Space Calendar 2021
Rocket launches, sky events, missions & more!
March 22: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network in a mission designated Starlink 22. It will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, at 6:19 p.m. EDT (2219 GMT). Watch it live
March 25: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch 36 satellites into orbit for the OneWeb internet constellation. It will lift off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Siberia.
March 28: India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk. 2 (designated GSLV-F10) will launch India's first GEO Imaging Satellite, or GISAT 1. It will lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.
April 9: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the crewed Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft to the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Russian cosmonauts, Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov. It will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, at 3:42 a.m. EDT (0742 GMT). The Soyuz MS-18 is scheduled to arrive at the space station at 6:47 a.m. EDT (1047 GMT). Watch it live
April 15: Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, commander of International Space Station Expedition 64, will hand over command of the station to NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, who arrived with the SpaceX Crew-1 mission in November 2020. This will mark the start of ISS Expedition 65.
April 16-17: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will return to Earth from the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft. The spacecraft will undock from the ISS at 9:34 p.m. EDT (0134 April 17 GMT) and land near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on April 17 at 12:57 a.m. EDT (0457 GMT). Watch it live
April 19: An Arianespace Vega rocket, designated VV18, will launch the Pléiades Neo 1 Earth observation satellite for Airbus and multiple rideshare payloads. The mission will lift off from the Guiana Spaceport near Kourou, French Guiana, at 9:50 p.m. EDT (0150 April 20 GMT). Watch it live
April 22: A SpaceX Crew Dragon will launch the Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station for NASA. On board will be four crewmembers: NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet. It will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 6:11 a.m. EDT (1011 GMT). Watch it live
April 21-22: The Lyrid meteor shower, which is active April 16-30, peaks overnight.
April 26: The full moon of April, known as the Full Pink Moon, arrives at 11:32 p.m. EDT (0332 April 27 GMT). Because the moon will also be near perigee, or its closest point to Earth, this will also be a so-called "supermoon."
Also scheduled to launch in April (from Spaceflight Now):
A Chinese Long March 5B rocket will launch Tianhe 1, the core module for a Chinese space station low Earth orbit.
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 Space Launch Complex 6 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
India's Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) will launch on its first orbital test flight from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India.
The SpaceX Crew-1 mission will return to Earth with NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, in late April or early May. Watch it live
May 4: Star Wars Day. (May the Fourth be with you.)
May 4-5: The Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which is active from mid-April to the end of May, peaks overnight.
May 15: Mercury reaches its highest point in the evening sky, shining brightly at magnitude 0.3. See it just above the western horizon right after sunset.
May 16: Conjunction of the moon and Mars. The waxing crescent moon will swing about 2 degrees to the south of Mars in the evening sky.
May 17: Mercury at greatest elongation east. The innermost planet will reach its greatest eastern separation from the sun, shining brightly at magnitude 0.3. Catch the elusive planet above the western horizon shortly after sunset.
May 26: The full moon of May, known as the Full Flower Moon, arrives at 7:14 a.m. EDT (1114 GMT). It will also be the closest "supermoon" of the year. That night, a total lunar eclipse, also known as a "Blood Moon," will be visible from Australia, parts of the western United States, western South America and Southeast Asia.
May 30: Conjunction of the moon and Saturn. The waning gibbous moon will swing about 4 degrees to the south of Saturn in the dawn sky.
Also scheduled to launch in May (from Spaceflight Now):
Starliner OFT-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. The Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2) mission will lift off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Watch it live
Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA254, to launch the Star One D2 and Eutelsat Quantum communications satellites from the Guiana Spaceport near Kourou, French Guiana. Watch it live
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the U.S. Space Force's fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite (SBIRS GEO 5) from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
China's Tianwen-1 Mars rover will touch down on the Red Planet.