We recently announced details surrounding our upcoming SXRS-6 mission (denoting our 6th SpaceX rideshare launch), scheduled to launch NET January 2022. Building on our success with SXRS-5 in June which took 35 payloads to space aboard two Sherpa vehicles, SXRS-6 will continue breaking new ground:
It features the debut flight of our chemical propulsion orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), Sherpa-LTC1, and represents our first multi-destination rideshare mission.
As a recap, we procured three ports from SpaceX for this mission in support of 13 spacecraft — four microsatellites and nine CubeSats — from eight commercial and government organizations across the United States, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, and Germany.
SXRS-6 will deliver payloads to two distinct orbits and consist of three phases:
- an initial deployment of 9 spacecraft upon separation from the Falcon 9;
- a propulsive maneuver of Sherpa-LTC1 to a lower orbit for deployment of additional CubeSats about a month later;
- ongoing series of automated tests and maneuvers.
What payloads are on board SXRS-6? Over the next several months we’ll be taking an even deeper dive into many of these ground-breaking organizations and their missions, but here’s a quick look at a few of the payloads on board:
Capella Space is launching additional spacecraft on the Transporter-3 mission to grow its constellation of very-high resolution (VHR), low latency SAR satellites. Capella is the 1st US SAR company and this mission will increase its constellation capacity and revisit for customers that require all-weather 24/7 Synthetic Aperture Radar data to make better economic, environmental and security decisions.
Lynk Tower 1 is Lynk Global, Inc.’s 6th cell-tower-in-space, and the first specifically intended for commercial operations. “Lynk Tower 1” will connect two-ways with ordinary mobile phones on Earth, enabling broadband, voice and text messaging — from everywhere. “Lynk Tower 1” will support the mobile operators in our Flagship Carrier Program, launching commercial services in July 2022, the next step in the company’s journey to serve the unconnected around the world. (no picture)
Umbra Space’s UMBRA-02: Umbra has a vision to advance global insight through high quality, all weather commercial remote sensing and intelligence gathering. Umbra is doing this by offering services which create value for our customers empowering them to make better decisions. Umbra delivers on this mission by implementing first principles to develop hardware, software and services which are unrivaled by the status quo.
Kleos Space’s Patrol Mission cluster of four satellites: The four Patrol Mission satellites from Kleos add to their constellation to collect radio frequency Earth Observation data. The four satellites, flying in formation, will complement and enhance the global coverage of the previously deployed Scouting and Polar Vigilance missions. The increase in data collection capability will enhance global coverage, improving efforts to bolster border protection and national defense, curb illegal activity, and save human lives.
NASA’s LLITED mission is a grant awarded to The Aerospace Corporation through NASA’s Division of Heliophysics in the Science Mission Directorate and selected for flight by the agency’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). The LLITED mission will study two late-day features of the atmosphere between 350 to 500 kilometers to improve understanding of the interactions between the neutral and electrically charged parts of the atmosphere. Understanding how these enhanced density features form, interact, and evolve may improve our upper-atmosphere modeling capabilities and orbital reentry and proximity predictions. LLITED consists of two 1.5U CubeSats with science instruments provided by The Aerospace Corporation, Embry-Riddle University, and University of New Hampshire. The CubeSats will be released from Sherpa-LTC1 following both an altitude and inclination change maneuver.
Portland State Aerospace Society – OreSat0 is a fully open source CubeSat satellite system built from scratch by students at Portland State University. Slated to be Oregon’s first satellite, the 1U CubeSat provides flight heritage for the modular, expandable, open source, and education-friendly OreSat bus. OreSat0 paves the way for OreSat, a NASA CSLI program 2U CubeSat with a global climate science and STEM outreach mission.
Space Products and Innovation’s (SPiN) spacecraft SPiN-1 is an in-orbit demonstration of the MA61C adapter on a CubeSat as an onboard computer for 1U carrying a minimum of 1 payload. It will reach an altitude between 300-500KM, and operate for at least two months.
Czech Aerospace Research Centre (VZLU) in partnership with Spacemanic – The main task of the VZLUSAT-2 mission is to verify technologies for future missions of the Czech satellite constellation; the nanosatellite will be equipped with an experimental camera and a unit for precise attitude control. In addition, there is also a second generation of devices on board which have already proven their qualities on the previous VZLUSAT-1 satellite.
Stay tuned for more updates about our SXRS-6 mission, Sherpa-LTC1 milestones, and these innovative organizations onboard this historic mission.