Zarya - Soviet, Russian and International Spaceflight
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Launches and Orbital Operations

Tyneside, UK
2019 Dec 12
Thursday, Day 346

Maintained by:


Cleared The Tower!

This page looks back one month at launches, plus on-orbit and re-entry or landing events of satellites and spacecraft.

Dates and times are in UTC and are derived from a mix of open sources and private contacts within the industry. Notes are prepared through a combination of research and information released by satellite owners, operators and manufacturers, space agencies and launch service providers.

Nothing from this web page may be reproduced without express permission from the site owner who can be contacted via the mail icon on this page - see Copyright Notice at the foot of the page.

Starlink Launch
Falcon 9 Block 5, CCAFS
2019 Nov 11, 14:56 UTC
Launch mission press kit: Launch time was at the centre of an approximately ten minute window. Cluster of 60 broadband communications satellites for SpaceX. Aimed at 450 km orbit, 53° inclination. The upper stage of the Falcon 9 was caused to re-enter after about 1.5 circuits of the Earth and about two hours after lift-off. Any surviving fragments from its destructive re-entry impacted the southern Indian Ocean. Mission and detailed orbits:

Jilin-1 02A Launch
Kuaizhou 1A, Jiuquan SC, China
2019 Nov 13, 03:40 UTC
High resolution Earth observation satellite for sun-synchronous orbit. Possible replacement for Jilin-1 Optical A (40961/2015-057D). Postponed two days from Oct 27 because of upper atmosphere winds. Oct 29 attempt cancelled shortly before planned lift off because of an issue with the launch vehicle guidance system. Orbit notes: Chinese satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit:

Ningxia-1 Launch (five satellites)
CZ 6, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Nov 13, 06:35 UTC
Constellation of five commercial satellites, possibly for monitoring radio transmissions from ships and aircraft over ocean areas. Orbit notes:

Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2019 Nov 15, 11:39 UTC
First in a set of four spacewalks to repair the ISS Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment mounted on the outside of the station. EVA began about 25 min ahead of schedule. The job is particularly complex because the instrument was not designed to be repaired. Participants - Luca Parmitano (ESA) and Andrew Morgan (NASA). Completed at 18:18 UTC AFTER 6 hr 39 min. Background notes:

KL-Alpha A and KL-Alpha B Launch
Kuaizhou 1A, Jiuquan SC, China
2019 Nov 17, 10:00 UTC
Successful launch of a pair of proof-of-concept satellites for a multi-media communications system, built by the Institute of Microsatellite Innovation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to be operated by German company. That company is almost certainly KLEO Connect that has the contract to provide demonstrator satellites for the proposed "eightyLEO" constellation. Choice of launch date may have been influenced by the wait for an outcome of the investigation into Jilin-1 launch postponement of Oct 29 that used a similar launch vehicle. Orbit notes

Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2019 Nov 22, 12:05 UTC
Second in a set of four spacewalks to repair the ISS Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment mounted on the outside of the station. The job is particularly complex because the instrument was not designed to be repaired. Participants - Luca Parmitano (ESA) and Andrew Morgan (NASA). EVA started at 12:02, UTC and was completed at 18:35 UTC after 6hr 33 min. Background notes:

Beidou-3 M-21 & Beidou-3 M-22 Launch
CZ 3B + YZ-1, Xichang SC, China
2019 Nov 23, 00:55 UTC
Successful launch of a pair of Beidou-3, phase 2 operational, navigation satellites into MEO (2200 km, 55° inclination). Index numbers unconfirmed, may be M-19 & M-20.

