Satellite Launch Schedule 2018



Dates and times are given in Greenwich Mean Time.

- "NET" stands for "No Earlier Than"
- "TBD" means "To Be Determined"
- Recent updates appear in [Red Type]

Jan. 18Epsilon ? ASNARO 2
Launch window: 2106:11-2130:13 GMT (4:06:11-4:30:13 p.m. EST)
Launch site:
Uchinoura Space Center, Japan
Japan’s Epsilon rocket will launch the ASNARO 2 radar Earth observation satellite, a mission developed by Japan Space Systems and NEC Corp. The project is the second for the ASNARO program, which stands for Advanced Satellite with New System ARchitecture for Observation. Delayed from Nov. 11. Delayed from Jan. 16 by poor weather forecast. [Jan. 15]
Jan. 18/19Atlas 5 ? SBIRS GEO Flight 4
Launch window: 0052-0132 GMT on 19th (7:52-8:32 p.m. EST on 18th)
Launch site:
SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, designated AV-076, will launch the U.S. military’s fourth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 4, for missile early-warning detection. The rocket will fly in the 411 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, one solid rocket booster and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Delayed from Oct. 27 and Nov. 9. [Jan. 15]
Jan. 19/20Electron ? Still Testing
Launch window: 0130-0530 GMT on 20th (8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. EST on 19th/20th)
Launch site:
Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its second orbital test flight, which Rocket Lab calls “Still Testing,” from a new facility on the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. The commercial rocket is designed to carry small spacecraft into orbit. Three commercial CubeSats for Planet and Spire are aboard the Electron’s second mission. Delayed from mid-2017. Delayed from Dec. 8 and Dec. 9. Scrubbed on Dec. 11 and Dec. 12. Scrubbed on Dec. 13 by upper level winds and Dec. 14 by power system fault. Delayed from Dec. 16 for crew rest. [Jan. 15]
Jan. 25Ariane 5 ? SES 14 & Al Yah 3
Launch window: 2220-2305 GMT (5:20-6:05 p.m. EST)
Launch site:
ELA-3, Kourou, French Guiana
Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA241, to launch the SES 14 and Al Yah 3 communications satellites. Built by Airbus Defense and Space, SES 14 will provide aeronautical and maritime mobility connectivity, wireless communications, broadband delivery, and video and data services over North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic and parts of Europe, replacing the NSS-806 satellite for SES of Luxembourg. SES 14 also hosts NASA’s Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) hosted payload to measure densities and temperatures in Earth?s thermosphere and ionosphere. Built by Orbital ATK, Al Yah 3 will support broadband Internet and data services over Africa and Brazil for Yahsat of Abu Dhabi. Moved up from Jan. 23. Delayed from Jan. 18. [Dec. 21]
Late JanuaryFalcon Heavy ? Demo Flight
Launch window: TBD
Launch site:
LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch on its first demonstration flight. The heavy-lift rocket is formed of three Falcon 9 rocket cores strapped together with 27 Merlin 1D engines firing at liftoff. The first Falcon Heavy rocket will attempt to place a Tesla Roadster on an Earth escape trajectory into a heliocentric orbit. Delayed from 3rd Quarter of 2015 and April, September and December 2016. Delayed from 1st Quarter 2017, 2nd Quarter 2017 and 3rd Quarter 2017. Delayed from November and December 2017. [Jan. 5]
JanuarySS-520-5 ? TRICOM 1R
Launch window: TBD
Launch site:
Uchinoura Space Center, Japan
Japan’s SS-520-5 rocket, a modified sounding rocket with an added third stage, will launch on an experimental demonstration flight with the TRICOM 1R spacecraft, a 3U CubeSat with a store and forward communications system and an imaging camera. This is the second flight of an SS-520 variant to attempt an orbital launch after a failure in January 2017. Delayed from Dec. 28. [Dec. 26]
Jan. 30Falcon 9 ? SES 16/GovSat 1
Launch window: 2123-2337 GMT (4:23-6:37 p.m. EST)
Launch site:
SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SES 16/GovSat 1 communications satellite for LuxGovSat, a joint venture between SES and the government of Luxembourg. The SES 16/GovSat 1 satellite will provide secure military X-band and Ka-band communications links, helping support Luxembourg’s NATO obligations. The satellite was built by Orbital ATK. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch with a previously-flown first stage. Delayed from December and Jan. 15. [Dec. 21]
Jan. 31/Feb. 1Soyuz ? Kanopus-V 3 and 4
Launch time: 0207:18 GMT on 1st (9:07:18 p.m. EST on 31st)
Launch site:
Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia
A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch the Kanopus-V 3 and 4 Earth observation satellites. The two spacecraft will assist the Russian government in disaster response, mapping and forest fire detection. Multiple secondary payloads from international companies and institutions will also launch on the Soyuz rocket. The Soyuz 2-1a rocket will use a Fregat upper stage. Delayed from Dec. 22. [Jan. 15]
Feb. 1Long March 2D ? CSES
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Jiuquan, China
A Chinese Long March 2D rocket will launch the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite, also known as Zhangheng 1, and several secondary payloads. Zhangheng 1 is a Chinese-led mission developed in partnership with Italy to study how electromagnetic signals in Earth’s atmosphere and ionosphere could help predict earthquakes. Secondary payloads will include the GomX-4A and GomX-4B CubeSats for the Danish Ministry of Defense and the European Space Agency, two ŅuSat Earth-imaging microsatellites for Satellogic of Argentina, and two Chinese CubeSats. [Dec. 1]
1st QuarterGSLV Mk.2 ? GSAT 6A
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India
India?s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 2 (GSLV Mk.2), flying on the GSLV-F08 mission, will launch the GSAT 6A satellite to provide S-band communications and demonstrate the performance of a 6-meter unfurlable antenna and other network technologies for future satellite-based mobile communications applications. The GSLV Mk.2 will fly with an upgraded Indian-built cryogenic upper stage. Delayed from January. [Jan. 15]


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