SpaceX Rockets U.S. Launches to New Heights in 2022

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on June 17, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Powered by 33 flights of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, the United States leads all nations with 48 launch attempts through the first seven months of the year. The total is three short of the number of U.S. launches attempted last year, and far ahead of the 27 launches conducted by second place China through the end of July. The U.S. has conducted more launches than the 43 flights conducted by the rest of the world combined.

A number of notable flights were conducted. SpaceX launched two Crew Dragons to the International Space Station (ISS), including the first fully privately funded mission to the orbiting laboratory. United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched Boeing’s CST-100 Starship crew vehicle on an automated flight test to ISS, a crucial step before astronauts to fly on the spacecraft. Small satellite launch provider Rocket Lab conducted its first deep-space mission by sending a spacecraft the size of a microwave to the moon.

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77 Launches Conducted During First Half of 2022 as Access to Orbit Expanded

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites while the Dragon that will carry Crew-4 to the International space Station awaits its turn. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

It was a busy first half of 2022 that saw 77 orbital launches with 74 successes and three failures through the 182nd day of the year on July 1. At a rate of one launch every 2 days 8 hours 44 minutes, the world is on track to exceed the 146 launches conducted in 2021.

A number of significant missions were launched during a period that saw more than 1,000 satellite launched. SpaceX flew the first fully commercial crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Boeing conducted an orbital flight test of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, China prepared to complete assembly of its space station, South Korea launched its first domestically manufactured rocket, and Rocket Lab sent a NASA mission to the moon.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

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Spaceflight Inc. Statement on SpaceX’s Decision to Severe Ties

Statement From Spaceflight Inc.

The SpaceX Rideshare Team sent an email last Friday morning to an undisclosed list of rideshare customers and that email said:

For awareness, we will no longer be flying or working with Spaceflight Industries after currently manifested missions. We look forward to reliably launching all customers currently on manifest and growing our relationships with new operators as well.

In an effort to provide transparency to our customers and the industry, we wanted to share a few additional thoughts and comments.

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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.

Blue Canyon Technologies Provides Hardware on Nine Spacecraft Aboard Transporter 3 Launch

LAFAYETTE, Colo., Feb 9, 2022 (Blue Canyon Technologies PR) — Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, today announced that several of their components successfully launched aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-3 mission last month.

For this rideshare mission, Blue Canyon provided reaction wheels and the company’s integrated Attitude Control Systems, known as the XACT and FleXcore, to support four CubeSats and five microsats, all of which showcase the company’s expansive product line. With partners such as Capella Space and several other commercial customers, Blue Canyon is working to enable a broad range of missions and technological advancements for the new space economy.

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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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NanoAvionics Launched 3 Satellites, Including One of the Largest CubeSats Ever Built, Aboard SpaceX Transporter-3 Mission

  • Satellites for Sen (16U), Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology are all operational
  • Company plans launch of 14 satellites in 2022, including the industry’s first commercially available modular microsat bus (MP42)

VILNIUS, Lithuania, 20 January 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – NanoAvionics, a leading smallsat manufacturer and mission integrator, confirmed the reception of signals and healthy telemetry data from all of the three satellites launched into low Earth orbit via the successful SpaceX Transporter-3 mission. The rideshare mission that went into orbit on 13 January 2022 included one of the largest and heaviest CubeSats ever built and launched. The 16U small satellite, is the first of five satellites, contracted to NanoAvionics by British company Sen, to establish video streaming media to provide real-time Ultra-High Definition (UHD) videos of Earth.

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Alpha Blue Ocean Announces the Launch of WiSeSat by WiSeKey on the Space X’s Transporter 3 mission

DUBAI (Alpha Blue Ocean PR) — Alpha Blue Ocean, the family office founded by Pierre Vannineuse and financial partner of WISeKey (Tickers: SW: WIHN and US: WKEY), announces the new technological breakthrough of the Swiss group led by Carlos Creus Moreira. On January 13, 2022, WISeKey launched the audacious project to generate the first NFT from space…

On January 13, 2021, WISeKey launched its first WISeSat pico satellite via SpaceX’s (*) Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Transporter 3 mission to generate the first NFT from space.

