China Launches Remote Sensing Satellite, SpaceX Plans Early Monday Flight

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off with a Dragon resupply ship on April 2, 2018. (Credit: NASA)

At least 10 launches are planned worldwide this month. The launches include crew and cargo missions to the International Space Station and the first commercial flight of Rocket Lab’s Electron booster. Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL will launch NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) from the Marshall Islands on June 14.

China got June off to a successful start on Saturday with the launch of the Gaofen-6 remote sensing satellite aboard a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

SpaceX is up next, with an early morning launch on Monday morning. A Falcon 9 is set to launch the SES 12 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The four-hour launch window opens at 12:29 a.m. EDT (0429 GMT). The company has no plans to recover the previously used first stage.

The current launch schedule is below. View updates here.

JUNE 2018

June 2

Launch Vehicle: Long March 2D
Payload: Gaofen 6 remote sensing satellite
Launch Site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China
Outcome: Success

June 4

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: SES 12 communications satellite
Launch Window: 12:29-1:27 a.m. EDT (0429-0527 GMT)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Webcast: www.spacex.com

June 6

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Payload: ISS 55S Crew flight
Launch Time: 7:11 a.m. EDT (1111 GMT)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

June 11

Launch Vehicle: H-2A
Payload: IGS Radar 6 reconnaissance satellite
Launch Window: 12:00-2:00 a.m. EDT (0400-0600 GMT)
Launch Site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan

June 14

Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL
Payload: NASA Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite
Launch Time: TBD
Launch Site: L-1011, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

June 22/23

Launch Vehicle: Electron
Payloads: 2 Spire & 1 GeoOptics satellites
Launch Time: TBD
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

First commercial flight of Electron.

June 28

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Dragon ISS resupply (CRS-15)
Launch Time: 6:03 a.m. EDT (1003 GMT)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, Florida
Webcast: www.spacex.com and www.nasa.gov

June TBD

Launch Vehicle: Long March 2C
Payload: PRSS 1 remote sensing satellite
Launch Time: TBD
Launch Site: Taiyuan, China

Launch Vehicle: Long March 3A
Payload: Fengyun 2H geostationary weather satellite
Launch Time: TBD
Launch Site: Xichang, China

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Telstar 19V communications satellite
Launch Window: TBD
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, Florida
Webcast: www.spacex.com

  • Pete Zaitcev

    Worldwide tempo is much greater in 2018 than in 2017 for whatever reason. Has been whole year, it’s not just this month.

  • SamuelRoman13

    SpaceX looking good. But Tesla needs to go to compressed air engines. As fast as gas to refill with a large tank at a filling station. Or fill at home. Air is free, so it should not cost much to refill. No burning people alive in crashes. No pollution. COPV does not weigh much. No expensive electronics to run an AC motor. Car will last forever. No batteries going bad. Burn rubber. Torque is greatest at start.
    NASA should go to CA for their electric airplanes. Lot of space for tank in the fuselage. Getting long range may take awhile. I have reserved a spot with a company for a CAC. 50mph and 80mi. range for next year. $10,000. No money down, but I will if it looks legit. I hope Tesla or somebody else has a better deal.

  • Michael Halpern

    All cars crash most far more often than Tesla, Tesla crashes just make national news, also compressed air is inefficient and has horrible energy density.

  • Michael Halpern

    Could be a satellite buying spree in 2016 just before a lul in 2017.

  • duheagle

    Both SpaceX and China are launching far more this year than last. By year’s end there may be a significant contribution to worldwide launch statistics from smallsat launchers too – mainly Rocket Lab this year.

  • Jeff2Space

    You’d need a COPV that’s crash tested. Worst case scenario would be to fill the thing up to “max capacity” then get t-boned as you’re pulling out into the street. The energy release by a ruptured COPV would likely be quick and violent, to say the least.

  • Michael Halpern

    Yup while I consider compressed air as viable power someplace like Mars, due to simplicity and by extension how early you would be able to use it, pneumatic engines are far from safe, or ideal in almost any situation when alternatives are available, after all they are essentially steam engines, your just swapping the steam boiler for a compressed gas pressure vessel

  • Pete Zaitcev