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Watch this space: Four rockets set for blast-off in busy 24 hours

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Florida on November 15, 2018.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Florida on November 15, 2018. Copyright REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
Copyright REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
By Alice Tidey
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SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace and United Launch Alliance all have rockets scheduled for lift-off today. Here's how to watch them.


If you're a space enthusiast, today's your day! Not one, not two, but four launches are scheduled within the next 24 hours.

Here we tell you what they are and how to watch them.


Elon Musk's SpaceX company will kick-off the day at about 09:11 EST (15:11 CET) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

On board the Falcon 9 rocket will be the US Air Force's first Global Positioning System III space vehicle — a communication satellite designed to supersede the existing GPS constellations used by military and civilians worldwide, according to the US Air Force.

The satellite will be deployed to medium Earth orbit — between 2,000 and 35,000 kilometres above sea level — approximately one hour and 56 minutes after lift-off.

You can watch the launch here.

Blue Origin

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin venture will pick up the baton just 19 minutes later with a launch from West Texas scheduled for 14:30 UTC (15:30 CET).

Its tenth New Shepard mission will bring nine NASA-sponsored research and technology payloads into space.

Among these payloads are experiments that aim to measure fuel levels in microgravity by using sound waves; collect data on the naturally-occurring electromagnetic fields both inside and outside the rocket during the launch; and understand how dust particles react after surface contact during exploration missions to places including the Moon, Mars and asteroids.

The launch can be watched here.


Attention will then shift to French Guiana where Arianespace will proceed to its last launch of 2018 at 13:37 local time (17:37 CET).

The Soyuz rocket will carry France's CSO-1 space vehicle — a high-resolution imaging satellite for the French military.

It will be deployed into Sun-synchronous orbit approximately one hour after liftoff at an altitude of 800 km.

United Launch Alliance

It will then be back to the US for the last launch from United Launch Alliance.

The Delta IV Heavy rocket is scheduled for lift-off from the Vanderberg Air Force Base in California at 17:57 local time (02:57 CET on Wednesday).

It will carry the classified NROL-71 spacecraft for the US National Reconnaissance Office which will be jettisoned six minutes after lift-off.

The launch can be watched here.

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