The NFT will be captured by the WISeSat satellite station in La Linea in south of Spain and minted on WISe.ART NFT Marketplace.

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USC Launches its 3rd Satellite into Space

Rendering of Dodona, USC’s third satellite in space. (Credit: USC SERC)

LOS ANGELES (USC PR) — Ridesharing remains a popular way to get around in Los Angeles, but what about ridesharing to get to space? The SpaceX Smallsat Rideshare program offers a viable and affordable option to launch up to 200 kg into a sun-sychronous, low Earth orbit. That is why, along with approximately 80-90 other satellites, USC’s Dodona satellite—it’s third ever—hitched a ride on SpaceX’s latest mission, Transporter 3 this week.

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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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ICEYE Expands World’s Largest SAR Satellite Constellation; Launches First U.S.-built Spacecraft

ICEYE successfully launched its fifteenth and sixteenth synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites into orbit, including the first satellite built, licensed and operated by ICEYE US.

IRVINE, Calif., January 13, 2022 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the global leader in persistent monitoring with radar satellite imaging and an expert in NatCat solutions, has successfully launched two new SAR satellites into orbit. The launch included the first satellite built, licensed and operated by ICEYE US. Both satellites were launched on the SpaceX Transporter-3 smallsat rideshare mission with Exolaunch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Communication has successfully been established with each spacecraft. In total, ICEYE has now deployed 16 satellites since 2018, including both commercial and dedicated customer missions.

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D-Orbit Launches New ION Satellite Carrier Mission

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

The space logistics and orbital transportation company launched its latest satellite carrier on January 13th aboard SpaceX Transporter-3 mission

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, 13-01-2022 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the leading company in space logistics and orbital transportation, announced today the launch of the latest mission of its orbital transportation vehicle (OTV), ION Satellite Carrier, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX’s Transporter-3 mission launched today at 15:25 UTC (10:25 a.m. EST) from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida. On the same day, 1 hour 24 minutes 30 seconds after liftoff, the ION vehicle was successfully deployed into a 500 km Sun synchronous orbit (SSO).

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SpaceX’s Transporter-3 Launch Places 105 Satellites into Orbit

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

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Thursday, January 13 at 10:25 a.m. EST, Falcon 9 launched Transporter-3, SpaceX’s third dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. On board this launch were 105 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, PocketQubes, and orbital transfer vehicles).

This was the tenth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 stage booster, which previously supported launch of Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and five Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX to Launch Transporter-3 Mission on Thursday

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-2 mission. (Credit: SpaceX)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Thursday, January 13 for a Falcon 9 launch of Transporter-3 to orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The 29-minute launch window opens at 10:25 a.m. EST, or 15:25 UTC, and a backup opportunity is available on Friday, January 14 with the same window.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously launched Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and five Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Transporter-3 is SpaceX’s third dedicated rideshare mission, and on board this launch are 105 spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, PocketQubes, and orbital transfer vehicles).

A live webcast of this mission will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff.

NuX-1 IoT Satellite of Singapore’s NuSpace Integrated by Exolaunch to Fly on SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-3 Mission

Credit: Exolaunch

A Singaporean space tech start-up will launch NuX-1 tech demo satellite in January 2022 to bring IoT connectivity to remote places

Singapore/Berlin, Germany, January 12, 2022 (NuSpace/Exolaunch PR) – NuSpace Pte. Ltd., a leading Singaporean space tech startup with a focus on IoT connectivity and data platform services and Exolaunch, a global provider of small satellite launch, in-space logistics, and deployment services announced a launch agreement for NuX-1 aboard the SpaceX Transporter-3 mission. NuSpace’s NuX-1 IoT satellite has just been integrated with the launch vehicle by Exolaunch and will be launched to a sun-synchronous orbit above 500 km aboard Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral not earlier than January 2022 as part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program.

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