Cosmos 2542 Launch
Soyuz-2 1V, Plesetsk SC, Russia
2019 Nov 25, 17:52 UTC
Military mission. Carries sensors to observe other satellites. Also has an Earth-imaging camera. Reserve date was Nov 26 with the same launch time. An area of the of the southern Pacific Ocean was reserved for debris from this launch to re-enter around 11-12 hours after launch on a path heading north from Antarctica. It duly happened Nov 26 around 05:40 UTC and any unburnt fragments hit the ocean surface between New Zealand and South America. Orbit notes:

TIBA 1 & Inmarsat 5 F5 (GX-5) Launch
Ariane 5ECA (VA-250), CSG, French Guiana
2019 Nov 26, 21:08 UTC
Time was fifteen minutes after the opening of a window that ran for 95 minutes. Delay caused by local weather. Postponed from Nov 22 when a problem with the power supply from launch pad to launch vehicle was noted about 20 mins before launch. Launch press kit: Payloads: TIBA 1 Egyptian government and military communications satellite. Inmarsat 5 F5 High capacity comsat proving services to the Middle East, Europe and the Indian sub-continent. Fifth satellite in Intelsat's Global Express constellation. Orbit Notes: Satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

Cartosat 3 Launch
PSLV XL C-47, Satish Dhawan SC, Sriharikota, India
2019 Nov 27, 03:58 UTC
Multi-satellite launch aimed at 509 km Sun-synchronous orbit with LTDN 09:30. Delayed from Nov 10 and Nov 25. Reserve dates Nov 28 and Nov 29 with the same launch time. Cartosat 3 Principal satellite on the launch. First of India's third generation imaging cartographic and remote sensing satellites. Flock 4P Cluster of twelve Planet Labs SuperDove imaging 3U Cubesats. Meshbed 3U Cubesat from Analytical Space Inc aimed at testing its FUSE experimental phased array communication antenna. Orbit Notes: Satellites in sun-synchronous orbit:

Gaofen 12 Launch
CZ 4C, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Nov 27, 23:52 UTC
Earth observation satellite aimed at polar, sun-synchronous orbit with LTDN 07:00. No previous Taiyuan launch has used this LTDN. Purpose - land surveys, crop measurement and to support urban and road network planning using radar. Postponed from Nov 25. Orbit notes: Chinese satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit:

Progress MS-12 Departure
ISS on orbit
2019 Nov 29, 10:25 UTC
Undocked from Pirs module.

Progress MS-12 Re-entry
upper atmosphere, Pacific Region
2019 Nov 29, 14:11 UTC
Followed retro-fire. at 13:39 UTC. Any surviving fragments will hit the Ocean surface well to the east of New Zealand at about 14:19 UTC.

Quest Airlock, US Segment, ISS
2019 Dec 2, 11:31 UTC
Third in a set of four spacewalks to repair the ISS Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) experiment mounted on the outside of the station. The job is particularly complex because the instrument was not designed to be repaired. Started 19 mins ahead of schedule, completed at 17:33 UTC after 6h 2m. Participants - Luca Parmitano (ESA) and Andrew Morgan (NASA). Background notes:

SpaceX Dragon CRS-19
Falcon 9, CCAFS
2019 Dec 5, 17:29 UTC
Carrying supplies to ISS, and will engage in a cargo return mission. Time was the mid-point of a ten minute window. Delayed 24 hrs from Dec 5 by weather conditions in Falcon first stage landing zone. Upper stage of launch vehicle caused to re-enter above Indian Ocean around 22:35 UTC on day of launch. Orbit notes:

Rocket Lab (Multiple Satellite) Launch
Electron, Rocket Lab LC-1, Wairoa, New Zealand
2019 Dec 6, 08:18 UTC
Commercial mission to launch a cluster of small satellites. Launch was within window that ran to 07:56 - 09:22 UTC. 22 min hold caused by weather. Delayed from Nov 25 and Nov 27, then from Nov 28 due to a problem with an umbilical connection to the launch vehicle second stage. The Electron first stage made a successful guided re-entry as a prelude to a later ability to recover stages for re-use. Press kit: Six payloads manifested through mission provider Alba Orbital: ATL-1 A payload from Advanced Technology of Laser (ATL) from Hungary designed to test a new thermal isolation material in space, conduct a thermal insulator material experiment, and DVB-T band spectrum monitoring. Fossasat-1 FossaSat 1 is a picosatellite developed by Spanish non-profit organization Fossa Systems. The spacecraft, which fits in the palm of a hand, is a communications satellite that uses low power RF to provide IOT connectivity. NOOR 1A & NOOR 1B These satellites from Stara Space will demonstrate LEO-to-LEO intersatellite link technology communicating with ground stations on Earth; crucial technologies required to create a real-time global communications constellation in space. SMOG-P A novel spectrum monitoring payload built by students at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary. Smog-P features a spectrum analyzer to measure man-made electromagnetic pollution from space. TRSI Sat ACME AtronOmatic is a US-Germany based software application development company that provides flight tracking services to the aviation community and to mobile applications such as MyRadar, a weather radar application for mobile devices. One payload from mission provider Spaceflight: ALE-2 Tokyo-based ALE Co., Ltd 's ALE-2 satellite aims to create 400 artificial meteors in a selection of colours (white, green, pink and orange) partly as performance art. The satellite includes multiple redundant attitude sensors and controllers, as well as a propulsion system for maneuvers.

