Weekly Dose of Space (19/11-25/11)

Weekly Dose of Space (19/11-25/11)


Welcome to Weekly Dose of Space! In this week's newsletter, we'll cover the launches of the week and some of the big news of the week. We'll also look ahead into what to expect next week too!

SpaceX

After SpaceX's exciting week last week with Starship's Second Integrated Flight Test, progress at Starbase continued with testing and inspection of the hardware in and around the launch site. Super Heavy Booster 11 also returned to the production site from the Masseys test site after undergoing cryogenic testing for the past few weeks. Four Starship's were also spotted being moved around the production site on Thanksgiving.

Launches This Week

Starting the launches for this week, SpaceX launched another batch of Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The booster for this mission was B1063 making its fifthteenth flight and landing downrange on the drone ship 'Of Course I Still Love You'.

Falcon 9 booster B1063 landing during the Starlink Group 7-7 mission via SpaceX on X (formerly Twitter)

November 21st - Chŏllima-1 with Malligyong-1c

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea, launched a Chŏllima-1 from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station carrying the Malligyong-1c satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit.

The Malligyong-1c is the third military reconnaissance satellite attempted to be launched by the National Aerospace Development Administration and the first to successfully reach orbit. This launch was also the first successful launch of the Chŏllima-1 rocket.

Chŏllima-1 lifting off from its launch pad. ©KCNA
Chŏllima-1 lifting off from its launch pad. ©KCNA

SpaceX launched another twenty-three Starlink satellites atop of its Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The booster for this mission was B1067 making its fifteenth flight and landing successfully downrange on the drone ship 'A Shortfall of Gravitas'.

Falcon 9's engine plume during first stage flight for Starlink Group 6-29. ©SpaceX
Falcon 9's engine plume during first stage flight for Starlink Group 6-29. ©SpaceX

November 23rd - Long March 2D with Satellite-Internet Technology Demonstration Satellite

A Long March 2D launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center carrying what is believed to be three "Satellite-Internet Technology Demonstration Satellite" built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The satellites were delivered to low Earth orbit, likely for testing technology for an internet satellite constellation like Starlink.

Long March 2D lifting off from its launch pad.

November 25th - Soyuz 2.1a with Kosmos 2572

A Soyuz 2.1a launched from Plestsk Cosmodrome likely carrying a Bars-M satellite called Kosmos 2572. Bars-M is believed to be a surveillance satellite with a ground resolution of roughly one meter.

In Other Space News

Ariane 6 during its hot fire test. ©ESA
Ariane 6 during its hot fire test. ©ESA

Ariane 6 hot fires!

The European Space Agency's new Ariane 6 rocket recently passed a 'full-scale' rehearsal in preparation for its first flight next year. During the rehearsal, the solid rocket boosters were not ignited but the Vulcain 2.1 engine burned as it would during normal flight on its way to space.

The Director General of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher, said the following after the test;

“The teams from ArianeGroup, CNES and ESA have now run through every step of the rocket's flight without it leaving Earth,” – “This milestone rehearsal comes after years of designing, planning, preparing, building and hard work from some of the finest space engineers in Europe. We are back on track towards resecuring Europe’s autonomous access to space. Well done to all involved!”
A render of the Multi-Purpose Habitat on the Lunar surface. ©Thales Alenia Space
A render of the Multi-Purpose Habitat on the Lunar surface. ©Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space and Italy begin work on Lunar Habitat

On the 23rd of November, Thales Alenia Space signed a contract with the Italian Space Agency to begin work on a Lunar habitation module. The module is named the Multi-Purpose Habitat and aims to be the first permanent outpost on the surface of the Moon!

The Head of Human Planetary Exploration and Robotics Program, Franco Fenoglio, commented the following in a press release from Thales Alenia Space;

"Multi-Purpose Habitat will mark a historic milestone as the first Italian habitation module to operate on the lunar surface. This is a matter of great pride for our company, which has the unique technical and organizational skills to overcome challenges of this kind"

What to Expect Next Week

Starbase

SpaceX is expected to continue the mishap investigation into Starship's Second Integrated Flight Test and investigation of the launch site. Head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, has also said online that the third test flight of Starship-Super Heavy could be ready from a hardware standpoint within a few weeks.

November 28th - Electron for 'The Moon God Awakens'

Electron is expected to return to flight next week with the mission 'The Moon God Awakens' to deliver iQPS's QPS-SAR-5 synthetic-aperture radar satellite to low Earth orbit.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 will launch Starlink Group 6-30 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The booster and drone ship for this mission is currently unknown.

November 29th - Falcon 9 with 425 Project Flight 1

Another SpaceX Falcon 9 is expected to launch next week but from Space Launch Complex 4E. The 425 Project Flight 1 is the first of five reconnaissance satellites for South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

December 1st - Soyuz 2.1a with Progress MS-25

Starting launches in December, Russia is expected to launch Progress MS-25 to the International Space Station for resupply services. Progress MS-25 will dock with the Russian Orbital Segment of the International Space Station.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 will launch Starlink Group 6-31 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The booster and drone ship for this mission is currently unknown.

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