Next week we will have two confirmed launches, one from the Chinese space agency and the other from the private company Rocket Lab. Both missions involve launching satellites into orbit. We’ll detail the payloads below, and then we’ll move on to a recap of all the events that took place over the past week.
Sunday January 27
Both launches this week are on Sunday, the first launch at 4am UTC is China’s Long March CZ-8 carrying 22 satellites into orbit, including a few for the Jilin 1 constellation we’ve already mentioned. There will also be four Hainan 1 CubeSats ahead that will observe the South China Sea and “enhance national sovereignty” – for those unaware, areas of the South China Sea are hotly contested by China and others. nations in the region such as Vietnam and the Philippines.
The second launch will be from Rocket Lab and it will take place at 20:35 UTC from New Zealand. One of the company’s Electron rockets will carry the second prototype StriX radar satellite dubbed StriX-β for a company called Synspective. The satellite will collect data on metropolitan areas in Asia that can be used for urban development and disaster response. Rocket Lab likes to give its missions special names, this mission will be called “The Owl’s Night Continues”. The launch will be available on the company’s live stream page, but if you still miss it, head over to that page as a recording will be available.
The first launch of the week was the Indian mission PSLV-C52 which carried several satellites including EOS-4.
Next comes the launch of a Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress MS-19 resupply mission to the ISS.
You can see the mooring below.
On Saturday, Northrop Grumman launched an Antares 230+ rocket carrying the CRS-17 Cygnus spacecraft which was also heading to the ISS for a resupply mission.