Launches This Week: Japan, India, Russia, Europe & the USA

SpaceX’s Falcon 9’s first re-flight. Image courtesy of SpaceX.

The first week of June is an incredibly packed week for launches. If all goes well, we’ll witness the launch of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Michibiki-2 satellite, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) landmark GSLV-III rocket, and the launch of the satellite Echostar XXI by  Russia’s Roscosmos.


  • JAXA – 1 June 2017


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Launch vehicle: H-IIA, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Payload: Michibiki No. 2, Quasi-Zenith Satellite System

Launch Date: June 1, 2017

Launch Time: 9:17:46 am JST (UTC+9:00)

Location: Yoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima, Japan

Michibiki-2 is the first of three Michibiki satellites that will be launched by JAXA this year, as part of Japan’s satellite-based augmentation system, the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). Read more here.


  • SpaceX (USA) – 1 June 2017


Launch vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust, manufactured by SpaceX

Payload: Dragon spacecraft to the ISS

Launch date: 1 June 2017

Launch time: 5.55 pm EST (UTC-4.00)

Location: Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will conduct its 11th resupply mission to the ISS, serving as a cargo spacecraft. Dragon will also carry Singapore’s first experiment to the ISS, conducted jointly by Singapore-based startup BSE and the Singapore American School. Read more here.


  • Arianespace – 1 June 2017


Launch vehicle: Ariane 5 ECA, manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space for ESA, Arianespace and CNES

Payload: ViaSat-2, EUTELSAT 172B

Launch date: 1-2 June 2017

Launch time: 8:45pm local time (UCT-3:00)

Location: Guiana Space Center, French Guiana

This will be the third Ariane 5 mission this year, carrying ViaSat-2 for ViaSat Inc, and EUTELSAT 172B for Eutelsat. Both are geostationary communications satellites that will improve connectivity across Europe and the Americas.


  • ISRO – 5 June 2017


Launch vehicle: GSLV Mk III-D1, manufactured by ISRO

Payload: GSAT-19

Launch date: 5 June 2017

Launch time: 5.28pm IST (UTC+5:30)

Location: Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota, India

This is the much-anticipated launch of India’s heaviest rocket to date, the GSLV Mk III, which utilizes India’s new cryogenic engine. The GSLV Mk III is said to be an important step in sending a manned mission to space.


  • Roscosmos – 8 June 2017


Launch vehicle: Proton-M ILV, manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center

Payload: Echostar XXI

Launch date: 8 June 2017

Launch time: 06:45 Moscow time (UTC+3:00)

Location: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

This will be the first launch of the Proton rocket in 2017, since it was grounded in January because of problems with the upper stage engines. The Echostar XXI, a communications satellite, will provide connectivity to the European Union.


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