida.

Prelaunch Preview: Soyuz STA/Fregat | Falcon Eye 2

Arianespace will be launching the Falcon Eye 2 satellite onboard a Soyuz STA/Fregat rocket from their launch site in French Guiana, South America. It is assumed it will launch in April 2020.

Astra Rocket 3.0 | One of Three

“One of Three” is Astra’s first orbital test launch of their “Rocket 3.0” launch vehicle. It will launch in early March 2020 from their launch pad at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska. On board will be five payloads, which will be delivered to a sun synchronous orbit of 450km (280 miles). UPDATE: Mission scrubbed on March 2, 2020. Rocket 3.0’s maiden flight will be a new commercial mission to be announced mid-March 2020.

Long March 2D | XJS-C, XJS-D, XJS-E, XJS-F

China is sending a mystery payload somewhere to space on February 19/20 (depending on your time zone) on one of their Long March 2 rockets.

Ariane 5 ECA | JCSAT-17 & GEO-KOMPSAT-2B

Arianespace SA is a launch provider company, which is majority-owned by its parent company “ArianeGroup”, a combined undertaking between Airbus and the French group Safran. For this mission, in particular, Arianespace is getting paid by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation to put both of their satellites into an orbit only 35,786 km (22,236 miles).

Prelaunch Preview | Long March 3B/E | Fengyun-4B

Fengyun-4B is the second geostationary meteorological satellite of the Fengyun-4 satellite family with it’s predecessor FY-4A launched on December 11th 2016. FY-4B will be launched by a Long March 3B/E rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, China.

Falcon 9 Block 5 | Starlink 5

SpaceX will be launching 60 satellites on top of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. This will be the fourth operational launch of SpaceX’s near-global satellite constellation – Starlink, which aims to deliver a fast, low-latency broadband internet service.

Falcon 9 Block 5 | Starlink 4

SpaceX will be launching 60 satellites on top of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. This will be the fourth operational launch of SpaceX’s near-global satellite constellation – Starlink, which aims to deliver a fast, low-latency broadband internet service.

Prelaunch Preview | PSLV | Amazonia-1

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) NET May 31, 2020 – TBD Mission Name and what it is Amazonia-1, Earth observation satellite Launch Provider (What rocket company is launching it?) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Customer (Who’s paying for this?) […]

Long March 3B/E | APStar-6D

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) February 28, 2020 – TBD Mission Name and what it is APStar-6D, Chinese television, and cellular satellite Launch Provider (What rocket company is launching it?) China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation Customer (Who’s paying […]

Soyuz 2.1b/Fregat-M | OneWeb 2

Introduced in 1966, Soyuz has been the workhorse of the Soviet/Russian space program. The first launch of the Soyuz 2-1a version on November 8, 2004 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome represented a major step in the Soyuz launch vehicle’s development program. Fregat is the upper (4th) stage of Soyuz 2.1, and it first flew in the year 2000.

Soyuz 2.1a/Fregat-M | Meridian-M No.19L

Russia’s Federal Space Agency is launching a Meridian military observation satellite into a highly elliptical “Molniya” orbit in order to keep an eye on things back down here on Earth. Because it’s a military satellite, not a lot is known about this space vehicle. But where it’s going to in space is really interesting – so let’s look into this.

H-IIA 202 | IGS Optical 7

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is launching the third in a sequence of three Intelligence Gathering Satellites (IGS), called Optical 7, on an H-IIA 202 rocket provided by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

Antares 230+ | Cygnus CRS NG-13 (S.S. Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.)

Cygnus is returning to the International Space Station! Very soon, the Antares 230+ rocket will leap of the pad on Wallops Island located in Virginia in the United States. One of the only rockets to launch from there, it will soon be joined by Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket!

Atlas V 411 | Solar Orbiter

We are going back to our star!! Solar Orbiter is a spacecraft build by the European Space Agency to study the inner heliosphere and its overall effects on solar radiation. How’s it gonna get there? The launch provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has this job. Their mighty Atlas V rocket will soar into the Floridian skies propelling Solar Orbiter to on its 3.5 year journey to the Sun.

Falcon 9 Block 5 | ANASIS-II

SpaceX will be launching South Korea’s first dedicated military communications satellite on top of their workhorse rocket, the Falcon 9. The satellite was paid for by Lockheed Martin as part of an agreement when the South Korean government, who bought several fighter jets from the United States. This satellite (formerly known as KMilSatCom 1) will serve as a communications satellite for the South Korean military.

Electron | NROL-151 (Birds of a Feather)

After launching 6 times in 2019, Rocket Lab opens 2020 with their first launch for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)! This is potential for a future of launches for the NRO. Yet again launching from the beautiful, one-of-a-kind, Mahia Peninsula, Electron will soar high into the sky.

Falcon 9 Block 5 | Starlink 3

SpaceX will be launching 60 of their Starlink satellites on top of their work-horse rocket: the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), in Florida.

