Two orbits. Five satellites. Four upper stage burns. Follow the key events scheduled during the European Vega rocket’s launch from French Guiana with the PeruSat 1 high-resolution reconnaissance satellite and four commercial eyes-in-the-sky owned by Google’s Terra Bella imaging company.
Despite a growing number of rocket options, the availability of on-time launch services remains a key factor in getting BlackSky’s constellation of Earth-imaging smallsats into orbit. SpaceX’s rideshare launch service will give BlackSky a chance to add two more spacecraft to its fleet on a Falcon 9 rocket with the next batch of Starlink Internet payloads.
A secret Chinese military payload, believed to be a surveillance satellite, successfully flew into space Sunday aboard a Long March 4C rocket on China’s 39th and final scheduled orbital launch attempt of the year.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday, heading due east over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the South Korean Anasis 2 military communications satellite into orbit around 32 minutes later.