SpaceX Postpones Transporter-1 Launch With Record 143 Satellite On Board

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX postponed the Transporter-1 SmallSat Rideshare Program launch with a world record 143 satellite planned for Saturday morning due to inclement weather in Florida.

SpaceX has a 22-minute launch window available on Sunday, Jan. 24, beginning at 10 a.m. EST (1500 UTC). SpaceX will begin a webcast 15 minutes prior to the scheduled launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at www.spacex.com.

On board this launch are 133 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and 10 Starlink satellites – the most spacecraft ever deployed on a single mission. The Starlink satellites aboard this mission will be the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration mission, the ANASIS-II mission, a Starlink mission, and launch of Dragon’s 21st cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

JAXA Funds Tech to Capture Orbital Debris Using a Tether

TOKYO — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is conducting in-orbit demonstration of key components and new elemental technologies using microsatellite as part of the development of innovative basic satellite-related technologies shown in the Basic Space Plan.

We are promoting the “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program” with the aim of implementing the above in a timely and inexpensive manner.

We are pleased to inform you that we have selected one additional demonstration theme below.

ClassificationRecruitment IssuesTheme NameProposing Organization
(Representative)
Main Reasons for Selection
MicrosatelliteDemonstration of technology and concept to create new space utilization market in Japan and overseas by new space utilization business conceptDebris capture technology demonstration using space tether technologyShizuoka University
(Kimihiro Nomi)
The business of utilizing debris as a recycling resource is novel. 
We can expect continuous human resource development in collaboration with space ventures.

In the future, we will proceed with preparations such as concluding necessary arrangements, technical adjustments, and safety examinations for the launch.

Three Launches & a Hot Fire in Three Days

Fully loading the propellant and detecting no leaks is a major milestone for the Green Run test series. A total of 114 tanker trucks delivered propellant to six propellant barges next to the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credits: NASA)

The upcoming holiday weekend (Martin Luther King Day on Monday) will see NASA conduct the long awaited Green Run hot fire of its Space Launch System rocket core and orbital launches by Rocket Lab, Virgin Orbit and SpaceX involving 71 satellites.

Saturday, January 16

Launch Vehicle: Rocket Lab Electron
Mission Name: “Another One Leaves the Crust”
Payload: OHB Group micro communications satellites
Launch Time: 2:41 EST (0741 UTC)
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Webcast: www.rocketlabusa.com (begins 15 minutes prior to launch)

UPDATE: Launch scrubbed as engineers examine sensor data. They have a 10-day launch window.

Hot Fire: Space Launch System Core
Test Window: 5-7 p.m. EST (2200–0000 UTC)
Test Site: Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Webcast: www.nasa.gov (begins at 4:20 p.m. EST/2120 UTC)
Post-test Briefing: Approximately two hours after test completion on NASA website

Sunday, January 17

Launch Vehicle: Virgin Orbit LauncherOne/Cosmic Girl
Mission Name: NASA ELaNa-20 mission
Payloads: 10 CubeSats
Launch Window: 1:00-5:00 p.m. EST (1800-2200 UMT)
Launch Sites: Mojave Air and Space Port, California (Cosmic Girl Boeing 747), Pacific Ocean (LauncherOne)

Monday, January 18

Launch Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9
Mission Name: Starlink V1.0-L16
Payloads: 60 Starlink broadband satellites
Launch Time: 8:45 a.m. EST (1345 UTC)
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Webcast: www.spacex.com (begins 15 minutes before launch)

Space Flight Laboratory Awarded Contract by GHGSat to Build Three More Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Microsats

TORONTO (SFL PR) – Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a developer of 52 distinct microspace missions, has been awarded a contract by GHGSat of Montreal to build the next three microsatellites in its commercial greenhouse gas monitoring constellation.

“SFL congratulates GHGSat on its success in providing commercial greenhouse gas monitoring services from space,” said SFL Director, Dr. Robert E. Zee. “This contract highlights GHGSat’s need to expand data collection capacity to meet the growing demand for its valuable services.”

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Bishop Airlock Cycles Pre-Purchased by NASA and European Space Agency

Workers stand before NanoRacks airlock. (Credit: NanoRacks)

WASHINGTON, DC, OCTOBER 20, 2020 (Nanoracks PR) – Nanoracks is pleased to announce that both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have pre-purchased Bishop Airlock Cycles for agency and third-party use. The Nanoracks Bishop Airlock, launching this Fall to the International Space Station (ISS), is the first-ever commercially built, owned, and operated airlock on the ISS and provides five times the existing payload volume currently available on station.

ESA has pre-purchased five airlock cycles, and NASA six, with an option for four additional cycles at a discounted rate.

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Spaceflight Inc. Signs Multi-Launch Agreement with HawkEye 360

HawkEye satellites (Credit: HawkEye 360)

New multi-year MLSA provides launch capacity for nine microsats, end-to-end mission management services, and schedule reliability for fast-growing radio signal mapping constellation

SEATTLE, October 7, 2020 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) —Spaceflight Inc., the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it signed a Multiple Launch Services Agreement (MLSA) with HawkEye 360. Under the agreement, Spaceflight will provide capacity, engineering, and mission management services to launch HawkEye 360’s Cluster 4, 5, and 6 of its radio frequency mapping satellites. Each cluster in the constellation consists of three approximately 30 kg microsats which fly in a unique formation to gather a wide variety of geolocation data.

