iSky Technology, Spire Global, University of Würzburg, German Orbital Systems
Launching after Christmas 2018, the Soyuz rocket successfully took-off at 02:07 UTC on the 27th December 2018 from Vostochny, Russia. The primary payloads of this launch were the Kanopus-V #5, 6 satellites that are used for environmental monitoring, mapping, fire detection, agricultural planning, land use assessments, and urban planning.
On this mission Exolaunch, successfully procured launch capacity, delivered mission and integration services and deployment solutions to 11 cubesats for its customers from Europe and the USA.
This launch marked the fourth time Exolaunch provided its comprehensive launch and mission management services to Spire Global, a data and analytics company based in San Francisco. Spire Global satellite constellation of Lemur-2 cubesats provides global ship tracking and weather monitoring. These Lemur-2 satellites carry three payloads: STRATOS GPS radio occultation payload, the SENSE AIS-receiver and an ADS-B payload to aid in tracking airplanes. Eight 3U satellites were launched as part of this mission.
One of the small satellites on this launch was the University of Würzburg's UWE-4 Experimental 1U cubesat. The purpose of this mission was the demonstration of the electric propulsion application for attitude and orbit control of a 1U cubesat through the use of NanoFEEP (Nano Field Effect Electric Propulsion) thrusters developed at the Technical University of Dresden.
This launch also saw another key milestone in a partnership with German Orbital Systems. This was the third time the Exolaunch provided services and deployment systems for the D-Star ONE series of 3U cubesats. Named Sparrow and iSat developed for iSky Technology, these D-Star ONE satellites were successfully launched as part of this rideshare flight.