SpaceX Launches 59 Spacecraft in Rideshare Mission
SpaceX launched 59 spacecraft to orbit in a rideshare mission on Wednesday. The Transporter-5 mission was the fifth mission in SpaceX’s dedicated smallsat rideshare launch program.
The Falcon 9 rocket took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 2:35 p.m. ET. The first stage was successfully recovered on land.
The satellites and orbital transfer vehicles were deployed in a series of 39 deployments. SpaceX confirmed at 4:01 p.m. that the rideshare deployment sequence was completed.
The mission included a host of space companies including: HawkEye 360, GeoOptics, Umbra Space, and Fleet Space Technologies.
Momentus launched its first demonstration flight of the Vigoride orbital transfer vehicle, a milestone for the company after the demonstration was delayed for regulatory concerns. Momentus confirmed it placed its first customer satellite in orbit and plans to conduct more deployments in the coming days. Customers included FOSSA Systems and Orbit NTNU.
Spaceflight debuted its new Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle, the Sherpa-AC vehicle, which is the base free-flying Sherpa with a flight computer and attitude knowledge and control. Spaceflight customers included Xona Space, NearSpace Launch, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and the Missile Defense Agency.
This will be the first in-orbit demonstration for Xona Space, which is developing a private global navigation satellite system (GNSS).
Exolaunch integrated more than 20 satellites for the mission including new and returning customers, including Spire Global, Satellogic, Iceye, NanoAvionics, Omnispace, Thales Alenia Space, Satlantis, EnduroSat, Plan-S, Spacemanic, Aalto University, and Space Products and Innovation.
D-Orbit launched its ION satellite carrier, with customers Aistech, Brown University, and two hosted payloads for Cryptosat and Genergo.
NASA was a customer with its CubeSat Proximity Operations Demonstration (CPOD), led by Terran Orbital and the NASA Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator 3 (PTD-3), with the TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) payload.
This was the 22nd SpaceX launch of 2022.
Correction: A previous version of this story provided incorrect information about Exolaunch’s customers.