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Momentus Announces Service Agreement with Australia’s Skykraft and France’s MECANO ID to Deploy Microsatellite Constellation Pathfinder

Vigoride (Credit: Momentus)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Momentus PR) — Momentus Inc.  (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a commercial space company offering in-space satellite transportation and hosted payload services, today announced a launch service agreement for deploying Skykraft’s microsatellite on Vigoride’s mission in June 2021.

Skykraft’s spacecraft is a pathfinder for a future large LEO constellation, and will be deployed via a new separation ring named EOS and developed by MECANO ID under a CNES contract thanks to the partial financing of the Future Investment Plan.

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T4i Won Contract from ESA for REGULUS Propulsion System Evolution

REGULOUS propulsion (Credit: T-4i)

PADUA, Italy (T4i PR) — T4i, a company providing customized and off-the-shelf propulsion systems, is entering the microsatellite market with its first propulsion system product, REGULUS. It all begun in 2006 with the initial thruster development at the University of Padua.

Passing through the years the first thruster version was miniaturized and then surrounded by all the other subsystems to get a complete propulsion unit. Today REGULUS is almost ready to be integrated in UNISAT-7 for its first launch in space in October.

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Astranis Announces Former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin as Key Advisor, Clears Critical Design Review for Alaska Satellite

Dan Goldin

SAN FRANCISCO (Astranis PR)–Microsatellite developer Astranis announced today that former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin will be joining as a senior advisor to the company and chairing its new Technical Advisory Board.

In addition, the company is announcing the completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) for their first commercial program, a satellite for Pacific Dataport Inc. in Alaska. The CDR was completed under the supervision of Goldin with the participation of some of the space industry’s most experienced technical minds.

Administrator Goldin was the longest-serving NASA Administrator in NASA’s storied history, serving under Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. During his tenure he oversaw the Mars Pathfinder and the use of a “contact lens” to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He personally developed the conceptual design of the James Webb Space Telescope, and oversaw the design, development, and initial deployment of the International Space Station. “I am joining Astranis because this is a transformational approach to satellite telecommunications,” said Goldin.

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Arianespace Gives a Lift to the Smallsat Market with Vega’s SSMS Debut

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying CubeSats and microsatellites on a flight to validate Europe’s innovative Small Spacecraft Mission Service. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has realised the first European “rideshare” mission for small satellites, with 53 satellites onboard the Vega launcher for 21 customers.

With this new SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) shared launch concept, Arianespace demonstrates its ability to respond – in an innovative and competitive manner – to institutional and commercial requirements of the growing market for small satellites.

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What’s On Board Vega Booster

The European Vega rocket that launched this evening was carrying 53 satellites on its first rideshare mission as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept Flight.

The payloads included 14 Flock 4V Earth imaging satellites from Planet, 12 SpaceBEE Internet of Things spacecraft from Swarm Technologies, and 8 maritime monitoring satellites from Spire.

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Vega, Falcon 9 Rockets Set to Orbit More than 100 Satellites

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

Arianespace’s Vega and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets are set to launch a combined 113 satellites this week.

Vega is scheduled for launch on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 9:51:10 p.m. EDT (01:51:10 a.m. UTC on Sept. 2) from Kourou, French Guiana. You can view the launch on Arianespace’s YouTube channel.

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Exolaunch & Glavkosmos Announce Soyuz Launch Campaign for 15 Small Satellites

Rideshare mission (Credit: Exolaunch)

Exolaunch’s small satellite cluster of 15 microsatellites and cubesats ,“Wanderlust, Desire To Travel”, will launch on Soyuz as soon as September 2020.

Berlin, August 17th, 2020 – Exolaunch, a Berlin-based rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, and Glavkosmos, a single operator of foreign commercial activities of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, have initiated a launch campaign for 15 international small satellites onboard a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage. As soon as September 2020, Soyuz-2 will deliver a cluster of small satellites into orbit as rideshare payloads on a Roscosmos mission.

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Video: LuxSpace CEO Discusses ESAIL Microsat Mission

Video Caption: LuxSpace CEO, Jochen Harms, on putting the ESAIL microsatellite into orbit. ESAIL is part of ESA’s Partnership Projects and has been developed to enhance the next generation of space‐based services for the maritime sector. The spacecraft will track ship movements over the entire globe as it orbits the planet.

Space BD to Provide Small Satellite Deployment Service from ISS for Myanmar’s Sirst Micro-satellite

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading  space startup in Japan that provides access to  space  using the International Space Station Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3,” announced that it has been selected by Hokkaido University, Tohoku University, and the Myanmar Aerospace and Engineering University as the satellite deployment service provider for the Micro-satellite development project of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

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