Busy Launch Week Begins on Monday with MAVEN Flight

Launch of Atlas V NRO satellite on June 20, 2012. (Credit: ULA)
Launch of Atlas V NRO satellite on June 20, 2012. (Credit: ULA)

The numbers are impressive.

  • 6 launches
  • 6 launch vehicles
  • ~ 40 satellites
  • 5 spaceports
  • 4 nations
  • 7 days.

That is the week in rocketry that will begin on Monday. The highlights include:

  • NASA’s MAVEN orbiter will study Mars’ atmosphere and climate (Monday, Nov. 18 at 1:28 p.m. EST — Cape Canaveral, Florida );
  • Minotaur I will set a new record for the number of satellites launched into space with by sending the military’s STPSat 3 and 29 CubeSats into orbit (Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 7:30 to 9:15 pm EST — Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Virginia);
  • SpaceX will attempt to put its first communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit using its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket (Monday, Nov. 25 at 5:37 pm EST — Cape Canaveral, Florida).

Three additional launches will take place from Russia and Kazakhstan over that 7-day period. A table with all scheduled launches is below along with a map showing East Coast residents how they can view Minotaur I’s night launch on Tuesday.

SCHEDULED LAUNCHES, NOV. 18-25 2013

#

Date

Launch Vehicle

Launch Site

Nation

Payload

64

11/18/13

Atlas V

CCAFS

USA

MAVEN

65

11/19/13

Minotaur I

MARS

USA

STPSat 3 + 28 CubeSats

66

11/21/13

Dnepr

Dombarovsky

Ukraine

DubaiSat 2, STSAT 3, SkySat 1 + additional payloads

67

11/22/13

Rockot

Plesetsk

Russia

Swarm (3 satellites)

68

11/25/13

Falcon 9

CCAFS

USA

SES 8

69

11/25/13

Soyuz

Baikonur

Russia

Progress 53P

Minotaur I ORS-3 Viewing Map

Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)
Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

The launch window is set for Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 7:30 to 9:15 p.m. EST. The launch site is on Wallops Island, Virginia. The Minotaur I will be heading northeast along the coast.

Orbital has an additional map showing elevations as well as images showing sample views from different locations along the East Coast here.

The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge/Assateague Island National Seashore will be open for viewing the launch.  Visitors to Assateague need to be on the island by 6 p.m. before the entrance gate closes.

For more information on the ORS-3 mission, visit: http://go.usa.gov/Wgbd.

Live coverage of the launch is available via UStream beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST on launch day at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-tv-wallops.

Launch status can be followed on launch day on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/NASA_Wallops and Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NASAWFF.

Launch status also is available on the Wallops launch status line at 757-824-2050.

Android users can download the “What’s Up at Wallops” app, which contains information on the launch as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing. The app is available for download at: http://go.nasa.gov/17veCYT.