Two Starlink missions coming up this week from SpaceX – TWIRL #130

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The TWIRL logo in front of a rocket launch

We have quite a lot of rocket launches coming up this week though none are particularly exciting as they’re all satellite launches. With all that said, Chinese company Galactic Energy has an unknown payload going to space so that’s a bit mysterious.

Sunday, 17 September

  • Who: China
  • What: Long March 2D
  • When: 4:15 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Launch Complex 3 – Xichang Satellite Launch Centre
  • Why: In this mission, China will launch three Yaogan 39 satellites into orbit. They are remote sensing satellites and will be used in scientific experiments, land and resources surveys agricultural production estimates, and disaster prevention and mitigation.

Tuesday, 19 September

  • Who: Rocket Lab
  • What: Capella 12
  • When: 6:30 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Mahia, New Zealand
  • Why: This mission will launch the Acadia 2 satellite for Capella Space. This satellite is a synthetic aperture satellite and is part of a 30-satellite constellation. This constellation of satellites provides high-quality imagery at a ground-range resolution for commercial customers.

Wednesday, 20 September

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 1:47 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will be launching a bath of 22 Starlink v2 “Mini” satellites into a low-Earth orbit. The Starlink constellation is used to provide internet connectivity on Earth. Ultimately, SpaceX is aiming to have thousands of Starlink satellites in orbit to provide connectivity around the world.

  • Who: Galactic Energy
  • What: Ceres GX-1
  • When: 2:00 p.m. UTC
  • Where: LC-43/95A – Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre
  • Why: The rocket is launching with an unknown payload. The mission is called Autumn Sonata.

Saturday, 23 September

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9 B5
  • When: 7:00 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 4, California, US
  • Why: SpaceX will be launching 21 Starlink v2 “Mini” satellites into low-Earth orbit. Similar to the mission earlier in the week, this launch will help to bolster the Starlink constellation.


  • The first launch last week was a Long March 6A carrying the Yaogan-40 satellite which will be used for electromagnetic environment detection.

  • Next up, United Launch Alliance launched the Atlas V 551 carrying the NROL-107 mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office and the US Space Force.

  • On Monday (local time), a SpaceX Falcon 9 launched 21 Starlink satellites and landed the first stage of the rocket.

  • On Friday, Russia launched the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft from Baikonur on a Soyuz 2.1a. The mission was to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

  • Finally, a SpaceX Falcon 9 launched another 2 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit.

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

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