FALCON 9

13th June 2020 / 18th August 2020

Missions

Ninth Starlink mission, 13th June 2020
Eleventh Starink mission, 18th August 2020

Launch site

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Total microsats

3xSkySats

Main payload

58 Starlink satellites on each mission

Customers

PLANET

Image of Exolaunch mission

Credit: SpaceX

Mission overview

On SpaceX’s ninth and eleventh Starlink mission CarboNIX, Exolaunch’s newly developed zero-shock separation system, successfully deployed a total of six Planet SkySat microsatellites into low Earth orbit. Falcon 9 lifted off on 13th June and 18th August from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying three SkySats on each mission as a rideshare payload. Each 110 kilogram SkySat was mounted on top of the Starlink stack using the CarboNIX system, and was later deployed by them into an exceptionally stable orbit.

The unique CarboNIX pusher arm system ensured that there was near-zero tumble after separation. CarboNIX on the 18th August launch gave an average tip-off rate that was less than 0.5 deg/s, and no axis exceeded 1.10 deg/s, regardless of how mass was distributed across the payload satellite. Using traditional separation systems, satellites can tumble on the order of 20 deg/s or greater, and it is incumbent on the satellite attitude control system to reduce this rotation rate and regain control of the satellite’s orientation.

Image of Exolaunch mission 9

Credit: PLANET, SPACEX

Image of Exolaunch mission 9

Credit: PLANET, SPACEX

Image of Exolaunch mission 9

Credit: PLANET, SPACEX

Image of Exolaunch mission 9

Credit: PLANET, SPACEX

Image of Exolaunch mission 9

Credit: PLANET, SPACEX

Image of Exolaunch mission 9

Credit: PLANET, SPACEX

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Image of Exolaunch mission
Image of Exolaunch mission
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Image of Exolaunch mission
Image of Exolaunch mission
Image of Exolaunch mission