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Night Owl Launch Watch

by Christian Bradley Hubbs

First of Two New Laboratory Modules Launched to Chinese Space Station

On 24 July, the Chinese National Space Administration launched the first of two new modules to the Tiangong Modular Space Station (TMSS). Named “Wentian”, it is a Laboratory Cabin Module (LCM) of the Chinese station. It launched from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan on a Chang Zheng 5B rocket, the same launch site and vehicle that launched the Tianhe Core Module of the station last year, and will also launch the Mengtian LCM, currently planned for October. These new modules will serve as expanded science work areas, where the taikonauts living aboard the station will be able to perform experiments and research on various subjects, both pressurized on the interior, and exposed on the exterior. Also on the modules are extra robotic arms for cargo craft and module docking and relocation, propulsion and orientation systems, and extra solar panels and electricity storage.

 

The module arrived at the station 13 hours after launch, and the next day, on 25 July, the crew of the Shenzhou 14 mission, which launched and docked to the station in early June, opened the hatch and went into the new module for the first time, in order to perform outfitting tasks and get the laboratory ready for scientific work. This same 3-member crew is planned to oversee the arrival and setup of LCM-2 Mengtian in October, before transferring station control to the Shenzhou 15 crew and returning to Earth in December. With these new modules, the initial planned design of the TMSS will be complete and continue normal operations with regular crew rotations. However, the possibility of additional modules in the future can not be ruled out.

 

August 2022 Launch Forecast

US:

Date/Time

Mission

Rocket/Vehicle

Launcher

Operator

Launch Site

Landing Site

Destination

4 Aug 6:29

SBIRS GEO-6

Atlas V 421

ULA

USSF

SLC-41, Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

N/A (Expended)

Geostationary

4 Aug 9:57

NS-22

******

New Shepard 4.8 (RSS First Step)

Blue Origin

LS-1, Corn Ranch, Van Horn, TX, USA

Landing Site, Corn Ranch, Van Horn, TX, USA

Suborbital

4 Aug 19:08

Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter

Falcon 9 Bk5 B1052.6

SpaceX

KARI

SLC-40, Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

ASDS Just Read The Instructions, North Atlantic

Lunar Orbit

NET 9 Aug

RockSat-X

Terrier-Malemute

NASA

CSGC

LC-1A, Wallops, VA, USA

N/A (Expended)

Suborbital

9 Aug 19:00

Starlink 4-L26

Falcon 9 Bk5 B1073.3

SpaceX

LC-39A, Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

ASDS, North Atlantic

LEO

12 Aug 17:30

Starlink 3-L3

Falcon 9 Bk5 B1061.10

SpaceX

SLC-4E, Vandenberg, CA, USA

ASDS Of Course I Still Love You, North Pacific

Sun-synchronous

NET Aug

Good Luck, Have Fun Test Flight

Terran-1

Relativity Space

SLC-16, Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

N/A (Expended)

LEO

NET Aug

RS1 Test Launch

RS1

ABL Space Systems

LP-3C, Kodiak, AK, USA

N/A (Expended)

Polar LEO

NET 28 Aug

Artemis I

SLS Bk1

(Orion MPCV-01)

NASA

LC-39B, Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

N/A (Expended)

Lunar Orbit

NET W4 Aug

Starship-

SuperHeavy Orbital Test

Starship-

SuperHeavy B7/S24

SpaceX

OLP-A, Starbase, Boca Chica, TX, USA

Gulf of Mexico (B7)/Hawaii, 

 North Pacific (S24)

LEO

International:

Date/Time

Mission

Rocket/Vehicle

Launcher

Operator

Launch Site

Landing Site

Destination

1 Aug 16:25

Kosmos 2558

Soyuz 2.1v

VKS RF

Site 43/4, Plesetsk, Russia

N/A (Expended)

Polar LEO

3 Aug 23:08

TECIS

Chang Zheng 4B

CASC

LC-9, Taiyuan, China

N/A (Expended)

Sun-synchronous

4 Aug 1:00

Antipodean Adventure NROL-199 RASR-4

Electron

Rocket Lab

NRO

LC-1B, Mahia, New Zealand

N/A (Expended)

LEO

4 Aug 12:02

CSSHQ Experimental Spaceplane

Chang Zheng 2F

CASC

Site 91, Jiuquan, Inner Mongolia, China

N/A (Expended)

LEO

6 Aug 23:48

EOS-02

SSLV

ISRO

FLP, Dhawan, Andhra, India

N/A (Expended)

Sun-synchronous

NET Aug

RAISE-3

Epsilon

JAXA

Mu Pad, Uchinoura, Japan

N/A (Expended)

LEO

NET Aug

ACS3

Electron

Rocket Lab

NASA

LC-1A, Mahia, New Zealand

N/A (Expended)

LEO

NET Aug

ZQ2 Demo Flight

ZhuQue-2

LandSpace

Jiuquan, Inner Mongolia, China

N/A (Expended)

Sun-synchronous