Falcon 9 Block 5 | Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort Test

SpaceX will conduct an uncrewed In-flight Abort (IFA)Test. This will validate Crew Dragon’s ability to pull crew away to safety in the event of a failure during launch. The capsule will fire its integrated SuperDraco abort motors at the point of maximum dynamic pressure (max q), on ascent, and pull itself safely clear of the Falcon 9.

Prelaunch Preview – GSLV-F10 | GISAT-1

The Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) built and operated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will be launching the GISAT-1, a geostationary Earth observing satellite. It will operate in geostationary orbit above the Southern India region after being launched from Sriharikota, India.

Astro Awards 2019

Hello and good evening ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the 2019 Astro Awards! We will take this time to reflect on the exciting things that have happened throughout the year in spaceflight and space discoveries.

LauncherOne | Test Flight

This is the first orbital flight for the brand new LauncherOne rocket which is air launched from a modified Boeing 747-400 dubbed “Cosmic Girl”. In mid-2019, Virgin Orbit did a drop test of the LauncherOne rocket, rehearsing all the events leading up to and actual launch. Now, it’s time to light this candle!

Soyuz STA/Fregat | CSG-1, CHEOPS, & others

ArianeSpace will be launching the CSG-1 satellite, plus CHEOPS space telescope for exoplanets and three other rideshare payloads, onboard a Soyuz / Fregat rocket from their equatorial launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, South America on December 18 (postponed from the 17th), 2019.

Why Starship won’t have an abort system… but should it.

SpaceX’s upcoming megarocket, Starship, is quickly coming to life before our eyes. Starship will be the biggest, most powerful rocket to ever fly. Capable of taking 100 people to the surface of Mars AND just as important, back. Not only […]

Atlas V N22 | CST-100 Starliner Orbital Flight Test (Uncrewed)

An Atlas V rocket presented by the launch provider ULA for The Boeing Company to launch their CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on its Orbital Test Flight (OFT) mission. This will be a test of the spacecraft and its systems before it launches humans.

Prelaunch Preview – Soyuz 2.1a | Progress MS-13 (74P)

ROSCOSMOS will be launching Progress MS-13 to the International Space Station. The capsule will be launched on a Soyuz 2.1A rocket from Launch Complex 31/6 in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Procress MS-13 will carry 700kg of propellent for the ISS, 1,350kg of dry cargo, food, and water for the Rodnik system. This mission will also bring a new treadmill for the astronauts and cosmonaut at the ISS.

Best Space Gifts 2019!

I put together a list of some of my favorite space things, AND to make it the super easiest thing for you, I’ve hyperlinked the photos in this article to take you straight to each thing.

Prelaunch Preview – Falcon 9 Block 5 | JCSAT-18/KACIFIC-1

SpaceX will be launching the JCSat 18 satellite to Geostationary Orbit (GEO) on top of SpaceX’s work-horse rocket, the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 will launch from Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) at Cape Canaveral AirForce Station, in Florida. The booster supporting this mission (B1056.3) flew on CRS-17 on May 4th, 2019, and again on CRS-18 on July 25th, 2019. The booster for this mission is going to be recovered on SpaceX’s droneship, Of Course I Still Love You. As of now, it is unclear whether SpaceX will attempt to recover the fairings with GO MS Chief and GO MS Tree.

Prelaunch Preview – SpaceX | CRS-19

SpaceX will be launching their cargo Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. The Dragon — which has flown twice — will be launched on a Falcon 9 (1056.3) from Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The booster supporting this mission flew previously on CRS-17 on May 3, 2019 and CRS-18 on July 25, 2019. After the booster releases the second stage and Dragon, it will perform a boost back burn, reentry burn, and landing burn. The booster will land on Landing Zone-1 (LZ-1).

How NASA will bake in space for the first time and why that’s a BIG deal!

On November 2nd, 2019, Northrop Grumman performed a spaceflight first, and launched an oven aboard their Cygnus Cargo Ship on a resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The spacecraft contained just over 3,700 kg of scientific experiments, […]

Prelaunch Preview – PSLV-XL | Cartosat-3 & others

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket on a mission for ISRO itself, plus two USA rideshare payloads, from the FLP at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh state, India. The three payloads for this mission are: Cartosat-3 – for ISRO itself, Meshbed – for Analytical Space Inc, USA, and SuperDoves × 12 (Flock 4p mission) – for Planet Labs, USA.

PRELAUNCH PREVIEW – SPACEX | STARLINK-2

Starlink is a satellite constellation operated and manufactured by SpaceX. This constellation aims to provide internet access to secluded areas around the world by forming an initial net of 12,000 satellites in three different orbits. About 1,600 will be in a 550km orbit, 2,800 Ku and Ka band satellites in a 1,150km orbit and about 7,500 V-band satellites will orbit the earth at an altitude of 340km. SpaceX may increase the number of their satellites by another 30,000 (cough 42-thousand cough) at some later point.

Ariane 5 ECA | TIBA-1 & Inmarsat-5 F5 (Global Xpress-5)

Arianespace SA is a launch provider company, a combined undertaking between Airbus and the French group Safran . For this mission, in particular, Arianespace is getting paid by Inmarsat to launch their fifth Global Express satellite (GX-5) into a geostationary orbit only 35,786 km above the Earth.

