SpaceX Orbits 53 Starlink Satellites in 21st Falcon 9 Launch of 2022

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites to low-Earth orbit aboard a Falcon 9 booster on Wednesday, May 18, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first stage booster supporting the mission on Wednesday previously launched Arabsat-6A, STP-2, COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2, and one Starlink mission. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

It was SpaceX’s 14th launch of Starlink satellites this year, and the company’s 21st launch overall of 2022. SpaceX has launched 709 of the broadband satellites this year, and 2,653 Starlink spacecraft in all. Wikipedia reports that 2,354 satellites are currently functioning in orbit.

SpaceX has launched 860 payloads into orbit in its 21 launches. The total includes two rideshare missions with 145 small payloads, two Crew Dragon flights carrying eight astronauts to the International Space Station, two missions for the National Reconnaissance Office, and the launch of Italy’s military/civilian COSMO-SkyMed second generation Earth observation satellite.

SpaceX has said it is planning to launch more than 50 times this year. The company’s next flight is the May 25 launch of the Transporter-5 rideshare mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Spire Global to Launch Five Satellites on SpaceX Transporter-5 Mission

Falcon 9 Transporter mission liftoff (Credit: SpaceX)

Launch will include three satellites and hosted payloads for Space Services, the company’s Space-as-a-Service (SPaaS) business

VIENNA, Va., May 18, 2022 (Spire Global PR) — Spire Global, Inc.(NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or “the Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced that it will launch five satellites on the upcoming SpaceX Transporter-5 Mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch will take place this month.

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Launcher Announces Customers for Orbiter’s Inaugural Flight

Orbiter payload plate containing customer spacecraft. (Credit: Launcher)

HAWTHORNE, CA, May 16, 2022 (Launcher PR) – Launcher, the space logistics company focused on providing access to anywhere in space at the lowest cost, today announced the customers on the first flight of its satellite transfer vehicle and hosted payload platform Orbiter. Orbiter’s first mission, SN1, is scheduled to reach orbit in October 2022 on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-6 rideshare launch. Launcher’s customers, spanning academia, startups and established industry leaders, demonstrate the growing demand for orbit transfer and hosted payload services.

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SpaceX Launches 40 Satellites into Space

Falcon9 Transporter-4 launch. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

by David Bullock
Staff Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., April 1, 2022 — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 40 payloads as part of the company’s Transporter-4 dedicated smallsat rideshare mission.

The rocket launched into a sun-synchronous orbit at 12:24 p.m. EDT. The mission manifest included the first satellite orbited by Pixxel of India, Kleos Space’s Patrol Mission, and 12 Spacebee communications satellites. A list of payloads is below.

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SpaceX Cuts Ties with Satellite Rideshare Integrator Spaceflight Inc.

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-3 rideshare mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

SpaceX cut ties on Friday with long-time partner Spaceflight Inc., which integrates customer payloads on rideshare launches. SpaceNews reports that the decision surprised Spaceflight Inc. executives, who received a text message just before SpaceX notified rideshare customers via email it would no longer work with the company.

The article recounts that a Spaceflight Sherpa space tug from the Transporter-3 launch in December due to a leak in the propulsion system provided by Benchmark Space Systems. SpaceX also declined to fly a Sherpa on its upcoming Transporter-4 mission next month due to a different concern.

Another possibility is the SpaceX is bringing rideshare integration inhouse. The company has done similar things in the past in order to become more vertically integrated and less dependent upon partners and suppliers.

There is also an unconfirmed rumor that SpaceX will soon be offering the satellite bus used for its Starlink constellation to other companies at a very low price. The decision to cut ties with Spaceflight could be part of a larger initiative relating to that effort.

A SpaceX official said on Monday that the company is manufacturing close to 8 Starlink satellites per day at its manufacturing facility in Redmond, Wash.

D-Orbit Announces April Launch of SPACELUST, its Fifth ION Satellite Carrier Mission

D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier is a flexible in-orbit transportation system for CubeSats and microsatellites. (Credit: D-Orbit UK)

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, March 21 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the space logistics and orbital transportation company, announced today the upcoming launch of SPACELUST, the fifth mission using the Company’s proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION), a flexible and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) spacecraft designed both to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit.

ION will lift off from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission. The launch is scheduled for April 2022.

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Satellogic Announces Upcoming Launch of Five New Satellites Onboard SpaceX Transporter-4 Mission

Upcoming launch will introduce a new satellite model with enhanced proprietary technology, enabling Satellogic to scale its constellation of satellites and increase client offerings and product quality

NEW YORK (Satellogic PR) — Satellogic Inc. (NASDAQ: SATL), a leader in sub-meter resolution satellite imagery collection, announced today it has shipped five satellites to be launched in early Q2 from Cape Canaveral. The launch will be part of SpaceX’s Transporter-4 mission onboard the highly flight-proven Falcon 9 reusable, two-stage rocket, under SpaceX’s Rideshare program.

