Skynet 12-5-20 “Space News of the Week” 9PM CT

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Saturday’s DARC SkyNet is at 9PM CT.

Space News of the Week

Discussion Topic of the Evening. By Bill Byrom N5BB – Space debris.

We can’t play music on the air, but we are plagued with more than a viral pandemic. Cosmik Debris by Frank Zappa:

Arecibo Observatory destroyed as metal platform collapses onto the iconic telescope
(with video):

Europe signs $102M deal to bring space trash home

Deep-learning algorithms helping to clear space junk from our skies

Waz Up

East, December 2020, Late Night

Constellation Leo×1008.gif

Pointer Stars of the Big Dipper

Space Exploration and Space History 

News: SOHO’s 25th anniversary

Space Launches For This Week

Space Coast Launches

Space Flight Now Launch Schedule

Dec. 10

Falcon 9 • SXM 7

Launch window: 1619-1819 GMT (11:19 a.m.-1:19 p.m. EST)

Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SXM 7 satellite for SiriusXM. The satellite will replace the XM 3 satellite in SiriusXM’s fleet providing satellite radio programming to consumers across North America. SXM 7 was built by Maxar Technologies, and features a large unfurlable S-band reflector to broadcast radio signals to users on the ground. Delayed from Aug. 1 and November. [Nov. 30]

Dec. 10

Long March 11 • GECAM

Launch time: TBD

Launch site: Xichang, China

A Chinese Long March 11 rocket will launch the Gravitational Wave High-energy Electromagnetic Counterpart All-sky Monitor, or GECAM, mission. The GECAM mission consists of two small satellites to detect the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves and other astrophysical signals, aiding in the study of neutron stars and black holes. [Nov. 27]

Dec. 11

Angara-A5 • Test Flight

Launch time: TBD

Launch site: Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia

A Russian government Angara-A5 rocket will launch on its second orbital test flight. Delayed from December and 2nd Quarter. Delayed from Nov. 3, Nov. 24, and Nov. 28. [Nov. 27]

Dec. 12

Electron • “Owl’s Night Begins”

Launch window: 0900-1059 GMT (4:00-5:59 a.m. EST)

Launch site: Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch the StriX-α synthetic aperture radar satellite for Synspective, a Japanese Earth-imaging company. The StriX-α satellite is the first of a series of spacecraft for Synspective’s planned constellation of more than 30 small radar observation satellites to collate data of metropolitan centers across Asia on a daily basis that can be used for urban development planning, construction and infrastructure monitoring, and disaster response. [Nov. 27]

Dec. 14


Launch time: Approx. 0930 GMT (4:30 a.m. EST)

Launch site: Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), designated PSLV-C50, will launch the CMS 1 communications satellite. CMS 1 was formerly known as GSAT 12R, and is designed to replace the GSAT 12 communications satellite launched in 2011. The mission will use the PSLV-XL version of the PSLV with six strap-on solid rocket boosters. Delayed from Dec. 7. [Dec. 2]


SSLV • Demonstration Launch

Launch time: TBD

Launch site: Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India

India’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) will launch on its first orbital test flight. Consisting of three solid-fueled stages and a liquid-fueled upper stage, the SSLV is a new Indian launch vehicle designed to carry small satellites into low Earth orbit. Delayed from September, December and January. [Oct. 6]

Dec. 17

Soyuz • OneWeb 4

Launch time: TBD

Launch site: Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia

A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch 36 satellites into orbit for OneWeb, which is developing a constellation of hundreds of satellites in low Earth orbit for low-latency broadband communications. The Soyuz-2.1b rocket will use a Fregat upper stage. Delayed from mid-2020 by OneWeb bankruptcy. [Nov. 9]

Dec. 19

LauncherOne • ELaNa-20

Launch window: 1800-2200 GMT (1:00-5:00 p.m. EST; 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. PST)

Launch site: Cosmic Girl (Boeing 747), Mojave Air and Space Port, California

A Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket will launch on its second flight after dropping from a modified Boeing 747 carrier jet. The flight will be conducted under contract to NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services Program, carrying 14 CubeSats to orbit for NASA field centers, U.S. educational institutions and laboratories on the ELaNa-20 rideshare mission. Delayed from Aug. 1, Sept. 1, November, Dec. 1, mid-February, July 1 and Aug. 14. [Nov. 30]

Dec. 20

Long March 8 • XJY 7

Launch time: TBD

Launch site: Wenchang, China

A Chinese medium-lift Long March 8 rocket will launch on its inaugural flight with a secret payload designated XJY 7. [Nov. 30]


Falcon 9 • NROL-108

Launch window: TBD

Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a classified spacecraft payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission is designated NROL-108. The first stage booster is expected to attempt a return to launch site landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Delayed from Oct. 25. [Nov. 13]

Dec. 28

Soyuz • CSO 2

Launch time: TBD

Launch site: ELS, Sinnamary, French Guiana

An Arianespace Soyuz rocket, designated VS25, will launch on a mission from the Guiana Space Center in South America. The Soyuz will carry into polar orbit the second Composante Spatiale Optique military reconnaissance satellite for CNES and DGA, the French defense procurement agency. The CSO 2 satellite is the second of three new-generation high-resolution optical imaging satellites for the French military, replacing the Helios 2 spy satellite series. The Soyuz-2.1b (Soyuz ST-B) rocket will use a Fregat upper stage. Delayed from April 10 in ripple effect from Falcon Eye 2’s launch delay. [Nov. 9]

Recent Astronomical Discoveries 

Astronomers to Release Most Accurate Date Ever for Nearly Two Billion Stars

Visible satellite passages over the next couple of days.

All times are “local” (Dallas) time.


Dec. 9


Dec. 10

Dec. 12

Hubble Space Telescope

Dec. 6


Dec. 6

Dec. 9

Dec. 11

Dec. 14