July Space Highlights
July – Date TBD – SpaceX Starship’s First Orbital Flight
Despite not yet having a launch license for orbital flights, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell is confident SpaceX will make it into orbit in July.
“We are headed for our first orbital attempt in the not-too-distant future. We’re shooting for July,” she said.
“I am hoping we make it, but we all know this is difficult. We are really on the cusp of flying that system, or at least attempting the first orbital flight of that system, in the very near term.”
July 20 – Jeff Bezos Is The First Billionaire To Yeet Himself Into Space
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark will be on Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight, alongside the winner of an auction for the third seat, who paid a whopping $US28 million for the opportunity.
The auction for the very first seat on #NewShepard has concluded with a winning bid of $28 million. The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, @ClubforFuture. Full replay of the auction webcast: https://t.co/5Vc8IvWxJR pic.twitter.com/IlGbgOFmhx— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) June 12, 2021
“To see the Earth from space, it changes you,” Bezos said on Instagram. “I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life.”
This is the first time Blue Origin has sent humans to space, which makes it particularly interesting that Bezos is personally joining the flight.
July 24 – Full Moon (Buck Moon)
July’s full moon is known as a Buck Moon (also referred to as the Thunder Moon and/or the Hay Moon.
The moon will be at its fullest at 12:36pm on July 24
July 30 – Boeing Orbital Flight Test 2
This is the second uncrewed test flight for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner.
“Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket,” NASA said in a statement.
“OFT-2 will fly a new, reusable Starliner crew module providing additional on-orbit experience for the operational teams prior to flying missions with astronauts.”
OFT-2 is scheduled to lift off at 2:53 p.m. ET Friday, July 30, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It will then make its way to the ISS, where it will spend 5-10 days before returning to Earth.
Other July Astronomical Events
July 5 – The Earth is at Aphelion (furthest point from the sun in our annual orbit)
July 8 – Mercury is at its highest point in the morning sky
July 10 – New moon
July 28 – Peak of the Piscis Austrinid meteor shower
July 30 – Peak of the Southern δ-Aquariid & α-Capricornid meteor showers