During the past week, SpaceX launched 98 Starlink satellites, a Chinese commercial launch provider made it three in a row, Russia launched a rideshare mission with an Iranian satellite aboard, and India’s new small satellite launcher fell just short of orbit.
There have been 103 orbital launches worldwide, with 99 successes and four failures.
Let’s take a closer look at the last week in launch.
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.
Agreement includes 11 ports aboard Falcon 9 for missions in 2023
D-Orbit continues to execute on growth plans with increasing launch opportunities to satisfy growing demand for its last-mile space delivery and in-orbit demonstration services
FINO MORNASCO, Italy, May 31, 2022 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the space logistics and orbital transportation company that is going public through a transaction with Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: BREZ), announced today that it has secured 11 ports for D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier (“ION”) for launch on SpaceX Rideshare missions in 2023.
Securing these slots is in line with D-Orbit’s plans to launch 13 IONs in 2023, as the Company works to meet the increasing demand for last-mile space transportation solutions and in-orbit demonstration of third-party payloads. The launches have been purchased through the Italian launch broker impulso.space.
LAFAYETTE, Colo., May 31, 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 the launch of Agile Microsat and High-Assurance Communications System Satellites, or HACSSAT, 1 & 2, aboard the Transporter-5 mission on May 25, 2022.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Momentus PR) — Momentus Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTS) (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a U.S. commercial space company that plans to offer transportation and other in-space infrastructure services, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022.
“We’re excited to have seen momentum building last quarter as we move toward the first launch of our Vigoride orbital transfer vehicle to low earth orbit,” said Momentus Chief Executive John Rood. “We recently shipped the Vigoride spacecraft to Cape Canaveral, Florida for integration onto a SpaceX rocket. Cape Canaveral has been the site of so many historic firsts in space, and we’re looking forward to a historic first for our company when we put the Vigoride spacecraft in orbit for the first time.”
The successful launch further expands the world’s largest SAR satellite constellation and includes the second and third satellites built, licensed and operated by ICEYE US.
HELSINKI, Finland and IRVINE, Calif. (ICEYE PR) — ICEYE, the global leader in persistent monitoring with radar satellite imaging and an expert in flood and natural catastrophe (NatCat) solutions, has successfully launched five new SAR satellites. All spacecraft were launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 smallsat rideshare mission via EXOLAUNCH from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Communication has successfully been established with each spacecraft. ICEYE and ICEYE US have now deployed 21 satellites since 2018, including both commercial and dedicated customer missions.
CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Wednesday, May 25 at 2:35 p.m. ET, Falcon 9 launched Transporter-5, SpaceX’s fifth dedicated smallsat rideshare program mission, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. On board this flight were 59 spacecraft, including including CubeSats, microsats, non-deploying hosted payloads, and orbital transfer vehicles.
This was the eighth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 stage booster, which previously supported launch of Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, one Starlink mission, and Transporter-4.
Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
SpaceX launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites to low-Earth orbit aboard a Falcon 9 booster on Wednesday, May 18, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The first stage booster supporting the mission on Wednesday previously launched Arabsat-6A, STP-2, COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2, and one Starlink mission. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
It was SpaceX’s 14th launch of Starlink satellites this year, and the company’s 21st launch overall of 2022. SpaceX has launched 709 of the broadband satellites this year, and 2,653 Starlink spacecraft in all. Wikipedia reports that 2,354 satellites are currently functioning in orbit.
SpaceX has launched 860 payloads into orbit in its 21 launches. The total includes two rideshare missions with 145 small payloads, two Crew Dragon flights carrying eight astronauts to the International Space Station, two missions for the National Reconnaissance Office, and the launch of Italy’s military/civilian COSMO-SkyMed second generation Earth observation satellite.
SpaceX has said it is planning to launch more than 50 times this year. The company’s next flight is the May 25 launch of the Transporter-5 rideshare mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Launch will include three satellites and hosted payloads for Space Services, the company’s Space-as-a-Service (SPaaS) business
VIENNA, Va., May 18, 2022 (Spire Global PR) — Spire Global, Inc.(NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or “the Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced that it will launch five satellites on the upcoming SpaceX Transporter-5 Mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch will take place this month.
HAWTHORNE, CA, May 16, 2022 (Launcher PR) – Launcher, the space logistics company focused on providing access to anywhere in space at the lowest cost, today announced the customers on the first flight of its satellite transfer vehicle and hosted payload platform Orbiter. Orbiter’s first mission, SN1, is scheduled to reach orbit in October 2022 on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-6 rideshare launch. Launcher’s customers, spanning academia, startups and established industry leaders, demonstrate the growing demand for orbit transfer and hosted payload services.
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 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.
FINO MORNASCO, Italy, March 21 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the space logistics and orbital transportation company, announced today the upcoming launch of SPACELUST, the fifth mission using the Company’s proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION), a flexible and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) spacecraft designed both to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit.
ION will lift off from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission. The launch is scheduled for April 2022.
Upcoming launch will introduce a new satellite model with enhanced proprietary technology, enabling Satellogic to scale its constellation of satellites and increase client offerings and product quality
NEW YORK (Satellogic PR) — Satellogic Inc. (NASDAQ: SATL), a leader in sub-meter resolution satellite imagery collection, announced today it has shipped five satellites to be launched in early Q2 from Cape Canaveral. The launch will be part of SpaceX’s Transporter-4 mission onboard the highly flight-proven Falcon 9 reusable, two-stage rocket, under SpaceX’s Rideshare program.
Satellite Vu will share a ride into space on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to green the planet.
LONDON, 21 February (Satellite Vu PR) – UK space firm, Satellite Vu, have signed a launch deal with Elon Musk’s renowned aerospace company, SpaceX, to launch the world’s highest resolution thermal imaging satellite in early 2023.
Satellite Vu will be part of a rideshare launch on one of SpaceX’s Transporter missions aboard Falcon 9, which have proven to be the most reliable rockets to launch satellites into orbit in recent years.