Good Vibes: Next Propulsive Sherpa Clears Vibration Testing

Our next Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle is closer to launch!

Our chemical propulsion OTV, Sherpa-LTC, which will fly on an upcoming Starlink mission, recently underwent rigorous vibration testing at NTS’s Santa Clarita facility. 

Happy to report, Sherpa-LTC2 has now been validated for flight loads.

Working together with Astro Digital, the Spaceflight engineering team designed a test configuration that exposed the spacecraft and customer payload to the vibration environment it would expect to see during launch. Once assembled, we shipped the hardware to California where it was off loaded and mounted to the vibration test fixture seen in the picture below. 

Spaceflight Inc.’s propulsive OTV, Sherpa-LTC2, featuring the Astro Digital Command and Control Unit known as Makalu and customer payload successfully undergoes vibration testing at NTS’s Santa Clarita facility, ahead of its upcoming launch.

Once the structure was on the table it was instrumented with a series of accelerometers and put through different vibration profiles to simulate the components of a launch environment. We confirmed all target inputs were achieved and verified that the hardware sustained no damage, both through visual inspection and data review. 

Next, the Benchmark Space Systems’ Polaris propulsion subsystem successfully underwent environmental tests and integrated hotfire testing with the Command and Control System. Subsequently the team completed our Integration Readiness Review. The system is now undergoing final integration for flight at Spaceflight’s new headquarters.

Congrats to all the teams involved in achieving this critical milestone! Be sure to follow us on Twitter @spaceflightinc for more mission updates. 

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