Update: Feb 24, 2022:
UPDATE: Happy to report the 10 customer spacecraft initially scheduled to fly on Transporter-3 in January on our Sherpa OTV have all been re-manifested to fly on upcoming missions. While change is the one constant in the industry, dealing with it is our specialty.
President and CEO Curt Blake added, “One of the affected spacecraft has already launched and is in orbit, and all the others are expected to fly in the next several months. This is a true testament to the experience of our team and commitment to delivering flexible launch solutions; they’ve worked tirelessly with our customers and launch vehicle partners to find suitable options to get them launched as quickly as possible. We couldn’t be prouder of the accomplishment of having all the spacecraft re-manifested and re-contracted on alternative launches in a matter of weeks.”
Update: Dec. 23, 2021:
After successfully integrating customer spacecraft, lifting, and mating Sherpa-LTC1 with the SpaceX hardware, we were informed today of a leak coming from the propulsion system onboard the Sherpa-LTC1 vehicle. We are currently evaluating the situation to assess the impact.
At this time we believe there is no damage to any customer spacecraft or safety concerns, but it is a significant development. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided not to fly the Sherpa-LTC1 on our SXRS-6 mission (SpaceX Transporter-3) targeted to launch in January.
This development impacts 10 customer spacecraft integrated on Sherpa-LTC. The Capella Space and Umbra microsats are unaffected as they are on separate ports. They will fly as expected on the mission.
The customers who are impacted have already been contacted and plans are underway to remanifest them on a suitable launch. We sincerely apologize for the delay to their missions and the inconveniences this situation has created. Spaceflight’s top priority is to safely launch our customers’ spacecraft. Our mission management team is experienced in managing manifest changes and we are doing everything in our power to find alternative solutions for the affected customers.
While this is not the outcome we were looking for, we’re actively working with our propulsion system partner, Benchmark Space Systems, to conduct a root cause analysis. We will be providing updates as new information becomes available.