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UK Satellite Firm Signs Launch Deal with SpaceX

Satellite Vu will share a ride into space on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to green the planet.

LONDON, 21 February (Satellite Vu PR) – UK space firm, Satellite Vu, have signed a launch deal with Elon Musk’s renowned aerospace company, SpaceX, to launch the world’s highest resolution thermal imaging satellite in early 2023. 

Satellite Vu will be part of a rideshare launch on one of SpaceX’s Transporter missions aboard Falcon 9, which have proven to be the most reliable rockets to launch satellites into orbit in recent years. 

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Launcher Selects SpaceX for Multiple Launches of Orbit Transfer Services

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-3 rideshare mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

HAWTHORNE, CA, February 3, 2022 (Launcher PR) – Launcher, an industry-leading developer of highly efficient rockets and transfer vehicles, has signed a new multi-launch contract with SpaceX. The agreement adds three new missions to the expanding flight manifest of Orbiter, Launcher’s transfer vehicle. This addition of rideshare flights builds upon the first mission of Orbiter (SN1), scheduled to reach orbit no earlier than October 2022 on SpaceX’s Transporter-6 and shows the expanding demand for commercial and government orbit transfer services.

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NASA Selects Relativity Space for Venture-class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) Mission

Rendering of Terran 1 rocket launching from potential future Vandenberg launch site. (Credit: Relativity Space)

LONG BEACH, Calif., January 27, 2022 (Relativity Space PR) – Relativity Space,  announced today that the company has been selected by NASA as one of 12 companies to provide launch services for the agency’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions, providing new opportunities for science and technology payloads and fostering a growing U.S. commercial launch market.

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NASA Selects Spaceflight Inc. to Support Dedicated and Rideshare Missions

Spaceflight to provide launch services for VADR missions for science and technology payloads

SEATTLE, January 27, 2022 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leading global launch services provider, was selected by NASA to provide launch services for the agency’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions. Spaceflight and 11 other companies selected will support missions designed to provide new opportunities for science and technology payloads and foster a growing U.S. launch market.

Spaceflight has a long-standing relationship with NASA, coordinating the launch of more than 20 payloads for the organization over the years. With more than a decade of experience providing comprehensive launch, mission management, and in-space transportation services, Spaceflight has launched nearly 400 satellites, ranging from CubeSats to a 700-kilogram satellite, across about 40 missions. In 2021 alone, Spaceflight launched 81 spacecraft across 11 different missions via a global launch vehicle network. 

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Hat-trick for Exolaunch with SpaceX Transporter Missions

  • Exolaunch’s Most Technologically and Geographically Diverse Mission of Smallsats Launched via SpaceX’s Transporter-3 Rideshare Mission
  • Company Completed International Launch Campaign for 29 Satellites, Including Microsatellites, Cubesats up to 16U and PocketQubes
  • New and Returning Customers from Four Continents and Seventeen Countries

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., & BERLIN, Germany, January 27, 2022 (Exolaunch PR) – In its third dedicated rideshare mission with SpaceX, Exolaunch, the leading global provider of launch, in-space logistics and deployment services, successfully integrated and launched 29 small satellites from customers across the globe. The company’s rideshare clusters aboard the SpaceX  Transporter-3 mission were an amalgamation of microsats, cubesats (up to 16U) and PocketQubes. The combination of customers from 17 countries across four continents, and an unprecedented number of very sophisticated payloads made it the most technologically rich and geographically spread integration effort for the company yet.

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12 Companies to Provide Venture Class Launch Services for NASA

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 12 companies to provide launch services for the agency’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions, providing new opportunities for science and technology payloads and fostering a growing U.S. commercial launch market.

Award selections are:

  • ABL Space Systems of El Segundo, California
  • Astra Space Inc. of Alameda, California
  • Blue Origin Florida LLC of Merritt Island, Florida
  • L2 Solutions LLC of Houston
  • Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation of Chandler, Arizona
  • Phantom Space Corporation of Tucson, Arizona
  • Relativity Space Inc. of Long Beach, California
  • Rocket Lab USA Inc. of Long Beach, California
  • Spaceflight Inc. of Seattle
  • Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California
  • United Launch Services LLC of Centennial, Colorado
  • Virgin Orbit LLC of Long Beach, California
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New Chairman Takes Charge as India Space Agency Struggles to Launch Satellites and Begin Human Spaceflight

New ISRO Chairman Shri. S. Somanath (left) takes over from K. Sivan. (Credit: ISRO)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A new chairman has taken over the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at a crucial time as the space agency continues to struggles with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenge of becoming only the fourth nation capable of launching astronauts into orbit.

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Sen Launches First Satellite of its UHD Video Constellation

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-3 rideshare mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

LONDON (Sen PR) — Sen announces its first satellite, which will stream Ultra High Definition videos of Earth, is now in orbit.

The satellite, ETV-A1, launched aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission that lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today [Thursday] at 15.25 UTC, 10.25 EST.

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