November is shaping up as a busy month for rocket launches

Satsuki Then - Nov 14, 2020, 7:18am CST
November is shaping up as a busy month for rocket launches

November could be a very busy month for rocket launches around the United States and world. We were originally set to have a quartet of launches over the next four days. However, the SpaceX Crew-1 mission was delayed until Sunday. Other launches set to take off in the next few days, barring any unforeseen changes, include the National Reconnaissance Office classified NROL-101.

That spacecraft was scheduled to launch using a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX has been scheduled to launch its Crew-1 mission on Saturday at 7:49 PM EST. If that launch happens, it will be the first operational contracted crew mission for NASA putting four astronauts aboard the ISS.

Rocket Lab is set to launch a rocket dubbed “Return to Sender” from New Zealand. That mission will put 30 satellites into orbit and afterward splashdown in the ocean for recovery. The final spaceflight will be a Vega rocket launched by Arianespace. That launch is currently scheduled for Monday, November 16, at 8:52 PM EST from French Guiana.

After these four lunches, which are set to happen soon, more will happen later in the month. SpaceX is set to launch a classified NROL-108 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office on November 18. Space X will also launch the Sentinel 6 Michael Freilich Earth-observation satellite on November 21.

As SpaceX found out today, there is no guarantee these will happen this month. If the weather holds out, we could see all of these launches happened this month, but something could be pushed into December or later. Rocket Lab’s launch is important for the company as this is the first time it has attempted to recover its Electron booster to refurbish it and reuse it for a future launch. SpaceX has been landing and refurbishing its rockets for a long time.


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