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Space calendar 2020: Rocket launches, sky events, missions & more!

LAST UPDATED Oct. 14: These dates are subject to change, and will be updated throughout the year as firmer dates arise. Please DO NOT schedule travel based on a date you see here. Launch dates collected from NASA, ESA, RoscosmosSpaceflight Now and others.

Watch NASA webcasts and other live launch coverage on our "Watch Live" page, and see our night sky webcasts here. Find out what's up in the night sky this month with our visible planets guide and skywatching forecast

Wondering what happened today in space history? Check out our "On This Day in Space" video show here!

October

Oct. 7-8: The Draconid meteor shower peaks.

Oct. 13: Mars is at opposition, which means it's bigger and brighter than any other time of year. Look for the glowing Red Planet above the eastern horizon after sunset. 

Oct. 14: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the crewed Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft to the International Space Station with members of the Expedition 65 crew: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. It will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, at 1:45 a.m. EDT (0545 GMT). Watch it live

Oct. 16: New moon

Oct. 18: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to launch the 13th batch of approximately 60 operational satellites for the company's Starlink broadband network in a mission designated Starlink 13. It will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 8:27 a.m. EDT (1227 GMT). Watch it live

Oct. 20: NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will attempt to collect a sample from asteroid Bennu. NASA TV will provide live coverage of the touch-and-go maneuver beginning at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).  Watch it live

Oct. 21: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will depart the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft. They will undock from the station at 7:33 p.m. EDT (2333 GMT) and land near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, at 10:58 p.m. EDT (0258 GMT on Oct. 22). Watch it live

Oct. 21: A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch the CE-SAT-2B Earth-imaging microsatellite for Canon Electronics and nine SuperDove Earth-imaging nanosatellites for Planet. Rocket Lab nicknamed the mission "In Focus." It is scheduled to lift off from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand at 5:14-6:03 p.m. EDT (2114-2203 GMT). Watch it live

Oct. 21-22: The Orionid meteor shower peaks.

Oct. 22: Just a day before reaching first quarter phase, the moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter at 1:12 p.m. EDT (1712 GMT). That same day, it will be in conjunction with Saturn at 11:42 p.m. EDT (0324 GMT on Oct. 23). Look for the trio in the evening sky. 

Oct. 23: A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission, titled NROL-44, will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, during a 4-hour launch window that opens at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT on Oct. 24). Watch it live

Oct. 25: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch a Glonass K navigation satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.

Oct. 25: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a classified spacecraft payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission, designated NROL-108, will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live

Oct. 29: The waxing, gibbous moon will be in conjunction with Mars at 12:16 p.m. EDT (0325 GMT). Look for the pair above the eastern horizon after sunset. 

Oct. 31: Uranus is at opposition. This is the best time of year to view the planet, as it is at its biggest and brightest. If the sky is dark enough, you may be able to spot it with your bare eyes.

Oct. 31: This month has two full moons, which means we'll have a "Blue Moon" on Halloween. The moon reaches full phase at 10:49 a.m. EDT (1449 GMT).

Also scheduled to launch in October (from Spaceflight Now):

  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the U.S. Air Force's fourth third-generation navigation satellite, designated GPS 3 SV04, for the Global Positioning System. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, in a 4-hour launch window that opens at 9:43 p.m. EDT (0143 GMT on Oct. 3). Watch it live
  • A Chinese Long March 6 rocket will launch 10 ÑuSat Earth-imaging satellites for Satellogic, an Argentine satellite manufacturer and remote sensing company. It will lift off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China's Shanxi Province.
  • A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch on its first mission from a new launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia. It will launch an experimental mission for the U.S. Air Force's Space Test Program called Monolith, which carries a space weather instrument. Watch it live
  • A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch a classified spacecraft payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission, NROL-101, will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live

November

Nov. 2: An Arianespace Soyuz rocket will launch the Falcon Eye 2 Earth-imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates. It will lift off from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, at 8:33 p.m. EST (0133 GMT on Nov. 3). Watch it live

Nov. 10: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Sentinel 6A satellite (also known as Jason-CS A), a joint mission between the European Space Agency, NASA, NOAA, CNES and Eumetsat to continue recording sea level data that was previously collected by the Jason series of satellites. It will lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, at 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT). Watch it live

Nov. 11-12: The Northern Taurid meteor shower peaks. 

Nov. 12: The waning crescent moon will be in conjunction with Venus, the "morning star," at 4:30 p.m. EST (2130 GMT). Look for the pair above the eastern horizon before dawn. 

Nov. 15: New moon

Nov. 16-17: The Leonid meteor shower peaks. 

Nov. 19: The waxing crescent moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter at 3:57 a.m. EST (0857 GMT). Shortly afterward, it will be in conjunction with Saturn at 9:51 a.m. EST (1451 GMT). Look for the trio in the evening sky. 

Nov. 22: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a Dragon cargo resupply mission (CRS-21) to the International Space Station. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live

Nov. 24: A Russian Angara-A5 rocket will launch on its second orbital test flight from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.

Nov. 25: The waxing, gibbous moon will be in conjunction with Mars at 2:46 p.m. EST (1946 GMT). Look for the pair above the eastern horizon after sunset. 

Nov. 30: A penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from the Americas, Australia and Asia. The moon will begin passing through Earth's shadow at 2:32 a.m. EST (0732 GMT), and the eclipse will last for 4 hours and 20 minutes. 

Nov. 30: The full moon of November, known as the "Beaver Moon," occurs at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT). 

