SpaceX launched a resupply ship that delivered a new set of solar panels to the International Space Station (ISS) during a week that saw four launches from the United States, China and India.
SpaceX Resupply Mission
SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon carried a pair of International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSAs) in its unpressurized trunk. This is the second of three sets of iROSAs to be sent to the space station; the first was installed in 2021. The new solar panels will provide a 20-30 percent increase in power for space station operations and research.
Rollout solar panels were used on NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, which changed the orbit of the asteroid moon Dimorphos by intentionally crashing into it on Sept. 26. NASA will also use rollout solar panels to power the lunar Gateway, a human-tended station that will orbit the moon.
The Cargo Dragon also carried six CubeSats that astronauts will deploy from ISS.
SpaceX CRS-26 Secondary Payloads
|MARIO||Tech demo||University of Michigan||USA|
|ORCASat||Adaptive optics calibration||University of Victoria||Canada|
|petitSat||Ionospheric research||NASA Goddard||USA|
|SPORT||Tech demo||NASA Marshall – INPE*/ITA+||USA – Brazil|
+ Technological Institute of Aeronautics
~ Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
More information is available about the CRS-26 mission here.
SpaceX also launched the Eutelsat 10B geosynchronous communications satellite for Eutelsat from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station last week.
Nov. 21 – 30, 2022
|Date||Launcher – Organization||Payload – Organization||Purpose||Launch Site|
|Nov 23||Falcon 9 – SpaceX||Eutelsat 10B – Eutelsat||GEO Comsat||Cape Canaveral|
|Nov. 26||PSLV – ISRO*||EOS-06 (Oceansat-3) – ISRO*||Oceanography + rideshares (see below)||Satish Dhawan|
|Nov. 26||Falcon 9 – SpaceX||Cargo Dragon (CRS-26) – SpaceX||ISS Resupply + rideshares (see below)||Kennedy|
|Nov. 26||Long March 2D – CASC+||Yaogan 36-03A, 03B, 03C – CAS#||Reconnaissance||Xichang|
+ China Aerospace and Science Corporation
# Chinese Academy of Sciences
An Indian PSLV booster will launch the EOS-06 (Oceansat-3) oceanography satellite on Nov. 26. The mission included eight secondary payloads.
PSLV Rideshare Payloads
|Astrocast (4)||Internet of Things||Astrocast||Switzerland|
|BhutanSat (INS-2B)||Tech demo||Bhutan DITT*||Bhutan|
|Pixxel TD-1 Anand||Earth observation||Pixxel||India|
|Thybolt 1, 2||Tech demo||Dhruva Space||India|
A Long March 2D launched the Yaogan 36-03A, Yaogan 03B and Yaogan 03C reconnaissance satellites for the Chinese Academy of Sciences from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
Launches to Date
There have been 166 orbital launches this year, with 160 successes, five failures and one partial failure. The United States continues to lead with 80 launches. SpaceX leads all providers with 54 launches.
Orbital Launches Through Nov. 28
|Nation||Successes||Failures||Partial Failures||Total||Percentage of Total|
China is in second place with 54 launches, including 53 successes and one failure. The state-owned China Aerospace and Science Corporation has conducted 46 of the nation’s launches. ExPace has successfully launched its Kuaizhou-1A rocket four times, Galactic Energy’s Ceres-1 booster flew twice, and CAS Space conducted a successful maiden flight of its ZK-1A rocket. The lone attempt by i-space to launch its Hyperbola-1 booster ended in failure.
Russia is a distant third with 21 launches. India completed its fifth and final launch of the year last week. Europe’s Arianespace has one launch each of the Ariane 5 and Vega-C rockets scheduled for December.
Iran, South Korea and Japan have launched one rocket apiece.