The most important space flights of November: there is also SpaceX Crew-1

Brian Adam

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November will be a month full of launches and space missions: we have compiled this “calendar” for you so that you don’t miss a single event.

column The most important space flights of November: there is also Crew-1 of SpaceX


Space launches and missions continue unabated – by government and private agencies – to bring their precious cargoes into orbit. As we have seen in recent years now, anyone can “rent” a rocket, pay for a ride and let your equipment be released into aerospace. While for the month of October we focused on the missions from time to time, already in September we noticed how the crowding of “liftoffs” required a specific calendar.
The same fate now happens to the just begun November, a really interesting month full of very important launches. We remind you that all dates and times reported have been already converted to the Italian time zone.


November 3

It’s the turn of the timeless rocket Atlas V of the United Launch Alliance, so far the launcher with the highest success rate (99%), also considering the considerable amount of missions in which it has participated (85 since it was first launched in 2002). November 3 will be in charge of launching a “classified” cargo and confidential, as it is a satellite belonging to the National Reconnaissance Office, which is a branch of the United States Department of Defense that builds and operates spy satellites. The mission, NROL-101, will take off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 23:58 of the Italian time zone.

November 6

Double throw for November 6th. Two take-offs in twenty-four hours (barring unforeseen events): the first protagonist of the day is SpaceX, with its Falcon 9 that will launch the US Air Force’s fourth third-generation GPS satellite, designated “GPS III SV04”. It will take off from Cape Canaveral in a launch window of approximately fifteen minutes which opens at hours 00:24. A window, it must be said, rather uncertain and that could postpone or postpone this flight to another date.
The second protagonist will be the China, which will put a dozen of imaging satellites terrestrial named “NuSat” on behalf of Satellogic, a company producing satellites and remote sensing of Argentine nationality.
It will depart from the space center of Taiyuan in the Chinese province of Shanxi and the rocket will be used “Long March 6“: liquid propellant rocket consisting of three stages and which has flown since now only three times in five years.

November 7

Not even the time to recover from the shotgun mentioned earlier that immediately we have a new launch scheduled for November 7 at 10:32 am. This time she is involved India, with his “Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle“, known more commonly as”PSLV“(an Indian rocket developed in the late 1990s and which set a world record in 2017 by bringing 104 satellites into orbit in a single successful launch).

The PSLV this time will carry a RISAT 2BR2 imaging satellite, on behalf of the “Indian Space Research Organization“, the Indian National Agency for Space Research. The take-off is planned from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.

November 10

Back, as expected from one of the hottest companies of the decade, the SpaceX for a new launch. One more Falcon 9 Block 5 as the protagonist, and the load in question is the Sentine-6A satellite. The Sentinel-6 mission, also known as the Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission, aims to bring the future satellite altimeter jointly developed by NASA, ESA, EUMETSAT and NOAA into orbit. Sentinel-6 will actually include two identical satellites, the one to be launched on November 10 and Sentinel-6B, which won’t take off before 2025.
The tools they are equipped with will allow them to continue measurements of sea level change from space, a practice that has been happening continuously since 1992 (and which has allowed us to look even more clearly at the harsh reality of climate change). It will take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California at 20:45.

Night between 14 and 15 November, the big day!

The moment we are almost certainly all awaiting with the most anxious anticipation: SpaceX (again you!) Is ready to launch the first, official manned operational mission, the “Crew-1 mission“Initially scheduled for October 31 as a Halloween gift for ISS residents, the voyage of American astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese Soichi Noguchi (JAXA) has been postponed to November 14, but we will already the night of the next day.
If there are no further unforeseen events or postponements, take-off will take place at 01:49 am of 15 November 2020. It will be an important step in space exploration, as it will represent the first operational mission with human crew taken over by a private body, or the company led by Elon Musk. The brand new Crew Dragon capsule, named “Resilience” for the occasion, will also be used.

We must not forget, however, that about twenty-four hours earlier, at 02:52 am on November 14, the Vega rocket (built with the collaboration of the Italian Space Agency) will launch the terrestrial observation satellite SEOSAT-Ingenio (here we told you about its peculiarities), and the scientific research satellite Taranis. Expected take-off from the Kourou launch base in French Guiana.

November 24

On the evening of November 24, more precisely at 1 o’clock, the second test launch of the new is expected Russian rocket Angara-5. The Angara family is the whole of the new fleet of heavy and super-heavy launchers that is slowly replacing the old Proton born in the Soviet Union (and then passed to today’s Russia).
Model 5, in particular, it is composed of three stages and four side auxiliary rockets, and is capable of carrying around 24,500 kg of payload at an altitude of 200km. It will be placed on an orbital flight to test its behavior at high altitude and will depart from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia.

November 30

A further launch of a Falcon 9 rocket of the company of Elon Musk. The payload in question is a Turkish communications satellite, named “Turksat 5“on behalf of the Turkish satellite operator Turksat. Türksat 5A will be placed in a geostationary orbit to provide telecommunications, TV signal, streaming services and OnDemand over a geographic region between West China and East England, extending over Turkey, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The satellite it will weigh about 3500kg and it is estimated that it can operate undisturbed for at least fifteen years from the moment of its activation. As usual, the launch will take place from Cape Canaveral but the time is not yet certain.

Warnings and other launches to be estimated

Although it may seem that we have already listed a large number of flights, in reality we have reported those with the most “certain” date possible: there are other missions that await a launch window and that they have received – for the moment only – the generic date of 30 November.
In reality, they could find space in these days long before the aforementioned date, but it cannot be excluded that they may also be postponed to December or early 2021.

There is not even total certainty that the launches reported in this article will take place on schedule: as we have seen several times there are often last-minute delays or postponements (some even a few seconds at the end of the countdown) and it is impossible to predict what will happen.
However, it seemed right to show you at least the November calendar and point out how aerospace traffic is now in effect a well-established and fast-growing business. Obviously we will not fail to update you from time to time if there will be news on scheduled launches.