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Soyuz 2.1b | Kosmos 2573 (Bars-M No. 5?)

Progress Rocket Space Center | RUS
Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation
Dec. 21, 2023, 8:48 a.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Note: Payload identity uncertain, possibly Bars-M #5 or a similar satellite as the insertion orbit is similar. Bars-M is the second incarnation of the Bars project, which was started in the mid 1990ies to develop a successor for the Komtea class of area surveillance satellites. The original Bars project was halted in the early 2000s. In 2007, TsSKB-Progress was contracted for Bars-M, for which reportedly the Yantar-based service module was replaced by a new developed advanced service module. The Bars-M satellites feature an electro-optical camera system called Karat, which is developed and built by the Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association (LOMO), and a dual laser altimeter instrument to deliver topographic imagery, stereo images, altimeter data and high-resolution images with a ground resolution around 1 meter.

Sun-Synchronous Orbit
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New Shepard | NS-24

Blue Origin | USA
Corn Ranch, Van Horn, TX, USA
Dec. 19, 2023, 4:42 p.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Twenty-fourth flight of New Shepard carrying the same 36 science and research payloads and tens of thousands of postcards from Club For Future that flew on the failed NS-23 flight.

Suborbital NS-4 - Flight Proven ( ) Corn Ranch Landing Pad, West Texas
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Falcon 9 Block 5 | Starlink Group 6-34

SpaceX | USA
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Dec. 19, 2023, 4:01 a.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

A batch of satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.

Low Earth Orbit B1081 - Flight Proven ( ) A Shortfall of Gravitas
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Hyperbola-1 | DEAR-1

iSpace | CHN
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China
Dec. 17, 2023, 7 a.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Prototype recoverable experiment spacecraft by Chinese firm AZSPACE.

Sun-Synchronous Orbit
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Soyuz 2.1b/Fregat-M | Arktika-M No.2

Progress Rocket Space Center | RUS
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of Kazakhstan
Dec. 16, 2023, 9:17 a.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Arktika-M ("Arctic-M") is a series of Earh observation satellites which will gather meteorological and hydrological data on polar region. Arktika-M satellites will also provide communication services for the region.

Elliptical Orbit
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Long March 5 | Yaogan 41

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation | CHN
Wenchang Space Launch Site, People's Republic of China
Dec. 15, 2023, 1:41 p.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Chinese reconnaissance satellite explicitly named in official news as a "high orbit optical remote sensing satellite". Satellite was found in standard geostationary transfer orbit after launch; other details TBD.

Geostationary Transfer Orbit
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Electron | The Moon God Awakens (QPS-SAR-5)

Rocket Lab | USA
Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Dec. 15, 2023, 4:05 a.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

QPS-SAR-5 is a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite that will join a constellation after QPS-SAR-6 already in orbit. iQPS’s satellites are small, high-performance SAR satellites that use a lightweight, large, stowable antenna to collect high resolution images of Earth, even through clouds and adverse weather conditions.

Low Earth Orbit 42 - Maiden Flight South Pacific
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Long March 2F/G | Chinese Reusable Space Vehicle

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation | CHN
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China
Dec. 14, 2023, 2:12 p.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Note: Launch time is approximated. Probable 3rd flight of the Chinese spaceplane capable of returning to Earth, which flew in orbit September 4 - 6, 2020 and August 4, 2022 - May 8, 2023.

Low Earth Orbit
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Long March 2D | Yaogan 39 Group 05

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation | CHN
Xichang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China
Dec. 10, 2023, 1:58 a.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

Chinese reconnaissance satellites.

Low Earth Orbit
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Zhuque-2 | Flight 3

LandSpace | CHN
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China
Dec. 8, 2023, 11:39 p.m.
Status: Launch Successful
Mission:

First operational flight of LandSpace's Zhuque-2 rocket with 3 payloads: Tianyi-33 - 50 kg class satellite from TYSPACE & Hunan University of Science and Technology that tests various new technologies including a camera, new spacecraft thermal control, composite material for anti-radiation effects, high-output electric power supplies and payload control software using the Rust programming language; Honghu-1 & 2 - 50 kg class satellites for long term testing of Xenon & Krypton-based Hall-effect thrusters & Argon-based ion thrusters.

Sun-Synchronous Orbit
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