SpaceX recorded 18 launches in 2017, making it the busiest year so far for the aerospace company. This year, they’re on track to break that record with 22.
Five more launches are scheduled in SpaceX’s calendar before 2018 wraps up, all of them happening in Florida and California.
The experience of witnessing a space launch in person must be one of the most thrilling and awe-inspiring sights one can ever encounter. But it’s a spectacle reserved only for those who live in the vicinity of the launch pads.
Fortunately, we peasants can get a glimpse of these epic events on SpaceX’s YouTube Channel, where they often broadcast their launches live. The company is yet to confirm that all remaining launches will be live streamed, but at this stage, it looks more likely than not that they will be broadcasted.
Here’s when each of the remaining launches is set to go down so you can slip them into your stargazing agenda. Note that dates and times are subject to SpaceX scheduling adjustments, but we’ll keep it updated as best we can.
|Mission||Date and time (EST)||Date and time (AEDT)|
|Es’hail 2||November 14 @ 15:46-17:27||November 15 @ 7:46-9:27|
|SSO-A||November 19 @ 13:32||November 20 @ 5:32|
|CRS-16||December 4 @ 13:38||December 5 @ 5:38|
|GPS III-1||December 15 @ 9:08||December 16 @ 1:08|
|Iridium-8||December 30 @ 11:38||December 31 @ 3:38|
First in line is SpaceX’s mission Es’hail 2, commissioned by the Qatar Satellite Company and scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center between 3:46pm and 5:27pm on November 14 EST (7:46-9:27am, November 15 AEDT). Aside from being able to provide premium television content across the Middle East and North Africa, Es’hail 2 also carries equipment that will allow amateur radio geostationary communication from Brazil to India for the very first time.
The second mission is scheduled for 1:32pm on November 19 EST (5:32am, November 20 AEST) when the Falcon 9 rocket will take Spaceflight Industries’ SSO-A mission into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
This is a special one, because it will be the largest single rideshare mission from a US-based launch vehicle in history. This single launch will take to space more than 70 spacecraft belonging to around 35 commercial and government organisations from 18 countries, including Australia. Yep, we Aussies are part of that party.
Following the historical SSO-A mission, SpaceX will come back to Cape Canaveral in Florida to launch the CRS-16, a NASA-contracted commercial resupply service mission to the International Space Station. This launch is slated for 1:38pm on December 4 EST (5:38am, December 5 AEDT).
The fourth launch from now will be the GPS III-1, the first of a series of ten satellites designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin to update GPS operability for both civilian and military users in the United States.
This government-contracted mission is scheduled for no earlier than 9:08am on December 15 EST (1:08am, December 16 AEDT). GPS III-1 is expected to launch from Cape Canaveral.
The final launch of the year will be the Iridium-8 mission, slated to happen on December 30 at 11:38 EST (3:38am, December 31 AEDT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Iridium-8 is part of a series of satellites owned by Iridium Communications and will be deployed in space to provide L-band voice and data coverage to satellite phones, pagers and integrated transceivers across the world.
If all these missions are successful, SpaceX will end 2018 on a very high note, setting a new record of 22 launches in what will be their most successful year ever.