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Current Rocket Launch Schedule 2018

Atlas V Rocket Launch [Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls]
Atlas V Rocket Launch [Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls]

If you ever get the opportunity to watch the launch of a rocket then you do not want to miss it; it is an experience of a lifetime. Words cannot describe the sounds of a rocket blasting off from the Kennedy Space Center.

Upcoming launches

Note that all launch dates are provisional and are subject to change, you should always check with the Kennedy Space Center before making a special trip. Click to see the next launch date.

Click here for previous launch details for 2017 and future launches for 2019 and beyond.

Both SpaceX with their Crew Dragon (also known as Dragon 2) and Boeing with their CST–100 Starliner are working on crew capsules to support missions to the International Space Station but both projects have been delayed. Initially both companies were due to certify their respective crew spacecraft by the end of 2017 so the US no longer had to rely on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

SpaceX has now abandoned the idea of propulsive landings with SuperDraco thrusters for the time being and have reverted to parachute assisted water landings. They had expected to launch their first test flight around November 2018 with their first manned flight in April 2019. The first demo flight is now scheduled for January 2019.

Boeing had also hoped to have launched their first test CST–100 in August 2018 but further delays have pushed it back to early 2019. Their first manned flight is now mid 2019.

With the successful launch of the first Falcon Heavy, SpaceX now have two landing zones (LZ–1 and LZ–2) in operation at the Kennedy Space Center. Their autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS) “Of Course I Still Love You” will be joined soon by a second drone ship to be called “A Shortfall Of Gravitas”.

SpaceX has also deployed a nose cone fairing catching vessel for their west coast launches. The former oil supply ship, Mr. Steven sports a large capture net but has yet to succeed in catching one of the fairing halves. There is no talk yet of placing a similar vessel on the east coast.

January 7, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, Zuma

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a mystery payload organised by Northrop-Grumman on behalf of the US government under the project name “Zuma”.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–40 with a launch window from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. EDT. It was originally scheduled to launch from launch pad LC–39A.

Delayed from November 15, 16 and 17, 2017 and January 4 and 5, 2018.

After a successful launch and recovery of the first stage booster, rumours began to circulate that the Zuma satellite failed to reach orbit but there has been no word from Northrop-Grumman either way. SpaceX has said that the second stage performed nominally.

January 19, 2018 - United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket, SBIRS GEO Flight 4

The Atlas V rocket launched the fourth U.S. military Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite (SBIRS GEO Flight 4) for early warning missile detection.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41 at 7:48 p.m. EST.

Delayed from October 27, November 9, 2017 and January 18, 2018.

January 31, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, SES 16/GovSat 1

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the SES 16/GovSat 1 communications satellite for LuxGovSat, a joint venture between SES and Luxembourg.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–40 at 4:25 p.m. EDT.

Delayed from December 2017, January 15 and 30, 2018.

February 6, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Flight

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched on its first demonstration flight. It effectively consists of three Falcon 9 cores joined together with a total of 27 Merlin 1D engines. Both the outer cores have been re-used from previous launches.

SpaceX hoped to recover all three cores and was also planning to put CEO Elon Musk’s cherry red Tesla roaster car on an Earth escape trajectory into a heliocentric orbit.

Both outer cores were successfully recovered but the main central core ran out of ignition fuel and crashed into the ocean when two of the three engines failed to reignite during the descent.

Launch was from launch pad LC–39A with a launch window from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. EDT. Launch was at 3:45 p.m.

Delayed from Quarter 3, 2015, April, September and December 2016, Quarter 1, 2 and 3 and November/December 2017, January 2018.

March 1, 2018 - United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket, GOES-S

The Atlas V rocket launched the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-S) for the United States’ National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service to support weather forecasting and severe storm tracking.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41 with a launch window from 5:02 to 7:02 p.m. EDT.

March 6, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, Hispasat 30W–6

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Hispasat 30W–6 communications satellite. It was the fiftieth launch of a Flacon 9.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–40 with a launch time of 12:35 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from December 2017, February 14, 22 and 25, 2018.

April 2, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, CRS 14

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the 16th Dragon spacecraft. The purpose of the mission was to take the 14th resupply cargo load to the International Space Station.

The launch used a pre-flown stage 1 booster and Dragon capsule. No attempt was made to recover the booster.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–40 with a launch time of 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Delayed from September 13, November 1, 2017, February 9 and March 13, 2018.

April 12, 2018 - United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket, AFSPC–11

The Atlas V rocket launched a military communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41 with a launch window from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. EDT.

