We have two rocket launches to look forward to, as well as a moon arrival and a controlled asteroid crash by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Progress 72 Launch
A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress 72 cargo ship was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 13:01 South Africa Standard Time (SAST).
It will take the Progress cargo vessel approximately three hours to catch up with the ISS, where it will dock to the Russian Pirs module at 16:25 SAST.
The Progress 72 will make two orbits around Earth. The cargo ship is carrying food, fuel and other supplies for the Expedition 59 astronaut crew currently stationed at the ISS. NASA adds:
“The Progress will orbit Earth twice then rendezvous with the station, where it will dock to the Pirs docking compartment on the Russian segment of the complex. […] The spacecraft will remain at the orbital outpost until late July.”
Watch: The Official stream for NASA TV
Arianespace Soyuz rocket launch
At 18:30 SAST, ArianeSpace will launch their Soyuz rocket into space. The spacecraft will carry four 03b communications satellites into orbit for the satellite communications provider, SES.
The four 03b satellites will join 16 other satellites already in orbit for SES’s growing constellation to provide video and data connectivity to customers on the ground.
The stream will go live approximately 20 minutes before the launch and can be viewed on ArianeSpace.
Watch: The Soyuz Flight VS22 mission overview
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will make history with their Hayabusa2 mission today. JAXA will launch a projectile at the Ryugu asteroid, and the impact will form an artificial crater.
The mission was designed to help scientists better understand the asteroid’s interior. The spacecraft will be equipped with a camera which will be released one kilometre before it impacts the asteroid.
Once the projectile reaches the asteroid’s surface, ground control will deploy the onboard explosives . The detonation will boost the impactor’s speed to 2 kilometres per second in a fraction of a second, creating a fresh crater on Ryugu.
Scientists are hoping to return the Hayabusa2 to Earth in one piece. If all goes well, they’ll be able to bring back samples of rock and debris.
The broadcast will go live at 3:00 Friday morning, 5 April. NASA will be streaming the event on their official NASA TV Stream. Alternatively, catch it on the JAXA live stream below.