Space Calendar 2018: Launches, Sky Events & More | Tech News

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LAST UPDATED June 23: These dates are subject to change, and will be updated throughout the year as firmer dates arise. Please DO NOT schedule travel based on a date you see here. Launch dates collected from NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, Spaceflight Now and others. 


Watch NASA webcasts and other live launch coverage on our Watch Live page, and see our night sky webcasts here. (You can also watch NASA TV live via nasa.gov or YouTube.)

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Find out what’s up in the night sky this month with our visible planets guide and skywatching forecast. Spot the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and other satellites in the sky above with this satellite tracker.


June 23: A Chinese Long March 2C rocket will launch from Xichang, China at 11:30 p.m. EDT (0330 GMT on June 24) with an unconfirmed satellite payload. 


June 24/25: A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its third flight, titled “It’s Business Time,” from the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. The 4-hour launch window opens at 8:30 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT on June 25). 


June 29: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon cargo spacecraft (CRS-15) from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:41 a.m. EDT (0941 GMT). [Watch Live]  


Also slated to launch in June (from Spaceflight Now):


  • A Chinese Long March 2C rocket will launch the Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS 1) from Taiyuan, China.  

  • Chinese Long March 3B rocket will launch two satellites for the country’s Beidou navigation network from Xichang, China.  


July 2: A SpaceX Dragon cargo delivery (CRS-15) will arrive at the International Space Station. Astronauts will use the station’s robotic arm to grapple the incoming spacecraft at 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT). NASA TV will provide live coverage beginning at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT). [Watch Live


July 9: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the 70th Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:51 p.m. EDT (2151 GMT). It will dock at the space station at 9:39 p.m. EDT (0139 GMT on July 10). [Watch Live]  


July 13: A partial solar eclipse will be visible from southern Australia, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. [Solar Eclipse Guide 2018: When, Where & How to See Them]


July 19:SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 1:50-5:50 a.m. EDT (0550-0950 GMT). The satellite provide high-throughput Ku-band and Ka-band communications services over South America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic and Canada. 


July 20:SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 10 satellites for the Iridium Next mobile communications fleet from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 8:12 a.m. EDT (1212 GMT).


July 25: Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ES rocket to launch four Galileo satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation constellation. The rocket will launch from Kourou, French Guiana at 7:24 a.m. EDT (1124 GMT).


July 27/28: A total lunar eclipse, also known as a “blood moon,” will be visible from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and Antarctica. [Lunar Eclipse 2018 Guide]


July 29/30: The southern Delta Aquarid meteor shower will peak overnight on Sunday, July 29 into the early morning hours of Monday, July 30. Meteors from this shower will be visible from mid-July to the end of August.


Also slated to launch in July (from Spaceflight Now):


  • India‘s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 3 (GSLV Mk.3) will launch the GSAT 29 communications satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India. 

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications satellite, also known as Apstar 5C, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite will provide broadcast, enterprise and government communications services over parts of India, China, Mongolia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ocean region. 


Aug. 4: A United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket will launch NASA’s Parker Solar Probe from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:57 a.m. EDT (0757 GMT). [Watch Live]   


Aug. 11: A partial solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Europe, Asia, Canada, Greenland, the Atlantic and the Arctic. [Solar Eclipse Guide 2018: When, Where & How to See Them]


Aug. 13: The Perseid meteor shower will peak before dawn in the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 13.


Aug. 16:Japanese H-2B rocket will launch the seventh H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-7) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The uncrewed cargo vehicle will deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space Station.


Aug. 21: An Arianespace Vega rocket will launch from Kourou, French Guiana with the European Space Agency’s Aeolus wind-mapping satellite. 


Aug. 27: A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will launch Boeing’s first CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on an unpiloted Orbital Test Flight to the International Space Station. The capsule will dock with the space station, then return to Earth to landing in the Western United States after an orbital shakedown cruise ahead of a two-person Crew Test Flight (which could happen in 2019).


Also slated to launch in August (from Spaceflight Now):


  • SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft from Kennedy Space Center in Florida for an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station. 

  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 10 Iridium Next satellites (66-75) from Vandenberg Air Foce Base in California. 


Sept. 12:United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket will launch NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite to measure ice sheet elevation and ice sheet thickness changes linked to climate change, along with measurements of Earth’s vegetation biomass. It will lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 8:46-11:20 a.m. EDT (1246-1520 GMT).


Sept. 18/19: An Arianespace Soyuz rocket will launch the European Space Agency’s MetOp C polar-orbiting weather satellite from the Guiana Space Center in Sinnamary, French Guiana at 8:46 p.m. EDT (0046 GMT on Sept. 19). 


Sept. 26: A United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite (NROL-71) for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.


Also slated to launch in September (from Spaceflight Now):


  • A Chinese Long March 2C rocket will launch the China-France Oceanography Satellite (CFOSAT) from Jiuquan, China. 

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch Spaceflight’s SSO-A rideshare mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. 


Oct. 4: NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev will undock their Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft from the International Space Station and land in Kazakhstan. 


Oct. 5: Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket to launch the BepiColombo mission for the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. BepiColombo will begin a seven-year journey to Mercury.


Oct. 5: The U.S. military will launch its fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite aboard an Atlas 5 rocket provided by the United Launch Alliance. It will launch from pad SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 


Oct. 9: The Draconid meter shower will peak before dawn on Tuesday, Oct. 9.


Oct. 11: Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the crewed Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station with members of the Expedition 57/58 crew: NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Nikolay Tikhonov. Liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is scheduled for 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT). 


Oct. 30: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the 71st Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8:53 p.m. EDT (0053 GMT on Oct. 31). 


Oct. 30: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program-2 mission.


Also slated to launch in October (from Spaceflight Now):


  • India will launch the Chandrayaan-2 mission to the moon from the Satish Dhawan Space Center. 

  • United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket will launch the U.S. Air Force’s first third-generation navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System (GPS 3-01). 

  • A Japanese H-2A rocket will launch the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite 2 (GOSAT 2) for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the KhalifaSat Earth-imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates. 


Nov. 10: An Orbital ATK Antares rocket will launch a Cygnus cargo spacecraft from Wallops Island, Virginia for a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. 


Nov. 15: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch a crewed Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station with members of the next Expedition crew. 


Nov. 16: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a Dragon cargo spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida for a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. 


Also slated to launch in November (from Spaceflight Now): 


  • An Arianespace Vega rocket will launch the Italian space agency’s PRISMA satellite from Kourou, French Guiana. 


Dec. 13: United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket will launch the 10th Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft, formerly known as the Wideband Gapfiller Satellite. 


Dec. 13: NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will undock their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft from the International Space Station and land in Kazakhstan. 


Dec. 20: NASA astronaut Anne McClain, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko will launch to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 


  • An air-launched Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket will send NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite into orbit from Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. 

  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Telkom 4 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

  • An Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 rocket to launch the Azerspace 2/Intelsat 38 and GSAT 11 communications satellites from the Marshall Islands.

  • SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the Arabsat 6A communications satellite from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A. 

  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 10 Iridium Next satellites (56-65) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  

  • Chinese Long March 3B rocket will launch the Chang’e 4 mission to attempt the first robotic landing on the far side of the moon. 

  • Chinese Long March 5 rocket will launch the Chang’e 5 mission to return samples from the moon. It will be the first lunar sample return mission attempted since 1976.

  • A Chinese Long March 2C rocket will launch the China-France Oceanography Satellite, or CFOSat from Jiuquan, China. CFOSat will study ocean surface winds and waves. 


Please send any corrections, updates or suggested calendar additions to hweitering@space.com. Follow Space.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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