Delayed from December 7, 2017 and March 2018. Moved up from April 18, 2018

April 18, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, TESS

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to detect small planets from high-earth elliptical orbit.

Launch was from launchpad SLC–40 with a launch window of 6:51 p.m. EDT.

Delayed from March 20 and April 16, 2018.

May 11, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, Bangabandhu 1

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Bangabandhu 1 communications satellite for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

This was the first flight of the improved Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket that offers the potential for more reuse. The first stage was successfully recovered by SpaceX’s droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Launch was from launch pad LC–39A with a launch time of 4:14 p.m. EDT.

Delayed from December 2017, February, March, April 5 and 24 and May 4 and 7, 2018.

June 4, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, SES 12

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the SES 12 communications satellite for SES of Luxembourg.

It used a previously flown stage 1 booster rocket but was not recovered.

Launch was from launchpad SLC–40 at 12:45 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from February, April 30, May 24 and June 1, 2018.

June 29, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, CRS 15

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the 17th Dragon spacecraft. The purpose of the mission was to take the 15th resupply cargo load to the International Space Station.

The mission used a previously flown first-stage booster and Dragon capsule. This is likely to be the last launch of a Block 4 Falcon 9 first stage booster, all future flights will use the upgraded Block 5 version which is designed for a very quick turnaround.

Launch was from launchpad SLC–40 at 05:42 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from September 13, November 1, 2017, June 6, 9 and 28, 2018.

July 19, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - Telstar 19 VANTAGE

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Telstar 19 VANTAGE communications satellite for Telesat of Canada.

At 7.8 tons, the satellite is the heaviest commercial communications satellite ever launched. This was the second flight of a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket and it was successfully recovered onto the SpaceX’s droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Launch was from launchpad SLC–40 at 1:50 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from June, July 19 and 21, 2018.

August 4, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - Merah Putih

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Merah Putih (previously known as Telkom–4) satellite for Telkom Indonesia.

This used a Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket that previously launched the Bangabandhu 1 satellite in May and was successfully recovered for the second time.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–40 at 1:18 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from August 2 and 4.

August 12, 2018 - United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy Rocket, Parker Solar Probe

The Delta 4 Heavy rocket launched NASA’s Parker Solar Probe on a mission to the sun.

The Delta Heavy consists of three booster rockets (side by side like the Falcon Heavy).

Launch was from launch pad SLC–37B with a launch window of 3:31 to 4:36 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from July 31, August 4 and 11, 2018.

September 9, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - Telstar 18 VANTAGE

A SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket has launched the Telstar 18 VANTAGE communications satellite for Telesat of Canada. The 60th successful launch of a Falcon 9 rocket.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–40 12:45 a.m. EDT. The first stage booster was successfully recovered onto the SpaceX’s droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Delayed from July, August 17, 23 and 25, 2018.

October 17, 2018 - United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket, AEHF 4

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite for the U.S. military.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41 at 12:15 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from December 15, 2016, January 26, May 4, June 22 and 29, October 11, 2017 and July 2018. Moved up from October 18 and then delayed from October 4, 2018.

October 26, 2018 - Pegasus XL - ICON

A Lockheed TriStar will air launch the Pegasus XL rocket to deploy NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite to study the ionosphere.

Launch window will be from 4:00 to 5:30 a.m. EDT.

Delayed from June 15, November 14 and December 8, 2017, June 14, September 24 and October 6, 2018.

November 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9 - Es’hail 2

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Es’hail 2 satellite for Es’hailSat of Qatar.

Delayed from August 2018.

November 27, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, CRS 16

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the 18th Dragon spacecraft. The purpose of the mission is to take the 16th resupply cargo load to the International Space Station.

Launch time 4:19 p.m. EDT.

Delayed from November 16 and moved up from November 29, 2018.

December 15, 2018 - SpaceX Falcon 9, GPS 3–01

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the first third-generation GPS satellite for the U.S. Air Force. This launch was originally schedule to be launched by a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Rocket.

Launch time 9:08 a.m. EST

Delayed from September and October 2018.

December 2018 - SpaceX Falcon - Crew Dragon DM–1 Demonstration Mission 1

The SpaceX Falcon rocket will launch the first unmanned Crew Dragon (Dragon 2) capsule to the International Space station.

Launch is from launch pad LC–39A.

Delayed from December 2016, May, July, August and November 2017, February, April, August and November 2018.

NASA Launch Schedules

Sources

  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Space Flight Now
  • Aviation Week and Space Technology
  • SpaceX
  • United Launch Alliance
  • Wikipedia

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