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Here is your one-stop shop for space launches with our December launch schedule. This month sees 73 satellites launched, 1 cargo delivery to the ISS and 2 test flights. Read on to find out more!

Last updated: January 9th 2021

Satellite Launches

  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 2nd: An Arianespace Soyuz rocket launches on a mission for the United Arab Emirates. The Falcon Eye 2 Earth-imaging satellite was built by Airbus with optical imaging by Thales Alenia Space, and will launch from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana at 01:33 GMT. Delayed from October 15th 2019, November 2019, March 6th, April 14th September, October 17th, November 4th and 28th. Scrubbed on November 29th due to risk of lightning and on December 1st.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 3rd: Russia launches 3 Gonets M communications satellites from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia AT 01:14 GMT. They will launch aboard a Russian government Soyuz rocket alongside international rideshare payloads. Delayed from November 24th.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 6th: The Gaofen 14 Earth observation satellite is launched aboard a Chinese Long March 3B rocket. The launch takes place at 03:58 GMT from Xichang, China.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 9th: The Chinese Gravitational Wave High-energy Electromagnetic Counterpart All-Sky Monitor (GECAM) mission launches aboard a Long March 11 rocket from Xichang, China at 20:14 GMT. It consists of 2 separate satellites.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 11th: The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office will use a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket to launch a classified spy satellite. Named NROL-44, the mission will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 01:09 GMT. Delayed from June and August 26th. Scrubbed on August 27th. Aborted at T-minus 3 seconds on August 29th. Delayed from September 26th by swing arm issue. Scrubbed on September 29th due to nearby lightning strike and on September 30th due to hydraulic leak. Aborted at T-minus 7 seconds on October 1st. Delayed from October 16th and 24th.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 13th: SpaceX launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 17:30 GMT. It will contain the SXM 7 satellite, built by Maxar Technologies for SiriusXM. Delayed from August 1st and November. Scrubbed December 11th. The satellite later failed in orbit.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 15th: Rocket Lab launch Synspective‘s StriX-a synthetic aperture radar satellite at 10:09 GMT. Nicknamed ‘Owl’s Night Begins’, the mission will launch aboard an Electron rocket and contains the first satellite of Synspective’s planned constellation. Delayed from December 12th due to solar eclipse.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 17th: ISRO launch the CMS 1 satellite, formerly known as GSAT 12R. It will be launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India at approximately 10:11 GMT. Delayed from December 7th and 14th.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 18th: From the Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia, a Soyuz rocket launches 36 satellites for OneWeb as part of their broadband constellation. The rocket will launch at 12:26 GMT. Delayed from mid-2020 by bankruptcy.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 19th: The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launches NROL-108, containing a classified spacecraft payload. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch it from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 14:00 GMT. Delayed from October 25th and December 17th.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 22nd: China launch a classified payload named XJY 7 aboard a Long March 8 rocket from Wenchang, China. This will be the rocket’s inaugural flight. Delayed from December 20th due to poor weather.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 27th: China launch the Yaogan 33 military reconnaissance satellite aboard a Long March 4C rocket. It will launch from Jiuquan, China at 15:44 GMT.
  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 29th: An Arianespace Soyuz rocket will launch the second Composante Spatiale Optique military reconnaissance satellite into polar orbit for CNES and DGA. The launch will happen at 16:42 GMT from Sinnamary, French Guiana. Delayed from April 10th and December 28th.

Launches to the ISS

  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 6th: A Dragon 2 spacecraft makes its first cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It will launch from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida at 16:17 GMT. Delayed from August 5th, October 30th, November 15th and 22nd and December 2nd and 5th.

Test Flights

  • LAUNCH SUCCESS 14th: The second orbital test flight of a Russian government Angara-A5 rocket at 05:50 GMT. Delayed from December 2019, mid-2020 and November 3rd, 24th and 28th.
  • LAUNCH FAILURE 15th: Astra‘s Rocket 3.2 will launch a commercial small satellite launch vehicle in an experimental orbital launch attempt AT 20:55 GMT. Delayed from December 11th due to poor weather.
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