Image via SpaceX

This Week in Rocket Launches is set to be so-so. SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 to launch Starlink satellites, Japan will use an H3 rocket to launch a radar Earth observation satellite, and China will launch a Long March 6A carrying an unknown payload.

Sunday, 30 June

  • Who: SpaceX
  • What: Falcon 9
  • When: 7:11 – 11:11 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Florida, US
  • Why: SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 to launch 23 Starlink satellites designated Starlink Group 8-9. These satellites will work with other Starlink satellites to beam internet connectivity from space to customers on Earth. The satellites have an anti-reflective coating for the benefit of astronomers. Once the Falcon 9 has taken off, the first stage of the rocket should perform a landing for reuse.

Monday, 1 July

  • Who: JAXA
  • What: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H3 rocket
  • When: 3:06 – 3:19 a.m. UTC
  • Where: Yoshinobu Launch Complex 2, Japan
  • Why: The H3 rocket will be launching JAXA”s Daichi 4 radar Earth observation satellite to orbit. It will be used to observe and monitor disaster-hit areas, forests, and sea ice. It could also observe new things like infrastructure displacement.

Thursday, 4 July

  • Who: China National Space Administration
  • What: Long March 6A
  • When: 10:30 p.m. UTC
  • Where: Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, China
  • Why: The Long March 6A will launch with an unknown payload.


The first “launch” last week, wasn”t a launch, it was a landing! India”s space agency released its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) called Pushpak from 4.5km. The vehicle, which looks like a mini space shuttle, performed a landing on the runway assisted by a parachute to slow it down.

The next launch also came from Asia, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) launched its vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) test rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It achieved an altitude of 12km before performing a successful landing – look out SpaceX!

Back in America, we had a Falcon 9 launch carrying Starlink satellites. The first stage of the rocket then landed.

Then we got a similar launch again.

Back over in China, the country returned some lunar samples

Here you can see the samples being extracted.

And here”s another video of the samples being shown off.

This week we got the launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, not something we see too much of. It launched NOAA”s GOES-U, and environmental satellite. The two side boosters performed a landing.

Finally, we got another Falcon 9 carrying Starlink satellites and the successful landing of the first stage.

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

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