Firefly Aerospace Kicked Off Busy First Week in Launchtober

From left, Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, and NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada will fly aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission. The crew will lift off aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft – atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket – from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida. (Credit: SpaceX)

Firefly Aerospace’s successful launch of its Alpha booster on Saturday morning kicked off a busy seven-day period in which a total of nine launches are scheduled around the world from seven locations in four nations.

SpaceX is scheduled to launch a new crew to the International Space Station on Wednesday. The company also plans to launch 52 Starlink broadband satellites and a pair of geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellites.

United Launch Alliance is set to launch a pair of GEO satellites for Intelsat in a rare commercial launch. Rocket Lab also has a launch scheduled from New Zealand.

Japan will launch for the first time this year with an Epsilon rideshare mission with eight satellites. And China has two launches scheduled in the week ahead.

Launch dates and times are subject to change without notice. And, as always, no wagering.

LAUNCHES
Oct. 3-7, 2022

Falcon 9 launches Starlink satellites on Sept. 4, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

Monday, October 3

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Provider: SpaceX
Payloads: 52 Starlink broadband satellites
Payload Owner: SpaceX
Launch Site: Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif.
Launch Time: 23:56
Webcast: www.spacex.com

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the USSF-12 mission for the U.S. Space Force lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 7:15 p.m. EDT on July 1. (Credit: United Launch Alliance)

Tuesday, October 4

Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Launch Provider: United Launch Alliance
Payloads: SES-20 & SES-21 geosynchronous communications satellites
Payload Owner: SES
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
Launch Time: 5:36 p.m. EDT (21:36 UTC)
Webcast: www.ulalaunch.com

Wednesday, October 5

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Provider: SpaceX
Payloads: Crew Dragon
Payload Owner: SpaceX
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Launch Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT (16:00 UTC)
Webcast: www.nasa.gov and www.spacex.com

Launch of Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station. Crew includes NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina.

Electron launches on May 3, 2022. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Provider: Rocket Lab
Payloads: GAzelle orbital test bed satellite with Argos-4 Advanced Data Collection System (A-DCS) hosted payload
Payload Owner: NOAA/CNES
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Launch Time: 1:04 p.m. EDT (17:04 UTC)
Webcast: www.rocketlabusa.com

Thursday, October 6

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Provider: SpaceX
Payloads: Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34 geosynchronous communications satellites
Payload Owner: Intelsat
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
Launch Time: 7:07 p.m. EDT (23:07 UTC)
Webcast: www.spacex.com

Launch Vehicle: Long March 2D
Launch Provider: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
Payloads: Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S)
Payload Owner: Chinese Academy of Sciences
Launch Site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China
Launch Time: 7:40 p.m. EDT (23:40 UTC) (approximate)

Epsilon launch (Credit: JAXA webcast)

Launch Vehicle: Epsilon
Launch Provider: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Payloads: Various (see below)
Payload Owner: Various (see below)
Launch Site: Uchinoura Space Center, Japan
Launch Time: 8:47 p.m. (00:47 UTC on June 7)
Webcast: www.jaxa.jp

Payloads

  • RAISE-3 – JAXA – Technology demonstration
  • QPS-SAR-3 & 4 – iQPS – Earth observation
  • FSI-SAT – Future Science Institute – Technology demonstration
  • KOSEN-2 – Yonago College – Technology demonstration
  • MAGNARO – Nagoya University – Technology demonstration
  • MITSUBA – Kyushu Institute of Technology – Technology demonstration
  • WASEDA-SAT-ZERO – Waseda University – Technology demonstration

Friday, October 7

Launch Vehicle: Long March 11H
Launch Provider: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
Payloads: Centispace-1 S5 and Centispace-1 S6 navigation satellites
Payload Owner: Beijing Future Navigation Technology
Launch Site: China Sea Launch Platform
Launch Time: 9:20 a.m. EDT (13:20 UTC) (approximate)