Nov. 30: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Turksat 5A communications satellite for the Turkish satellite operator Turksat. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live

Also scheduled to launch in November (from Spaceflight Now):

  • SpaceX will launch its first operational Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station, called Crew-1, with NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japan's Soichi Noguchi. The mission will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, at 5:47 a.m. EDT (0947 GMT). Watch it live
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to launch the 14th batch of approximately 60 operational satellites for the company's Starlink broadband network in a mission designated Starlink 14. It will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live
  • An Arianespace Vega rocket will launch the SEOSat-Ingenio Earth observation satellite and the Taranis scientific research satellite from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.  Watch it live
  • India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will launch the RISAT 2BR2 radar Earth observation satellite for the Indian Space Research Organization. It will lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.

December

Dec. 11: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the Progress 77P cargo resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kasakhstan. Watch it live 

Dec. 13-14: The Geminid meteor shower peaks. 

Dec. 14: The only total solar eclipse of 2020 will cross through the southern tip of South America. The moon's shadow will take a similar path to the one it did for the "Great South American Eclipse" of July 2, 2019. 

Dec. 16: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Transporter 1 rideshare mission with dozens of tiny satellites for commercial and government customers. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live

Dec. 16/17: The waxing crescent moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter at 11:30 p.m. EST (0430 GMT on Dec. 17). A few hours later on Dec. 17, it will be in conjunction with Saturn at 12:20 a.m. EST (0520 GMT). Look for the trio near the southwestern horizon just after sunset.

Dec. 21: The solstice arrives at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT), marking the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Dec. 21: Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach in the evening sky. The pair will be in conjunction at 8:24 a.m. EST (1324 GMT). 

Dec. 21-22: The Ursid meteor shower peaks.

Dec. 23: The waxing, gibbous moon will be in conjunction with Mars at 1:31 p.m. EST (1831 GMT). Look for the pair above the eastern horizon after sunset. 

Dec. 29: The full moon of December, also known as the Cold Moon, occurs at 10:28 p.m. EST (0328 GMT).

Also scheduled to launch in December (from Spaceflight Now):

  • A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the 77th Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. It will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Watch it live
  • A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission, titled NROL-82, will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live
  • India's Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) will launch on its first orbital test flight from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.
  • An Arianespace Soyuz rocket will launch the second Composante Spatiale Optique (CSO-2) military reconnaissance satellite for the French space agency CNES and DGA, the French defense procurement agency. It will lift off from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. Watch it live
  • A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch approximately 36 satellites into orbit for the OneWeb constellation of communications satellites. The mission, titled OneWeb 4, will launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.

More coming in 2020...

  • Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket will launch the ELaNa-20 rideshare mission with 14 cubesats. A Boeing 747 named "Cosmic Girl" will air-launch the rocket over the Pacific Ocean after taking off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
  • China will launch the Chang'e 5 mission to return samples from the moon. It will be the first lunar sample return mission attempted since 1976.
  • A Chinese Long March 5B rocket will launch on a test flight with an unpiloted prototype for China's new human-rated crew capsule, which is designed for future human missions to the moon. This will be the first flight of a Long March 5B rocket. It will lift off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan, China.
  • India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 2 (GSLV Mk.2) will launch the county's first GEO Imaging Satellite, or GISAT 1. It is scheduled to lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India. The launch was postponed from March 6 due to technical problems with the rocket.
  • India's Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) will launch on its first commercial mission with four Earth observation satellites for BlackSky Global. It will lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SXM 7 satellite for SiriusXM. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Look ahead to 2021

Jan. 4: Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on its second uncrewed mission to the International Space Station, following a partial failure in December 2019. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Feb. 1: Northrop Grumman will use an Antares rocket to launch the Cygnus NG-15 cargo resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. It will lift off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

March 19: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the Progress 78P cargo resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kasakhstan.

March 30: SpaceX will launch the second operational flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. Flying on the Crew-2 mission will be NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

March: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the USSF-8 mission for the Space Force's Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP). It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Q2: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the USSF-44 mission for the U.S. Air Force. The mission will lift off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is expected to deploy two undisclosed payloads into geosynchronous orbit.

April 10: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the crewed Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft to the International Space Station with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky, Pyotr Dubrov and Andrei Borisenko. It will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

June: Boeing plans to launch the first crewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which will send Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson and NASA astronauts Mike Fincke and Nicole Mann to the International Space Station on an Atlas V rocket. The mission will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 

Please send any corrections, updates or suggested calendar additions to hweitering@space.com. Follow Space.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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  • Gordon Jenkins
    Dead, Weak, or Incapacitated Dictators don't launch missiles. Has Kim Jong-Un ordered the launch of any rockets out of NK in May 2020? Does he have a Limp Missile Problem? Does NK Plan to prove that Kim Jong-Un is still alive by launching 2 or 3 rockets out of NK? Is there anything to show Proof of Life of Little Rocket Man and that he has Proof of Command and Control of NK Nuclear Assets or has China taken Total Control of All NK Nuclear Assets? Fireworks from NK would be nice to see, as strange at that sounds.
    Reply
  • Christmom3
    Admin said:
    Here's a LhZJPyDGPmMNxwDMmG4D8Se to SpaceX's launch schedule, other rocket missions, astronomical events of the next year, as well as milestones for spacecraft already in travel.

    Space Launch Calendar 2019: Sky Events, Missions & More : Read more
    May you please post a link to the 2020 space launch calendar? Thanks so much
    Reply
  • Wolfshadw
    Christmom3 said:
    May you please post a link to the 2020 space launch calendar? Thanks so much

    The article was updated on 7-31-20 to list upcoming events through the end of 2020.

    -Wolf sends
    Reply