SpaceX completed its second launch of 60 Starlink satellites Nov. 11, making its own system the largest commercial telecommunications satellite constellation in orbit.
Astranis CEO John Gedmark said in an Aug. 26 blog post that the company reserved a Falcon 9 launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Large-scale rideshare missions are not without their challenges, both for the launch provider and satellite operators.
Two of the largest commercial launch providers separately announced plans Aug. 5 to provide dedicated launches of small satellites to sun synchronous and geostationary orbits.
SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station July 25 as the company plans a transition next year to a new contract and new cargo spacecraft.
NASA awarded a launch contract to SpaceX July 8 for the launch of a small astrophysics mission as the company offered a Falcon 9 at a lower price than a much smaller rocket.
The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 10:30 p.m. Eastern, and deployed the satellites into a low Earth orbit a little over an hour later.
The Indonesian communications satellite that is SpaceX’s primary payload for its second Falcon 9 launch this year overcame a change of manufacturers and the loss of a U.S. Ex-Im Bank loan to reach the launch pad.
An experimental Air Force small satellite intended to test space situational awareness technologies will be a secondary payload on the upcoming Falcon 9 launch of a commercial communications satellite and lunar lander.
45th Space Wing Commander: “We are now working with General Thompson’s folks and SpaceX to see whether we can launch tomorrow."
The failure of a Falcon 9 first stage to make its planned landing after a Dec. 5 launch shouldn’t affect plans for upcoming launches, a SpaceX executive said.
On the company’s 20th mission of the year and second within 48 hours, SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station Dec. 5, but suffered a rare failed landing of the rocket’s first stage.