U.S.-based launch services provider Spaceflight said Jan. 25 it has booked a dedicated launch in 2026 from Isar Aerospace, the German rocket developer aiming to perform the first test flight of its Spectrum vehicle this year.
A Sherpa tug launched a month ago is still undergoing commissioning and has yet to start maneuvers as its orbit gradually decays.
Spaceflight shipped its Sherpa-LTC2 orbital transfer vehicle Aug. 10 to Cape Canaveral in Florida, where it will make a second attempt to debut the chemically powered space tug on a SpaceX launch.
Lynk Global said it is still waiting for Spaceflight to rebook a flight for the second commercial satellite in its cellphone-compatible broadband network, four months after the launch services provider’s space tug was kicked off a SpaceX mission.
SpaceX launched several dozen payloads on its fifth dedicated rideshare mission May 25, illustrating the continued demand for such missions even as dedicated small launch vehicles emerge.
Astra successfully returned its Rocket 3.3 vehicle to flight March 15, placing several payloads into low Earth orbit.
Astra Space says it will attempt its next Rocket 3.3 launch as soon as March 14 as the first flight in a multi-launch contract with Spaceflight.
NASA awarded contracts Jan. 26 to a dozen companies, ranging from industry stalwarts to startups yet to launch their first rocket, to provide low-cost launches of agency smallsats.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 placed more than 100 smallsats into orbit Jan. 13 as the company accelerates the pace of its dedicated rideshare missions.
A Sherpa tug has been removed from an upcoming SpaceX rideshare mission after its propulsion system developed a leak, forcing Spaceflight to find new rides for 10 cubesats.