The RFP was released back in August, and as we heard then, the program contains up to 20 missions that will be competed as they are ready. The selected launch providers are a nice mix of those who are flying today, those who are coming up on their first flight, and those who are still early on in their work.
This will be a great pathfinder flight profile for vehicles with sufficient margin to make use of it effectively.
The industry’s first commercial satellite servicing mission has launched, with much less fanfare than I would have liked to see.
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Their first flight is now slated for February 2021, and will feature a 3-meter hammerhead fairing, which can be seen on their site.
Sounds like the team didn’t predict such a long eclipse before launch. I wonder how much that’s tied to the fact that Juno is in a 53-day orbit rather than the intended 14-day orbit, due to the propulsion failure earlier in the mission.
Nice flying by the Juno team.
Momentus is certainly lining up launches, but I’d love to hear a bit about their customers.
On the Relativity side, they’ve got quite a nice little backlog growing, but very few of their launch contracts have much in the way of concrete details.
After the weird situation where the US Air Force awarded Vector a contract the same week Vector shut down, the ASLON-45 mission is headed Aevum’s way.
The small GEO trend that has been talked about of late typically refers to satellites a few hundred kilograms in mass. Nearly two tons unfueled probably doesn’t fit the trend in the same way, but at least Boeing is trying.
Any changes that get SpaceX closer to service are great. Speed to at least some level of service is a huge priority for a project as big as Starlink.