It’s been an incredible year for us at Spaceflight, capped by 4 launches in just 16 days across three continents (and three of them just last week!). It’s kept our team busy, but this is what we do: coordinate complex rideshare missions and all the logistics associated with them. Our team is uniquely capable of getting customers integrated onto various launch vehicles and even moving them between vehicles if necessary. That kind of flexibility is why our customers come to us to get launched. We wanted to share some highlights as the year draws to a close.
PSLV-C47 launched on November 26, 2019 out of India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center. Onboard was our customer Analytical Space Inc.’s (ASI) second technical demonstration spacecraft, called Meshbed. This payload is now on orbit, testing a new antenna that will improve speeds of satellite communication with other satellites and the ground.
SEOPS-2 was our second SEOPS mission to the International Space Station and launched out of Cape Canaveral on December 3, 2019 on a SpaceX Falcon 9. The Dragon resupply capsule successfully docked with the ISS on December 8th, and astronauts removed the customer cubesats aboard and transferred them to a Northrup Grumman Cygnus capsule already berthed there. The two NASA cubesats and one DARPA cubesats will be deployed in January when the Cygnus de-berths.
Next up was New Zealand, where Rocket Lab’s “Running out of Fingers” mission launched on December 4, 2019. On board was our customer, ALE’s “Sky Canvas” artificial shooting star satellite. Besides creating a unique light atmospheric light show, the satellite will help in research that will help predict the path of satellites and artificial objects as well as contributing meteorology research and the study of climate change. It successfully made contact with ground stations shortly after deployment.
Finally, PSLV-C48 took off on December 11, 2019. On board were Spaceflight customer satellites from Spire and iQPS. It was the 75th launch mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Spire had four earth observation satellites and iQPS had a SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite that is smaller and lighter than traditional SAR satellites. Small SAR satellites like this one allow us to observe the earth in any weather
It’s been a busy year at Spaceflight, and 2020 is looking to be even busier. We’ve got more launches ahead – make sure you’re following us on social media and subscribing to our newsletter for all the latest details.