TWIRL 102: SpaceX to launch Amazonas Nexus satellite and anti-reflective Starlink sats


Paul Hill


Jan 28, 2023 16:06 EST

The TWIRL logo on the front of the Falcon 9

This week SpaceX will launch some Starlink satellites and the Amazonas Nexus communications satellite for Hispasat. Russia is also planning to launch its Electro-L weather satellite, which it has delayed several times since 2019.

Tuesday, January 31

  • The first mission next week is the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying 54 Starlink satellites. Like last time, these are new “mini” satellites equipped with anti-reflective coatings to make them less of a nuisance to astronomers. The mission will take off from Florida at 8:27 AM UTC. If you want to join the coverage, just go here. SpaceX website at the time of launch.

Sunday, February 5

  • The first launch on Sunday will come from SpaceX. It will launch a Falcon 9 carrying the Amazonas Nexus communications satellite for surveillance. The satellite is expected to operate for about 15 years, providing service over the US and North Atlantic air corridors. Like SpaceX’s launch earlier in the week, this mission should be available to stream, however, no launch time has been provided yet.
  • The second launch of the day will come from Russia. Roscosmos, the country’s space agency, will launch a Proton M rocket carrying the fourth Elektro-L weather satellite, which will be placed into geostationary orbit. The mission has been delayed several times to return to 2019. The mission will begin at 9:12 am UTC but it is not clear if there will be a live stream.


  • Last week’s first launch rocket was the Lab’s Electron rocket carrying three satellites for HawkEye 360. The mission was named “Virginia is for Launch Lovers” and took off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

  • Next, we saw the launch of the Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket carrying the IGS Radar-7 satellite from Japan. We don’t usually see that much of a rocket launch so it’s an interesting watch.

  • Finally, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 that carried the Starlink 69 mission into orbit. It was launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

That’s it for this week, TWIRL coverage will resume at the end of February.

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