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.

SpaceX Transporter-4 Smallsat Rideshare Mission

SatelliteCompany/ OrganizationPurposeNotes
ION SCV-005D-OrbitCubeSat deployerKSF2 (4), PlantSat, SUCHAI 2, SUCHAI 3, UPbox (hosted)
EnMAPGerman Aerospace Centre / German Research Centre for GeosciencesEarth observationHigh quality hyperspectral imaging
GNOMES-3PlanetIQRadio occultationData to improve weather forecasting
Hawk 4A, 4B, 4CHawkEye 360Radio frequency intelligence
Lynk Tower 1 (Lynk-05)Lynk GlobalCommunicationsExperimental satellite testing delivery of cellular coverage to unmodified cellular devices
MP42/Tiger-3NanoAvionics/OQ TechnologyInternet of Things
 ÑuSatSatellogicEarth observation5 satellites
AlfaCruxUniversity of BrasíliaCommunications
ARCSATNorwegian Defence Research EstablishmentTechnology demonstrationUltra High Frequency tactical communications for the Arctic region
BRO-7UnseenLabsElectromagnetic signal intelligenceMaritime and aerial traffic surveillance
CZE-BDSatCentral European Institute of TechnologyAmateur radio
Omnispace Spark-1 (LEO-1)OmnispaceInternet of Things
Patrol Mission (KSF2)Kleos SpaceRadio frequency intelligence 4 satellites
Pixxel TD-2 ShakuntalaPixxelEarth observationHyperspectral imaging to monitor health of Earth. First satellite launched by Pixxel.
PlantSatUniversity of Chile & University of Santiago de ChileBiosatelliteStudy of plant growth in Mars-like conditions
SpaceBEESwarm TechnologiesCommunications12 satellites
SUCHAI 2, SUCHAI 3University of Chile & University of Santiago de ChileIonospheric research
UPboxUpmosphereWooden box with mementosStays attached to ION SCV-005 satellite deployer
Source: Wikipedia and Parabolic Arc research

Today’s flight was SpaceX’s 150th successful launch. It was the company’s 12th launch of 2022 and the first of six planned missions in April. Elon Musk’s company is planning to launch more than 50 times this year.

It was also the seventh launch and landing of this particular Falcon 9 first stage booster. The stage landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

A Falcon 9 rocket is 70 meters in length and 3.65 meters in diameter. The rocket can carry up to 22,800 kg payload and weighs 549 tons. This particular Falcon 9 is from a group SpaceX calls, “Block 5,” which means it is the fifth thrust variant for that model of rocket.

SpaceX launched its first Transporter rideshare mission in January 2021. Transporter-5 is planned for launch in June 2022 and Transporter-6 to launch in October 2022.