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Four back-to-back satellites start today close 2018's Rocket roster- Technology News, Firstpost

The year 2018 has seen a little over hundred launches to Orbit from around the world – the highest in any single year since 1990.

Rocket fans are set for a treat: four potential launches in the span of 24 hours starting Tuesday, 18 December. SpaceX, Arianespace, United Launch Alliance and ISRO launches later will send three satellites on four different continents during this time.

Here's more about each of the Missions and where to watch them live.

US Air Force GPS III satellite on Falcon 9

In the company's final launch this year, SpaceX is catering to the needs if the American Air Force launches a new generation of GPS satellites that are more accurate than existing ones.

The Air Force ordered a brand new Falcon 9 Rocket for this first launch with SpaceX as the mission requires that there is no Landing attempt after the satellite launch.

However, if the Air Force is satisfied with the new partnership, they may consider using reusable boosters for future missions, the Air Force mission director said, according to Space News.

"As we work through this first flight together, we'll look at the performance, do all the calculations and analysis so we can continue to look for opportunities in the future," he was quoted to have said.

The launch, which is scheduled for 7:45 pm IST, will begin streaming live on SpaceX's YouTube channel around 7 pm IST.

French CSO-1 satellite on Soyuz Rocket

Arianespace will end its yearly launch with a Russian-made Soyuz Rocket launching a Earth-observation satellite to Orbit from the Guiana Space Center in South America.

The satellite, called CSO-1, is intended to expand the French government's defense and security applications.

The mission marks the 20th launch of a Soyuz booster Rocket from the European Spaceport since an arrangement made between Arianespace and the Russian government in 2011, to supply Russian Booster Rockets when the agency was in need of a medium-lift launch vehicle for its own launches .

The launch, scheduled for 6.07 pm IST, will be streamed live on Arianespace's YouTube channel.

Classified Spy satellite launched on Delta IV heavy Rocket

The launch-Spree will close with United Launch Alliance's launch of a classified American Spy satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

The mission, called NROL-71, was pushed from its first attempt in the last few seconds before the computer started to detect a problem after the launch sequence had begun.

It will now have its second attempt on Wednesday at 7.27am IST (8.57 pm ET) in a Delta IV Heavy launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But the weather conditions may not hold up for the launch this time, a report in ArsTechnina said.

The launch will be broadcast live on the United Launch Alliance's YouTube channel starting at 7 am IST Wednesday morning.

India's military satellite communication GSAT-7A on GSLV-F11

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch India's newest military satellite communications GSAT-7A for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Army on Wednesday.

GSAT-7A is expected to bring new and improved communication capabilities to the IAF, and in different ways. it will allow cross-connectivity between different ground Radar stations, airbores and early warning and control system (AWACS) Aircrafts. The satellite will also boost the Air Force's capabilities of network-dependent Warfare, soon Boosting its capabilities to operate on a global scale.

The miliary satellite communications GSAT-7A with its solar panel opened up. Image courtesy: ISRO

The miliary satellite communications GSAT-7A with its solar panel opened up. Image courtesy: ISRO

It is also expected to give a big push to drone operations in the Indian military by helping the Navy reduce its Reliance on ground-based control stations, switching to satellite-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which offer better range and Endurance, experts told Business Standard.

The satellite will be launched on ISRO's GSLV-F11 Rocket from the agency launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota.

The launch is scheduled for 4.10 pm IST on Wednesday, and will be streamed live on DD National's Youtube channel and ISRO's wesbite.

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