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

Tyneside, UK
2019 Dec 12
Thursday, Day 346

Maintained by:


Go For Launch!

This page looks forward three months at launches plus on-orbit, re-entry and landing events of satellites and spacecraft.

Once something reaches space, the menu on the left takes you to detailed lists of satellites and orbits, as well as information on those that failed to make it.

To see further into the future, go to's Still In the Clean Room... page.

If there's something you might have missed, there is the Cleared the Tower! page that looks back over the last four weeks or so.

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.

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:

JCSat 18 Launch
Falcon 9 Block 5, CCAFS
No earlier than
2019 Dec 17, 00:10 UTC
Japanese comsat serving east Asia. Part of the payload is branded as Kacific 1 and leased/operated by a private company. Expected location - 150° east. Launch time shown is the opening of a 98 minute launch window. Satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

Beidou-3 M-19 & Beidou-3 M-20 Launch
CZ 3B + YZ-1, Xichang SC, China
No earlier than
2019 Dec 17, 07:00 UTC
(Approximate time)
Pair of Beidou-3, phase 2 operational, navigation satellites for MEO (2200 km, 55°). Beidou launches:

CHEOPS, CSG-1 , ANGELS, OPS-SAT & Eyesat Launch
Soyuz-ST B + Fregat-MT (VS-23), CSG, French Guiana
2019 Dec 17, 08:54 UTC
Precise launch time aimed for: 08:54:20 UTC. Launch press kit: CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanets) ESA mission to searching for exoplanetary transits by performing ultra-high precision photometry on bright stars already known to host planets. CSG-1 (COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation) Italian second generation, follow-on, Earth imaging satellite equipped with synthetic aperture radar. OPS-SAT - 3U Cubesat to act as in-orbit testbed for new software, applications and techniques in satellite control. ANGELS (Argos Neo on a Generic Economical and Light Satellite) 12U Cubesat fitted with a miniaturized ARGOS Néo instrument, ten times smaller than previous versions. It collects and determines the position of low-power signals and messages from ground-based ARGOS beacons. Eyesat 3U Cubesat from France's CNES, equipped with a small telescope designed to study the zodiacal light and to produce images of the Milky Way.

GalaxySpace Launch
Kuaizhou 1A, Jiuquan SC, China
No earlier than
2019 Dec 20
Comsat to provided 5g data connections between items of Internet-connected equipment. Unclear whether this is a single satellite launch or a cluster. GalaxySpace aims to develop a 1000 satellite constellation.

CBERS 4A and ETRSS launch
CZ 4B, Taiyuan SC, China
2019 Dec 20, 03:21 UTC
China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite Earth imaging and remote sensing. Brazilian built using Chinese satellite bus. ETRSS Chinese built satellite to be operated by Ethiopia carried high resolution imaging system for remote sensing. Aimed at Sun-synchronous orbit. Local Time at the Descending Node (LTDN) will be 10:30. Nov 30 - Ethiopian government indicated delay from Dec 17 because of predicted bad weather in launch area. Chinese satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit:

Boeing CST-100 Starliner Launch
Atlas V, CCAFS
No earlier than
2019 Dec 20, 11:36 UTC
(Approximate time)
Orbital Flight Test - first test mission for new vehicle to be used for carrying crew to/from ISS. On this flight, no crew will be aboard. ISS arrival date/time awaited. Dec 3 - two delay from Dec 17 announced in order to replace a section of air duct within the launch vehicle. Further delayed by one day as knock-on of SpaceX Dragon delay.

Gonets M 14, 15 and 16 Launch
Rokot + Briz-KM, Plesetsk, Russia
2019 Dec 26, 23:12 UTC
Three Gonets-M store/dump communications relay satellites for the Gonets constellation. The launch vehicle may also carry a pair of BLITS-M (Ball Lens In The Space) satellites. They are spherical, made of glass, 22cm cm in diameter and act as laser retro reflectors. They will be used to make high precision geodetic measurements. Background info: Gonets system website: Final use of this version of Rockot to launch an orbital space mission.

Boeing CST-100 Starliner Departure
ISS on orbit
2019 Dec 27
Followed by retro-fire and re-entry. Landing will by parachute in New Mexico. Expected to be postponed by two days following launch delay from Dec 17 to Dec 19.

Shijian 20 Launch
CZ 5, Wenchang SC, China
2019 Dec 27, 11:30 UTC
(Approximate time)
Large communications satellite. Launch will repeat the attempted mission from 2017 where the Shijian 18 satellite was lost when its CZ 5 launch vehicle failed. Satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

Boeing CST-100 Starliner Landing
White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, USA
2019 Dec 27, 11:35 UTC
(Approximate time)
Landing by parachute with touchdown softened by airbags. The service module will re-enter above the central Pacific Ocean. Any surviving fragments will hit the ocean surface near 1° north, 134° west. Expected to be postponed by two days following launch delay from Dec 17 to Dec 19.

