SpaceX to launch private Axiom 3 mission to ISS – TWIRL #147

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The TWIRL logo in front of Crew Dragon spacecraft

We have plenty of SpaceX launches coming up this week. Two are Starlink missions but one will be a Crew Dragon mission to the space station. It will be carrying the Axiom 3 crew to the ISS who will spend a week there. Axiom Space is a private space company just like SpaceX.

Sunday, 14 January

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 12:52 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Cape Canaveral, Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will be launching 23 Starlink satellites into a low Earth orbit. This batch of satellites is known as Starlin Group 6-37, an identifier you can use to find these satellites on tracking apps and websites.


  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 8:59 – 9:27 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Vandenberg AFB, California, US
  • Why: This launch will put 22 Starlink satellites into a low Earth orbit. Unlike the other launch, this one will also be carrying direct-to-cell Starlink satellites which connect directly to devices. This was mean to take off on January 8 but has been delayed several times since then for some reason.

Wednesday, 17 January

  • Who: Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA)
  • What: Long March 7
  • When: 2:27 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre
  • Why: CNSA will use a Long March 7 to launch the Tianzhou 7 cargo spacecraft which will head to the Chinese Space Station (CSS). The Tianzhou 7 will operate for nine months in space.

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 10:11 p.m. UTC
  • Where: SpaceX LC-39A, Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will launch the Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9. The spacecraft will spend a week at the International Space Station and will transport Axiom Space’s astronaut Michael López-Alegría, ESA astronaut Marcus Wandt, Italian astronaut Walter Villadei and Turkish astronaut Alper Gezeravci to the ISS on a private mission called Axiom 3.

Recap

  • The first mission last week was the launch of a Falcon 9 carrying Starlink satellites into orbit.

  • The second launch of the week saw United Launch Alliance (ULA) a Vulcan Centaur rocket take off carrying Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lunar Lander. Unfortunately since launch, the company has said the lander won’t reach the moon.

  • The next launch was a Long March 2C carrying the Einstein Probe which was developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE). The probe will study X-rays coming from neutron stars and black holes.

  • The fourth launch was a Kuaizhou 1A rocket carrying the Tianxing 1 test satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. The satellite will be used for experiments like space environment detection.

  • An interesting launch this week was the Gravity 1 which took off from a sea platform near Haiyang in China. The rocket was carrying three Yunyao 1 satellites to a low Earth orbit. The vehicle was designed by the Chinese company OrienSpace.

  • The final launch we got was the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket carrying the IGS Optical-8 satellite. The satellite is a Japanese optical reconnaissance satellite.

That’s all for this week, check in next time!

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News Article Courtesy Of Paul Hill »