Edinburgh, 26 May 2022. – SpaceX has launched the Transporter-5 rideshare mission carrying several dozen payloads to low Earth and sun-synchronous orbits. This time the first stage touched down at Landing Zone-1 at Cape Canaveral.
This was the eighth launch of booster 1061 and the one-hundredth launch of a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket. The launch vehicle carried 59 spacecraft, including CubeSats, microsats, non-deploying hosted payloads, and orbital transfer vehicles. The Sherpa-AC orbital transfer vehicle from Spaceflight was part of the payload, carrying two hosted payloads from Xona Space and NearSpace Launch.
The flight also carried D-Orbit’s ION SCV-006 space tug, and NASA Ames’ Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator-3 spacecraft. The latter will feature the TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system, demonstrating new methods in laser communication.
Transporter 5 also deployed GHGSat’s three satellites Luca, Penny and Diako as well as ICEYE’s five new SAR satellites. ICEYE’s constellation will provide reliable and frequent Earth surface imagery, with two of the satellites directly serving the Brazilian Air Force. Hybrid cloud and AI technologies from IBM and Red Hat were also part of the mission as EnduroSat’s Platform-1 shared satellite service mission.
Fleet Space Technologies also launched its next-generation Centauri 5 satellite on the SpaceX’s Falcon 9. The 12-kilogram 6U microsat’s all-metal patch antennas are all entirely 3D printed. The satellites will add capacity and reduce latency in the existing Centauri constellation which also enables the company’s ExoSphere system. This system uses ambient noise tomography to locate critical mineral resources.