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This is the sixth and final satellite in the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system, which is a series of communications satellites operated by the United States Air Force Space Command. It provides global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms.#AEHF6
SpaceX will launch the Dragon spacecraft on their 20th operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. The flight is being conducted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.B1059 - Flight Proven ( ) Landing Zone 1
Solar Orbiter is a joint ESA/NASA mission dedicated to solar and heliospheric physics. It will be used to examine how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, the vast bubble of charged particles blown by the solar wind into the interstellar medium. The spacecraft will combine in situ and remote sensing observations to gain new information about the solar wind, the heliospheric magnetic field, solar energetic particles, transient interplanetary disturbances and the Sun's magnetic field. Instruments include: * Solar Wind Analyser (SWA) * Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) * Magnetometer (MAG) * Radio and Plasma Wave analyser (RPW) * Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (PHI) * Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) * Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment (SPICE) * Spectrometer Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) * Coronagraph (Metis) While mission is not intended to get as close to the Sun as Parker Solar Probe, it's designed to coordinate observations and has different set of instruments. Main mission starts after one and only Earth flyby in November 2021, and lasts until Dec 2026 when it enters extended phase. During the mission, Solar Orbiter will get through numerous Venus gravity assists, and its trajectory will be highly inclined allowing direct observations of Sun's poles.Heliocentric N/A #SolO
Second operational Starlink payload of 2020 and third overall. The Falcon 9 launch vehicle will carry a batch of 60 Starlink satellites that will be insterted in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 290 km (180 mi) and an inclination of 53°. They will then split into three orbital planes and raise their orbits to reach an operational altitude of 550 km (342 mi). The Starlink LEO constellation aims to provide worldwide affordable satellite internet access. 182 satellites (120 operational) have been deployed so far, the goal scheduled for the mid-2020s being 12,000 satellites in orbit, with a possible later extension to 42,000. The booster for this launch will be B1051, a Block 5 generation core which previously flew on SpaceX's Demonstration Mission 1 (first Crew Dragon test flight) and launched the Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT Constellation.Low Earth Orbit B1051 - Flight Proven ( ) Of Course I Still Love You
When the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket reaches Max-Q (maximum dynamic forces), the launch abort system of the Crew Dragon spacecraft will be triggered. This will fire up its SuperDraco engines and propel the spacecraft and its theoretical passengers away from the launch vehicle before landing back safely in the Atlantic Ocean. The goal of this test is to demonstrate the capacity of the spacecraft to ensure a safe return to the ground for the astronauts in the event of a launch vehicle failure. The booster for this launch will be B1046, a thrice-flown core which was the first of the Block 5 generation. It will not attempt to land and is expected to be destroyed by the SuperDracos and aerodynamic loads.Sub-Orbital B1046 - Flight Proven ( ) Atlantic
This is the first test flight of Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station. Although Atlas V and Centaur upper stage successfully put Starliner into planned trajectory, the spacecraft was unable to perform a nominal orbital insertion. Preliminary analysis indicate that Mission Elapsed Time (MET) system error led to Starliner burning more fuel than expected. Spacecraft is healthy and in stable orbit, but won't be able to reach and dock with ISS. Landing at White Sands Facility is planned on Dec 22.Low Earth Orbit
JCSAT-18/KACIFIC-1 is a joint high-throughput communications satellite for Sky Perfect JSAT Corp. of Japan and a Singapore telecommunications company Kacific Broadband Satellites. Satellite will provide mobile telephone, data and internet services throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The JCSAT-18 payload will provide Ku-band coverage and improve mobile and broadband services for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation customers in the Asia-Pacific region, including the far eastern part of Russia. The satellite features technologies in the power subsystem to achieve highest efficiencies, and it also features command and data handling technologies to provide a more secure spacecraft. The KACIFIC-1 payload is designed to deliver uncontended broadband throughput via 56 Ka-band narrow beams, each having a capacity up to 1.25 Gbps, with the highest signal power ever achieved in the region. The beams are selectively tailored to cover precise pockets of demand in a geographically dispersed footprint of 20 Pacific and South East Asian nations.B1056 - Flight Proven ( ) Of Course I Still Love You