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]

Sept. 22H-2B ? HTV 7
Launch time: 1752:27 GMT (1:52:27 p.m. EDT)
Launch site:
Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
A Japanese H-2B rocket will launch the seventh H-2 Transfer Vehicle. The HTV serves as an unmanned cargo vehicle to deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. Delayed from Aug. 16. Delayed from Sept. 10 due to a typhoon threatening Guam ground station. Delayed from Sept. 13 by bad weather forecast at Tanegashima. Scrubbed on Sept. 14 by second stage propulsion system issue. Delayed from Sept. 21 by bad weather forecast at Tanegashima. [Sept. 21]
Sept. 25Ariane 5 ? Horizons 3e & Azerspace 2/Intelsat 38
Launch time: 2153-2238 GMT (5:53-6:38 p.m. EDT)
Launch site:
ELA-3, Kourou, French Guiana
Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA243, to launch the Horizons 3e and Azerspace 2/Intelsat 38 communications satellites. The Horizons 3e high-throughput satellite is owned by the Horizons joint venture between Intelsat and the Japanese operator Sky Perfect JSAT Corp. Horizons 3e was built by Boeing and will provide aeronautical and maritime mobility services and support government networking applications in the Asia-Pacific region and in North America. Built by Space Systems/Loral, the Azerspace 2/Intelsat 38 spacecraft will be the second satellite owned by Azercosmos, the national satellite operator of Azerbaijan, which will use the new platform to support growing demands in the region for direct-to-home television, government and network services. For Intelsat, the satellite will replace the Intelsat 12 spacecraft offering direct-to-home television and network services over Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia. Delayed from April and May 18. Delayed from May 25 to conduct additional checks on the GSAT 11 spacecraft, which was removed from the mission and replaced with Horizons 3e. Delayed from Sept. 5, Sept. 7 and Sept 18. [Sept. 21]
OctoberLong March 3B ? Beidou
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Xichang, China
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket with a Yuanzheng upper stage will launch two satellites for the country?s Beidou navigation network into Medium Earth Orbit. [Sept. 21]
Oct. 6Falcon 9 ? SAOCOM 1A
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SAOCOM 1A for CONAE, Argentina’s space agency. SAOCOM 1A is the first of two SAOCOM 1-series Earth observation satellites designed to provide radar imagery to help emergency responders and monitor the environment, including the collection of soil moisture measurements. Delayed from Sept. 28. [Sept. 21]
Oct. 11Soyuz ? ISS 56S
Launch time: 0840 GMT (4:40 a.m. EDT)
Launch site:
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch the crewed Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station with members of the next Expedition crew. The capsule will remain at the station for about six months, providing an escape pod for the residents. Delayed from Sept. 7 and Sept. 14. [June 4]
OctoberPSLV ? HySIS
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India
India?s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, flying on the PSLV-C43 mission, will launch India’s Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite, or HySIS. A collection of small international secondary payloads will accompany HySIS on this launch. [Aug. 15]
Oct. 17Atlas 5 ? AEHF 4
Launch time: 0415-0615 GMT (12:15-2:15 a.m. EDT)
Launch site:
SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, designated AV-073, will launch the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite. Built by Lockheed Martin, this U.S. military spacecraft will provide highly-secure communications. The rocket will fly in the 551 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, five solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Delayed from Dec. 15, 2016. Delayed from Jan. 26, May 4, June 22, June 29 and Oct. 11, 2017. Delayed from July 2018. Moved up from Oct. 18. Delayed from Oct. 4. [Sept. 21]
Oct. 18/19Ariane 5 ? BepiColombo
Launch time: 0145 GMT on 19th (9:45 p.m. EDT on 18th)
Launch site:
ELA-3, Kourou, French Guiana
Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket to launch the BepiColombo mission for the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. BepiColombo will begin a seven-year journey to Mercury, where two spacecraft built in Europe and Japan will survey the solar system’s innermost planet’s geology, evolution and magnetic field. BepiColombo will be the third space mission to visit Mercury, and the first led by Europe. Delayed from Oct. 5. [July 3]
OctoberGSLV Mk.3 ? GSAT 29
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India
