4 different rocket missions are set to launch on Thursday
New Delhi: Four different space companies – Rocket Lab, ULA, Blue Origin and SpaceX – are all set to launch their rocket missions on Thursday.
After suffering a delay in the launch of its second satellite due to software updates, the American company Rocket Lab on Thursday successfully launched the NROL-199 spy satellite for the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which operates the national fleet of spy satellites.
“Launch successful!” the NRO wrote on Twitter.
The NROL-199 mission called “Antipodean Adventure” launched on the Electron rocket from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 at 1 a.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. IST) Thursday from New Zealand.
It carries a payload designed, built and operated by the NRO in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence.
This mission follows the successful delivery to orbit of its predecessor NROL-162 on July 13. The satellites will help the NRO provide critical information to government agencies and policy makers monitoring international issues.
After five successful sightseeing flights in space, Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin aims to launch its sixth mission on Thursday. The sixth flight to space will lift off at 8:30 a.m. CDT (7:00 p.m. IST) from Launch Site 1 in West Texas, USA.
The NS-22 mission crew will include Dude Perfect co-founder Coby Cotton, Portuguese entrepreneur Mario Ferreira, British-American mountaineer Vanessa O’Brien, technology leader Clint Kelly III, Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry and telecommunications manager Steve Young.
Sara will become the first person from Egypt to fly in space; Mario will become the first from Portugal. Vanessa will become the first woman to achieve extremes on land, sea and air, completing the Explorers’ Extreme Trifecta, a Guinness World Record.
Next is the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 421 rocket that will launch the sixth and final Space-Based Infrared System Ground Geosynchronous Spacecraft (SBIRS GEO 6) for the US Space Force.
It is scheduled to launch Thursday at 6:29 a.m. EDT (3:59 p.m. IST) from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The SBIRS GEO 6 is equipped with powerful scanning and fixed infrared surveillance sensors. These infrared sensors will help the US military detect missile launches and support ballistic missile defense.
SpaceX is also aiming to launch South Korea’s first lunar orbiter mission on Thursday. The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) – also known as Danuri – was originally scheduled to launch Tuesday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States.
It was postponed due to additional SpaceX rocket maintenance. The relaunch of the 678kg Danuri will now take place at 7:08 p.m. ET (4:38 a.m. IST Friday).
The Korea Institute for Aerospace Research expects the orbiter to reach and begin circling the moon in December for a year-long observation mission.