Exolaunch launches 21 satellites into space with SpaceX Transporter-7This Space News was published on Sun, 16.04.2023 – 14:21 CEST, covering Exolaunch
On April 15, a SpaceX Falcon 9 launched four days late from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Transporter 7 mission launched 51 payloads into space. Exolaunch was responsible for the launch of 21 satellites on this mission.
SpaceX Transporter-7 was a special mission in several ways. It was the first rideshare mission to launch from Vandenberg, California, USA. It was also the first Transporter mission to launch at night. In previous missions, the first stage (booster B1063) has carried the Michael Freilich Sentinel satellite into orbit, as well as NASA's DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft on its way to the double asteroids Didymos and Dimorphos. The second stage used a new nozzle variant of the Merlin vacuum engine for missions that do not require the full power of the Falcon 9.
International customers, versatile satellites
With this latest launch, Exolaunch has now successfully completed 19 missions. In total, the company with headquarters in Berlin (Germany), Nice (France) and Denver (USA) has launched approximately 290 satellites. Of these, 227 were CubeSats ranging in size from 0.25 to 16U and 62 were satellites with a mass of up to 200 kg. Now 16 CubeSats and 5 microsatellites with a total mass of 550 kg have been added. All satellites were placed in a Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) at an altitude of approximately 500 km. Three Exolaunch products, CarboNIX, EXOpod Nova and Exoport, were used to separate the various satellites from the second stage.
The customers of this rideshare mission are from Asia, the Americas and Europe. Their satellites will be used for Earth observation, maritime surveillance, ADS-B tracking, Internet of Things (IoT) and technology demonstration.
The next Rideshare Transporter-8 mission is currently scheduled for June 2023. An exact date has not yet been determined.