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SpaceX launches dedicated small satellite ride-sharing mission

SpaceX launched dozens of payloads on May 25th in its fifth dedicated ride-sharing mission. This shows the continued demand for such missions, even with the advent of dedicated small rockets.
Falcon 9 took off from Space Ranch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 2:35 pm east. The rocket booster flew the eighth mission and landed in Landing Zone 1 of Cape Canaveral eight and a half minutes after the lift-off.
The Transporter-5 mission was loaded with 59 payloads. It is described that SpaceX contains satellites, orbiting vehicles, and undeployed hosted payloads. The latter included the Nanoracks outpost Mars Demo 1 experiment, testing techniques for cutting into the upper tier, Space News reported.
Among the satellites that Transporter-5 deployed in sun-synchronous orbit, the rideshare aggregator Exolaunch occupied 21 satellites, including the Iceye, Satellite, and Spire satellites.
Smallsat maker Terran Orbital has flown satellites to multiple customers such as Fleet, GeoOptics and NASA.
Another company that has satellites on the Transporter-5 is the Hawk Eye 360, which flew another cluster of three radio frequency intelligence satellites. GHG Sat launched three satellites to monitor greenhouse gas emissions. Umbra launches a synthetic aperture radar imagery satellite.
The mission carried several orbital vehicles, including the first from Momentus. The Vigoride-3 tugboat has payloads for two customers, FOSSA Systems and Orbit NTNU, but is primarily a tech demonstration of the tugboat itself and a propulsion system that uses a technology called microwave electric heating thrusters (METs).
“Testing MET on this first Vigoride flight is one of the key tasks we plan to perform to improve and continue to improve performance,” said John Rood, Momentus CEO after the launch. Stated in a statement.
The launch is a culmination of regulatory approvals after the government blocked two attempts to fly the Vigoride tag in other transporter ride sharing missions last year, as well as tag technology development. was.
D-Orbit flew its own tugboat, the Ion Satellite Carrier mission called Infinite Blue, on the Transporter-5. The tugboat expands two cubesat payloads and supports two hosted payloads.
Spaceflight also flew the Sherpa-AC vehicle on Transporter-5. The company says that version of the Sherpa includes enhanced attitude control features that make it ideal for flying hosted payloads. This vehicle was equipped with two carpool vehicles and three small vehicles.
SpaceX announced in March that it would break its relationship with Spaceflight, but only after the mission had already appeared.
Transporter-5 is SpaceX’s fifth dedicated small satellite ride-sharing mission, and this year was the third mission following Transporter-3 in January and Transporter-4 in April. The next ride-sharing mission, Transporter-6, is scheduled for October.
Demand for these missions remains strong.
“SpaceX rideshare is getting full,” Launcher CEO Max Haot said in a panel at the SpaceTech Expo on May 25th. 6.6.
The launcher booked orbiter flights on several more transporter missions in 2023, and he said those future transporter missions were already full.
Orbiting vehicles help bridge the gap between pure ride-sharing missions, which have little or no control over the orbit in which the payload is placed, and launches of dedicated small satellites such as the Electrons in Rocket Lab.
“We can make SpaceX ride sharing more convenient.” SpaceX launches dedicated small satellite ride-sharing mission

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