LAUNCHES


SpaceX launches fourth transporter mission


(02 Apr 2022) Rocket: Falcon 9; Payload: Transporter 4 mission; Date: 1 April 2022, 1624 UTC; Launch site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, USA. On board this flight were 40 spacecraft, including CubeSats, microsats, picosats, non-deploying hosted payloads, and an orbital transfer vehicle carrying spacecraft to be deployed at a later time.

This was the seventh launch and landing of this Falcon 9 stage booster, which previously supported launch of Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, and one Starlink mission.

HawkEye 360 Inc., announced that its Cluster 4 satellites have successfully launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral site on April 1. The trio of HawkEye 360 satellites, each containing an RF payload developed by HawkEye 360, has established communication with ground control and is set to commence its commissioning process.

Cluster 4 expands HawkEye 360's existing nine-satellite constellation, which has collected more than 80 million emitter geolocations since 2019. The newly designed satellites include enhanced antenna functions which allow greater flexibility in detecting and geolocating signals across a wide range of frequencies

Cluster 4 is the fourth set of satellites launched by the company and is slated to achieve initial operating capability in June 2022. HawkEye 360's Cluster 5 is tested and ready to launch no sooner than June 2022. Together, Cluster 4 and the soon-to-launch Cluster 5 will double HawkEye 360's on-orbit capacity and significantly expand its collection across the RF spectrum.

Two additional fully funded clusters are scheduled for launch in 2022. These clusters will enable the constellation to have a global revisit rate of less than one hour.

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Exolaunch's manifest on the Transporter-4 mission included the following payloads and companies:

  • SPARK 1 from Omnispace (USA) - designed and built by Thales Alenia Space in conjunction with NanoAvionics, Syrlinks & ANYWAVES, this new-generation NGSO satellite will operate in the 2 GHz S-band. Omnispace Spark 1 will support the mobile industry 3GPP standard, making connectivity possible direct to compatible devices. This programme will serve to advance the development and implementation of Omnispace's global hybrid non-terrestrial (NTN) network;
  • MP42 from NanoAvionics (USA, UK & Lithuania) - the first ring-deployed microsat of NanoAvionics carrying payloads from 5 different companies. The hardware and software of MP42 satellite bus, as well as mission operations infrastructure, are established on baseline architecture and mission-specific "building blocks" for flexible, time- & cost-efficient integration, resulting in wide applicability, reliability, repeatability, and manufacturability.
  • SHAKUNTALA from Pixxel (USA & India) - is a hyperspectral Earth imaging satellite. The constellation is designed to provide global coverage every 24 hours, with the aim of detecting, monitoring and predicting global phenomena;
  • BDSAT from Spacemanic (Slovak Republic) and BD Sensors (Czech Republic) - BDsat project aims to support the radio amateur community with several HAM services and activities. Secondary goal is a verification of a prototype of pressure measuring equipment and to verify the functionality of this technology in open space conditions.
  • ALFACRUX from the University of Brasilia (Brazil) - developed by UnB and manufactured by Alén Space, the AlfaCrux satellite is designed for educational and technical investigations of narrowband communication and its applications carried out by researchers, students, and amateur radio operators interested in radio technique without pecuniary interest. Possible in-orbit technical demonstrations include digipeater solutions, scintillation impacts in the satellite communication link, and data collection systems;
  • BRO-7 from UNSEENLABS (France) - the seventh satellite of UNSEENLABS' constellation dedicated to the geolocation of vessels at sea. UNSEENLABS processes and analyses the RF data, and provides unique knowledge for national security operations, for environmental protection and for an increasing number of applications in the commercial sector. Their constellation is designed to provide data to clients to follow maritime traffic, regardless of the time of day and weather conditions.
  • ARCSAT from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) (Norway) - a GomSpace manufactured nanosatellite designed to demonstrate the use and relevance of a satellite relay for UHF communication at high latitudes. The satellite will be able to cover any point on the Earth's surface ranging from 4 up to 15 daily passes at higher latitudes from a polar orbit;
  • 5 × NEWSAT MICROSATS from Satellogic (USA & Argentina) - the mission will include the first deployment of Satellogic's new Mark V satellite model. This new generation of satellites enhances the company's constellation with improved cameras, radios, computers, and other subsystems compatible with all components from previous models, offering Satellogic's customers higher quality products. The remaining satellites are four updated NewSats Mark IV. These improved satellites contain increased onboard storage and upgrades to the propulsion and navigation systems. This launch will expand Satellogic's fleet to 22 satellites delivering high-resolution data from space.

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D-Orbit launched Spacelust, the fifth mission of the company's proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION), aboard SpaceX's Transporter-4 mission. ION, a versatile and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) designed both to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit, was successfully deployed into a 500-km Sun synchronous orbit (SSO).

With the launch successfully completed, D-Orbit's mission control team is currently going through the mission's Launch and Early Orbit phase (LEOP), performing a series of health check procedures in preparation for the operational phase.

The Spacelust mission includes satellites from Kleos Space S.A. via Spaceflight Inc., satellites developed at the Space Exploration Laboratory (SPEL) and a hosted payload from Upmosphere.

For Kleos Space, a space-powered radio frequency reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, D-Orbit will deploy four satellites which will augment the capabilities of the company's eight satellites constellation, increasing the average daily revisit rate to around five times a day over a 15-degree latitude area of interest, while expanding Kleos' data collection capability by up to an additional 119 million km² per day.

For SPEL, D-Orbit will deploy three additional satellites, developed by the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics (FCFM) at the University of Chile in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Chile. These three satellites include:

  • PlantSat, a 3U CubeSat that will study the growth of a plant in low Earth orbit in an environment that will replicate the conditions on the surface of Mars; and
  • The Satellite of the University of Chile for Aerospace Investigation's (SUCHAI) nanosats, SUCHAI 2 and SUCHAI 3, which will perform basic science research funded by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the basic research technical directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The satellite data will be studied by multidisciplinary teams, which will undertake cutting edge research on scientific exploration and technological development.

For Upmosphere, which offers customers a chance to launch smaller personal items that will travel around the Earth for several years aboard ION, the payload for this mission consists of a wooden UP-box containing mementos from four different clients.

Reference: SpaceX PR

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