TWIRL 98: SpaceX to circle the satellites from the competing company’s internet beacons


The TWIRL logo in front of fireworks

This week we will see two launches from SpaceX. The first mission will be Transporter-6 which is a cooperative mission that carries satellites to paying customers. The second mission will see the company fly 40 OneWeb satellites into orbit, where they will beam Internet back to Earth.

Tuesday, January 3rd

The first launch this week will be from SpaceX, it will launch a Falcon 9 carrying a small range of pods as part of a mission called Transporter-6. Like other transporter missions, this is a cooperative so that private interests can launch missions into space at a more reasonable cost. One of the payloads is called MethaneSat and is being sent into space for the Bezos Earth Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund. The launch should be available to stream on the SpaceX website around 14:56 UTC, which is when the launch is scheduled. It will take off from Cape Canaveral.

Sunday, January 8

The second and final launch of the week also comes from SpaceX. It will launch another Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral at an unspecified time. It will carry 40 OneWeb satellites into orbit. Funnily enough, OneWeb is a competitor to SpaceX as its satellites beam internet down to Earth just like Starlink. The mission will be known as OneWeb L16 internally and should be broadcast on SpaceX’s website on launch day.


The first launch last week was Long March 4B carrying the Earth observation satellite Gaofen-11 04 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China.

SpaceX then launched 54 Starlink satellites aboard the Falcon 9, which, as always, will beam Internet back to Earth.

On the 29th, China launched a Long March 3B carrying the Shiyan-10 02 satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite will test new technologies.

Finally, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 carrying the Israeli EROS C-3 satellite that will perform Earth observation missions.

That’s all for this week, Happy New Year!


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