Electron | Running Out Of Fingers

Rocket Lab will be launching its Electron rocket on a mission for Alba Orbital and ALE Co., Ltd (ALE), from Launch Complex 1 (LC-1) on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The 14-day launch window for this mission is open beginning from November 25th at 01:00 NZDT. (November 24th 10:00 UTC)

Prelaunch Preview // SpaceX // Starlink-1

SpaceX will be launching their Starlink satellites on their flight-proven 1 st stage B1048.4. This particular 1 st stage has already flown thrice and will become the first booster to fly for the fourth time. It has flown the previous missions Nusantara Satu in February of 2019, Saocom 1A in October of 2018 and Iridium-7 in July of 2018. The rocket will lift off at Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida at 14:51:00 UTC and at 09:51:00 local time.

Are Aerospike Engines Better Than Traditional Rocket Engines?

Today we’re going to look at the history of aerospike engines, go over how nozzles work including things like overexpansion, underexpansion and even expansion ratios, we’ll look at the pros and cons of the aerospike, the physical limitations and problems, then we’ll compare the aerospike to some other traditional rocket engines.

But that’s not all, I obtained never seen before photos and videos of some aerospikes, we’ll get opinions from some people who have actually worked with aerospike engines, look at some promising prospects and compelling concepts and by the end of the video we’ll hopefully know whether or not the holy grail of rocket engines is just waiting to be utilized or if aerospikes just simply aren’t worth it.

Evidence of a volcanic moon beyond our solar system!

In a far far away exo-planetary system astronomers found evidence of VOLCANIC activity on one of the Moons orbiting a Super Earth! Astronomers at the Physics Insitute of the University of Bern and the NCCR PlanetS, found evidence of volcanic […]

Prelaunch Preview: Rocket Lab | Look Ma, No Hands

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) August 19, 2019 12:12 UTC (August 20, 2019 12:12 AM NZST) 1 hour and 40 minute launch window open daily from August 16 – 30, 2019 Mission Name and what it is Look […]

Prelaunch Preview: ULA | GPS III SV02

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) August 22, 2019 13:00 – 13:27 UTC (9:00 – 9:27 AM EDT) Mission Name and what it is GPS III SV02. The second launch of a third generation GPS satellite Launch Provider (What rocket […]

Can Rocket Lab really catch a rocket with a helicopter?!

Rocket Lab just announced they plan to try and recover their Electron rockets using a parachute and a helicopter… Yeah, seriously.

Prelaunch Preview – SpaceX | AMOS-17

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) August 6, 2019 23:23 – August 7, 2019 00:20 UTC (August 6, 2019 7:23 – 8:20 PM EDT) Mission Name and what it is AMOS-17. Communications Satellite Launch Provider (What rocket company is launching […]

DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie will be the first food baked fresh in space!

One topic I get asked about often regarding long duration trips in space is food. If astronauts are away from home for 6 months, like when they are on the International Space Station (ISS), or for around 2 years, like […]

Alaska is helping scientists measure the possibility of life on Titan

One of the most interesting subjects to me lately is astrobiology. This is ironic because I was so bad at bio in school, but lately scientists have been finding so many forms of evidence showing that life can exist beyond […]

Prelaunch Preview – SpaceX | CRS-18

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) July 25, 2019 22:01 UTC (6:01 PM EDT) Mission Name and what it is CRS-18. A cargo Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) Launch Provider (What rocket company is launching it?) […]

Prelaunch Preview – Electron | Make It Rain

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) Two hour launch window daily from 04:30 – 06:30 UTC (4:30 – 6:30 PM NZDT) from June 27th through July 10th, 2019 Mission Name and what it is Make It Rain. A rideshare […]

Prelaunch Preview – Atlas V 551 | AEHF-5

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) August 8, 2019 09:44 – 11:44 UTC (5:44 – 7:44 AM EDT) Mission Name and what it is AEHF-5. The fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite for the US Air Force Launch […]

Prelaunch Preview – Falcon Heavy | STP-2

Lift Off Time (Subject to change) June 25, 2019 03:30 – 07:30 UTC (June 24, 2019 11:30 PM – June 25, 2019 3:00 AM EDT) This is a 4 hour launch window Mission Name and what it is Space […]

Why do cylindrical rockets roll?

Here’s a fun question that not only have I myself asked, but I get asked fairly often, why do we hear a call out like “roger roll” or “roll program complete” at which point we can see the rocket rotate or roll on its X axis…

The best example of this was the Space Shuttle which had a very obvious and dramatic roll program. As soon as it cleared the tower, you can see it making a very impressive and sometimes scary looking roll.

The ISS is opening its doors to tourists!

YES-you heard that right. The International Space Station has announced that they will start allowing tourists to come onboard starting in 2020!! Hear that flat-earthers? This is your chance to answer your undying questions about the shape of our planet. […]

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