A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad Sunday night with the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter mission, a project developed in partnership with NASA. Launch occurred right on time at the opening of a two-hour window at 11:03 p.m. EST Sunday (0403 GMT Monday).
The Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft departed the International Space Station and landed in Kazakhstan Thursday, bringing home outgoing space station commander Luca Parmitano, Soyuz pilot Alexander Skvortsov, and NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who concluded a 328-day mission, the longest-ever spaceflight by a woman. The Soyuz undocked from the station at 0550 GMT (12:50 a.m. EST) Thursday, then landed on the Kazakh steppe at 0912 GMT (4:12 a.m. EST).
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday at 9:06 a.m. EST (1406 GMT) from Cape Canaveral with 60 satellites for the company’s Starlink Internet network. Previous attempts to launch the mission were stymied by strong upper level winds and rough seas in the Falcon 9’s downrange recovery area northeast of Cape Canaveral.
SpaceX performed a hold-down test-firing Jan. 20 of a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral in preparation for a launch with 60 Starlink broadband satellites, but officials delayed the missions’s planned launch Tuesday due to extreme weather in the downrange recovery zone for the first stage and payload fairing. The next possible launch attempt is expected at 9:49 a.m. EST (1449 GMT) Monday.
SpaceX launched an unpiloted Crew Dragon spacecraft aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) Sunday. SpaceX triggered an escape maneuver using the Dragon’s thrusters about a minute-and-a-half after liftoff to verify the launch abort engines can safely carry the capsule — and astronauts on future missions — away from a failing rocket.
Arianespace’s first launch of 2020 lifted off at 4:05 p.m. EST (2105 GMT; 6:05 p.m. French Guiana time) Thursday from the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern shore of South America. An Ariane 5 rocket launched the Eutelsat Konnect and GSAT 30 communications satellite for Eutelsat and the Indian Space Research Organization.