Mission Extension Vehicle refuels satellite. (Credit: Orbital ATK)
Four upcoming launches in the United States, Russia and New Zealand feature payloads to refuel a communications satellite, study space weather, expand SpaceX’s Starlink network, and test out new technology.
Proton Payloads: Eutelsat 5 West B communications satellite, Mission Extension Vehicle 1 (MEV 1) Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan Launch Time: 6:17 a.m. EDT (1017 GMT )
This is the first flight of the MEV, which will refuel the Intelsat 901 communications satellite. Both satellites on this launch were built by Northrop Grumman.
Pegasus XLPayload: Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite Launch Platform: Stargazer L-1011 aircraft Departure Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.Launch Window: 9:25-10:55 p.m. EDT on Oct. 9 (0125-0255 GMT on Oct. 10)
NASA’s ICON mission will study disturbances in the ionosphere caused by terrestrial weather and solar storms that disrupt radio transmissions and GPS navigation. ICON has suffered repeated delays due to technical problems. The original launch date was in June 2017. The launch is being conducted by Northrop Grumman.
Electron Payloads: Palisade CubeSatLaunch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand Launch Window: 7:00-11:00 p.m. EDT on Oct. 14 (2300-0300 GMT on Oct. ...