Progress MS-13 Launch
Soyuz-2 1A, Baikonur SC
2019 Dec 6, 09:34 UTC
2019 Oct 23 - announced as brought forward from Dec 6 to accommodate the SpaceX Dragon mission expected to launch Dec 4. Nov 25 - was announced as reverting to Dec 6 because of the need for additional checks of the vehicle after replacement of a damaged section of cable. Roscosmos TV coverage: NASA TV coverage from 09:15 UTC:

SS Roger Chaffee (Cygnus NG-11) Re-entry
South Pacific between New Zealand and S America
2019 Dec 6, 17:10 UTC
(Approximate time)
Followed retrofire about 40 min earlier. Orbit notes:

Jilin-1 High Resolution 02B Launch
Kuaizhou 1A, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Dec 7, 02:55 UTC
High resolution, multi-spectral Earth observation satellite for sun-synchronous orbit with LTDN 10:00 Orbit notes: Chinese satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit:

Multi-satellite Launch
Kuaizhou 1A, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Dec 7, 08:52 UTC
Head-2 A & Head-2 B - Pair of application satellites in the Skywalker constellation. Tianyi 16 & Tianyi 17 - Pair of medium resolution optical Earth-imaging satellites. Tianqi-4 A & Tianqi-4 B - Pair of broadband comsats for comms between Internet-connected items. Chinese satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit:

SpaceX Dragon CRS-19 Arrival
ISS, on orbit
2019 Dec 8, 10:05 UTC
Captured using RMS under control of ISS crew.

SpaceX Dragon CRS-19 Docking
ISS, on orbit
2019 Dec 8, 12:47 UTC
Docked with Harmony module using RMS under ground control.

Progress MS-13 Arrival
ISS Russian segment, on orbit
2019 Dec 9, 10:35 UTC
Automatic docking with Pirs module. Precise time 10:35:11 UTC - about three minutes ahead of schedule. Arrival flight extension from two to three days was driven by a need to provide leeway for Dragon arrival Dec 7.

Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat, Plesetsk SC
2019 Dec 11, 08:54 UTC
Uragan-M navigation satellite to fill a gap in the GLONASS constellation. Will receive number in the Cosmos series. Third stage of the Soyuz launch vehicle will re-enter above the southern Pacific Ocean, in an area south of Australasia, about 55 min after lift-off. Postponed from Dec 10 because of a fault in the launch vehicle third stage discovered one minute before planned lift-off. Orbit notes:

RISat 2BR1 and other passengers Launch
PSLV C-48 (QL version), Satish Dhawan SC, Sriharikota, India
2019 Dec 11, 09:55 UTC
Multiple satellite launch to 555 km orbit at 37° inclination. RISat (Radar imaging Satellite) 2B Principal satellite on the launch. Indian remote sensing satellite equipped with an imaging radar. Isanagi Japanese radar-carrying Earth observation satellite from the qPS institute. Lemur Four 3U Cubesats for earth observation and weather monitoring. CommTrail - 3U Cubesat with radio systems covering emergency frequencies. To be used in connection with search and rescue operations. Tyvak-0129 - Technology demonstrator for communications systems to be used in future satellite design. Duchifat 3 - 3U Cubesat for remote sensing, developed by students of the Herzliya Science Centre Space Laboratory, Israel. 1HOPSat (First Generation High Optical Performance Satellite) - 12U Cubesat carrying a commercially operated Earth imaging system. Orbit notes:

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