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

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LAST UPDATED June 15: 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, Roscosmos, Spaceflight 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!

June 15: A Chinese Long March 3B rocket will launch a satellite for the country’s Beidou navigation network toward geostationary orbit. It will lift off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the country’s Sichuan Province, at 10:15 p.m. EDT (0215 GMT on June 16).

June 17: A Chinese Long March 2D rocket will launch China’s third Gaofen 9 Earth observation satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, at 3:25 a.m. EDT (0725 GMT).

June 18: An Arianespace Vega rocket will launch on the Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) proof-of-concept mission carrying 42 microsatellites, nanosatellites and cubesats. The rideshare mission will lift off from the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana, at 9:51 p.m. EDT (0151 GMT on June 19). Watch it live.

June 19: The one-day-old moon will make a close approach to Venus in the evening sky. It will be in conjunction with Venus at 4:53 EDT (0853 GMT). Look for them above the eastern horizon just before sunrise. 

June 20: Happy Solstice! Today marks the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

June 21: An annular solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Africa and Asia. 

June 22: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to launch the ninth batch of approximately 60 operational satellites for the company’s Starlink broadband network, along with two Earth-observing satellites for BlackSky Global, in a mission designated Starlink 9. It will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 6:20 a.m. EDT (2220 GMT). Watch it live.

June 26: NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken will take a 7-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station beginning at 7:35 a.m. EDT (1135 GMT). Watch it live.

June 30: Asteroid Day

June 30: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the U.S. Air Force’s third third-generation navigation satellite, designated GPS 3 SV03, for the Global Positioning System. It will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 3:55-4:10 p.m. EDT (1955-2010 GMT). Watch it live.

July 1: NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken will take a 7-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station beginning at 7:35 a.m. EDT (1135 GMT). Watch it live.

July 4: Happy Aphelion Day! Earth is farthest from the sun today. 

July 4-5: A penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from the Americas and parts of Africa and Antarctica. The moon will begin passing through Earth’s shadow on July 4 at 11:07 p.m. EST (0307 GMT on July 5), and the eclipse will last for 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

July 5: The full moon of July, known as the Beaver Moon, occurs at 12:44 a.m EDT (0444 GMT). That same day, the moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter at 5:38 p.m. EDT (2138 GMT). The moon will also be in conjunction with Saturn on July 6 at 4:38 a.m. EDT (0838 GMT). The trio will form a small triangle in the night sky before fading into the dawn. 

July 8: The “morning star” Venus is at its greatest brightness for the year, shining at magnitude -4.5 in the morning sky.

July 11: The waning, gibbous moon will make a close approach to the Red Planet in the early morning sky. It will be in conjunction with Mars at 3:38 p.m. EDT (1938 GMT). 

July 14: The United Arab Emirates plans to launch its first Mars orbiter, the Hope Mars Mission. It will launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on a Japanese H-2A rocket, at 4:51 p.m. EDT (2051 GMT).

July 14: Jupiter reaches opposition, which means the planet will appear at its biggest and brightest. This happens about once a year, when Jupiter’s position is almost directly opposite the sun in the sky. Around the same time, Jupiter will also make its closest approach to Earth. 

July 15: The U.S. Air Force will use a Minotaur 4 rocket to launch a classified spy satellite cargo for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Dubbed NROL-129, the mission will lift off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

July 17: NASA’s Mars 2020 rover launches to the Red Planet! It will lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Watch it live.

July 17: The waning crescent moon will be in conjunction with Venus, the “morning star,” at 3:27 a.m. EDT (0727 GMT). Look for the pair above the eastern horizon before dawn. 

July 20: New moon

July 20: Saturn reaches opposition, which means the planet will appear at its biggest and brightest. This happens about once a year, when Saturn’s position is almost directly opposite the sun in the sky. Around the same time, Saturn will also make its closest approach to Earth. 

July 23: A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the 76th Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. It will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Watch it live.

July 30: A Russian Proton rocket will launch the Express 80 and Express 103 communications satellites for the Russian Satellite Communication Company. It will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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

Aug. 1: 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 at 12:27 a.m. EDT (0427 GMT).

Aug. 1: The nearly-full moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter at 7:32 p.m. EDT (2332 GMT). The following morning (Aug. 2), it will be in conjunction with Saturn at 9:10 a.m. EDT (1310 GMT). Look for the trio in the evening sky. 

Aug. 3: The full moon of August, known as the “Sturgeon Moon,” occurs at 11:59 a.m. EDT (1559 GMT). 

Aug. 9: The waning, gibbous moon will make a close approach to the Red Planet in the early morning sky. It will be in conjunction with Mars at 4 a.m. EDT (0800 GMT). 

Aug. 11-12: The Perseid meteor shower peaks. 

Aug. 14: 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.

Aug. 15: The waning crescent moon will be in conjunction with Venus, the “morning star,” at 9:01 a.m. EDT (1301 GMT). Look for the pair above the eastern horizon before dawn. 

Aug. 18: Black Moon: The third new moon in a season with four new moons is known as a “black moon.” (A black moon can also be the second new moon in a single calendar month.)

Aug. 26: 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.

Aug. 28/29: The waxing, gibbous moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter at 9:35 p.m. EDT (0235 GMT on Aug. 29). The following day, it will be in conjunction with Saturn at 12:32 p.m. EDT (1632 GMT). Look for the trio in the evening sky.

Aug. 30: SpaceX will launch its first operational Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station 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. 

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

Sept. 1: Asteroid 2011 ES4 will make a close flyby of Earth, passing by at a safe distance of 0.0005 AU, or 46,000 miles (75,000 kilometers). 

Sept. 2: The full moon of September, known as the “Harvest Moon,” occurs at 1:22 a.m. EDT (0522 GMT). 

Sept. 6: The waning, gibbous moon will make a close approach to the Red Planet in the early morning sky. It will be in conjunction with Mars at 12:46 a.m. EDT (0446 GMT). 

Sept. 7: Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus NG-14 cargo spacecraft will launch to the International Space Station on an Antares rocket. It will lift off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Sept. 11: Neptune is at opposition. If you have the right equipment and a sky dark enough to see it, now is the best time all year to look! 

Sept. 14: The waning crescent moon will be in conjunction with Venus, the “morning star,” at 12:44 a.m. EDT (0444 GMT). Look for the pair above the eastern horizon before dawn. 

Sept. 17: New moon

Sept. 22: Happy Equinox! At 9:15 a.m. EDT (1315 GMT), autumn arrives in the Northern Hemisphere while the Southern Hemisphere will have its first day of spring. 

Sept. 25: The waxing, gibbous moon will be in conjunction with Jupiter at 2:48 a.m. EDT (0648 GMT). It will be in conjunction with Saturn at 4:38 p.m. EDT (2038 GMT). Look for the trio in the evening sky.

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

Oct. 1: The full moon of October, known as the “Hunter’s Moon,” occurs at 5:05 p.m. EDT (2105 GMT). 

Oct. 2: The waning, gibbous moon will make a close approach to the Red Planet in the early morning sky. It will be in conjunction with Mars at 11:25 a.m. EDT (0325 GMT). 

Oct. 4-10: World Space Week

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. Watch it live.

Oct. 16: New moon

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. 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. 30: 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.

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):

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. 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). 

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

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. 16/17: 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):

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