Four launches are planned for the week of June 24 to July 1. The Russians opened the launches, with a Meteor weather satellite riding a Soyuz rocket on Tuesday, June 27, while Virgin Galactic flew its Galactic 01 crewed suborbital mission Thursday, June 29. Firefly’s Alpha rocket was thought to be making its first operational flight with the DARPA Victus Nox mission no earlier than the last week of June, and SpaceX ended the week with the launch of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Euclid telescope on Saturday, July 1.
The Euclid spacecraft, a visible and near-infrared telescope intended to measure the influence of dark matter and dark energy, is scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9. Galactic 01 is the first commercial mission for VSS Unity and Virgin Galactic, 12 years after Sir Richard Branson initially predicted the start of commercial flights.