D-Orbit announces fifth ION satellite carrier mission
(21 Mar 2022) D-Orbit announced the upcoming launch of SPACELUST, the fifth mission using the company's proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION).
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.
During the mission, which will start in a 500 kilometer Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO), ION will deploy four satellites from Kleos Space S.A., a space-powered radio frequency reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, and three satellites, PlantSat, SUCHAI 2 and SUCHAI 3, developed at the Space Exploration Laboratory (SPEL) of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics (FCFM) at the University of Chile in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Chile.
The launch of Kleos' Patrol Mission (KSF2) will increase its reconnaissance capability by adding an additional four to the existing constellation of eight satellites, each expanding Kleos' data collection capability by up to an additional 119 million km² per day. In addition, the launch will increase the average daily revisit rate over a 15-degree latitude area of interest to around five times a day.
The twelve-satellite constellation will detect and geolocate radio frequency transmissions to within 300 meters, improving the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of governments and commercial entities, uncovering data points to expose illegal activity on land and sea.
PLANTSAT is a 3U CubeSat that will study the growth of a suitable plant in low Earth orbit, replicating the conditions that life will experience on the surface of Mars. The Satellite of the University of Chile for Aerospace Investigation (SUCHAI) has two nanosats named SUCHAI 2 and SUCHAI 3, which will be launched into orbit to perform basic science research funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the basic research technical directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Multidisciplinary teams will undertake cutting edge research for scientific exploration and technological development.
SPACELUST is ION's fifth mission in less than two years and the second of 2022. D-Orbit launched its first ION in September 2020 aboard an Arianespace Vega launcher, then three further missions in January 2021, June 2021, and January 2022 aboard SpaceX's Transporter-1, Transporter-2, and Transporter-3 missions, respectively. With this mission, the company will have launched to space more than 70 payloads collectively.
While preparing for this mission, the company is also planning for an additional mission, which is currently scheduled for June 2022.
Reference: D-Orbit PR