Elektro L-3 Launch
Proton-M + DM-3, Baikonur, Russia
Approximate date
2019 Dec 31, 15:00 UTC
(Approximate time)
Second generation Russian geosynchronous metsat. It provides a multispectral image of the complete visible hemisphere every 30 minutes with the interval increased to 15 minutes to cope with emergencies. The satellite also carries a COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue system receiver. Expected location 165°.8 east. Satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

LauncherOne Test Flight
Boeing 747 + LauncherOne, Mojave Air and Space Port, USA
No earlier than
2020 Jan 1
First orbital launch of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket. Will be released from Virgin's Boeing 747 'Cosmic Girl' above the Pacific Ocean off the Los Angeles region of California. Date is fluid. Payload is currently unknown. Date will probably slip.

RISat 1A Launch
PSLV C-49, Satish Dharwan SC, Sriharikota, India
Approximate date
2020 Jan 1
Multi satellite launch aimed at 555 km orbit at 37° inclination. Manifest to be confirmed. RISat 1B Principal satellite on the launch. Indian satellite equipped with an Earth imaging radar as a follow-on to RISat 1 (38248/2012-017A). Kleos Three satellites in Kleos Space "Kleos Scouting Mission", a technology demonstrator for the company's proposed maritime surveillance service. Originally due to be carried by Rocket Labs Electron but moved because of scheduling problems. Lemur Four 3U Cubesats for earth observation and weather monitoring.

Bars-М 3 Launch
Soyuz-2 1A, Plesetsk SC
No earlier than
2020 Jan 1
Military imaging and cartography satellite. Will receive a number in the Cosmos series once it reaches orbit.

SS Alan Bean (Cygnus NG-12) Departure
ISS, on orbit
Approximate date
2020 Jan 3
Undocking using ISS RMS under control of ground-based engineers, followed by release into independent orbit where it will remain for, possibly, a number of weeks before it executes a destructive re-entry. Cygnus carries a number of Cubesats that will be released during that time.

Crew Dragon Abort Test
Falcon 9, CCAFS
No earlier than
2020 Jan 4
Full test of Dragon abort system. Launch of Falcon 9 will be followed by firing of Dragon escape rockets to simulate departure from a failed launch vehicle. Escape rocket firing will occur at Max-Q, 1-2 mins after lift off.

Eutelsat Konnect and GSat 30 Launch
Ariane 5ECA (VA-251?), CSG, French Guiana
Approximate date
2020 Jan 15
Two comsats for geosynchronous orbit: Eutelsat Konnect High-capacity broadband satellite to deliver services across Europe and Africa, supporting community networks connected to Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile phone backhauling and rural connectivity. GSat 30 High capacity comsat owned by the Indian Space Research Organisation. Will replace Insat 4A. Expected location 83° east. Satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

OneWeb Launch
Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat, Baikonur SC, Russia
No earlier than
2020 Jan 30
Cluster of 30-35 satellites for the OneWeb constellation of broadband distribution satellites. The precise quantity will be advised nearer the date. Aimed at 1200km orbit at 88° inclination.

Pirs Module, Russian Segment, ISS
Approximate date
2020 Feb 1
Participants Oleg Skripochka and Aleksandr Skvortsov.

Soyuz-2 1B + Fregat, Plesetsk SC
No earlier than
2020 Feb 5
Navigation satellite fill a gap in the constellation as a replacement for a failed satellite. Will receive number in the Cosmos series once in orbit. Alternate date is Feb 12. Third stage of the Soyuz launch vehicle will be caused to re-enter above the southern Pacific Ocean, in an area south of Australasia, about 55 min after lift-off.

Soyuz MS-13 Landing
2020 Feb 5, 23:16 UTC
Carrying Aleksandr Skortsov, Luca Parmitano and Christina Koch. Touchdown in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage:

Solar Orbiter Launch
Atlas V 441, CCAFS, USA
2020 Feb 6, 04:27 UTC
Joint ESA/NASA Solar probe to be placed into an elliptical heliocentric orbit with perihelion 42 million km and 168 days orbital period. The orbit will be resonant with that of Venus. Arrival will be early 2021 after using gravity assist from Venus. It will then use the gravity of Venus to raise the inclination to 25° relative to the ecliptic plane. The orbit has been chosen to allow about four weeks "dwell" time above a fixed location on the Sun each time the vehicle passes through perihelion. Time is the opening of a two hour window. Mission notes

Cygnus NG-13 Launch
Antares, Wallops Island
2020 Feb 7
Supplies to ISS.

Crew Dragon mission 2
Falcon 9, Kennedy SC
No earlier than
2020 Feb 8
First SpaceX mission to carry a crew. Planned to carry NASA passengers to ISS. To be flown by SpaceX astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Actual date will be driven by the result of a Crew Dragon abort test early 2020.

AEHF 6 Launch
Atlas V 551, CCAFS, USA
No earlier than
2020 Mar 1
Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications satellite. Notes Satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

SAOCOM 1B (SAtélite Argentino de Observación COn Microondas) Launch
Falcon 9, CCAFS, USA
No earlier than
2020 Mar 1
Argentinean radar-imaging earth observation satellite. 2019 Nov - SpaceX changed launch site from Vandenberg to Cape Canaveral. Background:

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