It has been a busy year for SpaceX. From ferrying Nasa astronauts to the International Space Station, to testing spacecrafts bound for Mars, Elon Musk’s firm continues to pioneer the nascent private space industry.
Musk founded the company in 2002 with the aim of dramatically reducing space transportation costs to enable human colonisation of Mars.
Since then he has frequently spoken of his ambition to make humanity a multi-planetary species, and earlier this year told employees that their “top priority” should be the Mars-bound Starship program.
Several flight tests of Starship prototypes have already taken place this year and more are planned before 2021 – along with a number of other launches for its Starlink space internet project and more missions to the ISS.
Here is everything to expect for the rest of 2020.
17 September: Starlink 12 mission will see the 12th batch of 60 internet satellites launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
30 September: Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida (8pm EDT) to deliver a GPS system for the US Air Force.
September date tbc: Starlink 13 mission will see the 13th batch of 60 internet satellites launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
23 October: Crew-1 Crew Dragon mission to the ISS, carrying Nasa astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi aboard a Falcon 9 rocket (5.47am EDT) from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
October date tbc: Starlink 14 mission will see the 14th batch of 60 internet satellites launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard a Falcon 9 rocket
10 November: Joint ESA, Nasa, NOAA, CNES mission to launch Sentinel 6A satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (2.45pm EST).
November date tbc: Dragon cargo resupply mission to the ISS, lifting off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
December date tbc: Transporter 1 rideshare mission carrying dozens of micro satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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