India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 3 (GSLV Mk.3), designated GSLV Mk.3-D2, will launch the GSAT 29 communications satellite carrying Ka-band, Ku-band and optical communications payloads. Delayed from July. [July 10]
Oct. 26Pegasus XL ? ICON
Launch window: 0800-0930 GMT (4:00-5:30 a.m. EDT)
Launch site:
L-1011, Skid Strip, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
An air-launched Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket will deploy NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite into orbit. ICON will study the ionosphere, a region of Earth’s upper atmosphere where terrestrial weather meets space weather. Disturbances in the ionosphere triggered by solar storms or weather activity in the lower atmosphere can cause disturbances in GPS navigation and radio transmissions. The mission’s staging point was changed from Kwajalein Atoll to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in mid-2018. Delayed from June 15, Nov. 14, and Dec. 8, 2017. Delayed from June 14, Sept. 24 and Oct. 6. [Sept. 21]
Late OctoberLong March 2C ? CFOSAT
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Jiuquan, China
A Chinese Long March 2C rocket will launch the China-France Oceanography Satellite, or CFOSAT. CFOSAT will study ocean surface winds and waves. These data will enable more reliable sea-state forecasts and yield new insights into ocean-atmosphere interactions. Delayed from September. [July 27]
Oct. 29H-2A ? GOSAT 2 & KhalifaSat
Launch window: 0408-0420 GMT (12:08-12:20 a.m. EDT)
Launch site:
Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
A Japanese H-2A rocket will launch the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite 2, or GOSAT 2, for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the Japanese Ministry of Environment, and the National Institute of Environmental Studies. Also known as Ibuki 2, the satellite replaces the Ibuki spacecraft launched in 2009 and will measure carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere, yielding data to help determine how much of the greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to human activity. The H-2A will also launch the KhalifaSat Earth-imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates and several other secondary payloads. [Aug. 27]
Oct. 30/31Soyuz ? Progress 71P
Launch time: 0053 GMT on 31st (8:53 p.m. EDT on 30th)
Launch site:
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch the 71st Progress cargo delivery ship to the International Space Station. [June 4]
TBDLong March 3B ? Beidou
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Xichang, China
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket with a Yuanzheng upper stage will launch two satellites for the country?s Beidou navigation network into Medium Earth Orbit. [Sept. 21]
Nov. 6/7Soyuz ? MetOp C
Launch time: Approx. 0047 GMT on 7th (8:47 p.m. EDT on 6th)
Launch site:
ELS, Sinnamary, French Guiana
An Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS19, will launch on a mission from the Guiana Space Center in South America. The Soyuz will carry the MetOp C polar-orbiting weather satellite for the European Space Agency and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, or Eumetsat. The Soyuz 2-1b (Soyuz ST-B) rocket will use a Fregat upper stage. Delayed from Sept. 18. [July 3]
4th QuarterFalcon 9 ? Es’hail 2
Launch window: TBD
Launch site:
Cape Canaveral, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Es’hail 2 communications satellite. Built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and owned by Qatar’s national satellite communications company Es’hailSat, Es’hail 2 will provide television broadcasts, broadband connectivity and government services to Qatar and neighboring parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Es’hail 2 also carries the first amateur radio payload to fly in geostationary orbit. Delayed from August. [Aug. 2]
NovemberSoyuz ? Glonass M
Launch time: TBD
Launch site:
Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia
A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch a Glonass M navigation satellite. The rocket will fly in the Soyuz 2-1b configuration with a Fregat upper stage. [Sept. 6]
NovemberElectron ? It’s Business Time
Launch window: TBD
Launch site:
Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its third flight, which Rocket Lab calls ?It’s Business Time,? from a facility on the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand?s North Island. Two commercial CubeSats for Spire Global’s weather and ship tracking constellation, and one small satellite for GeoOptics’ commercial remote sensing network will be aboard the rocket. A Curie upper stage will place the satellites into the proper orbit. Delayed from April 20. Scrubbed on June 23 and June 26. [Aug. 9]


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