Zeitgeist Mission Marks New Milestone for the Company and NewSpace Industry
Cape Canaveral, Florida – January 24, 2021 – Exolaunch, the leading rideshare launch and deployment services provider for the NewSpace industry, announced a successful launch of 30 commercial, space agency, and university satellites for its customers from Europe and the U.S. on the first dedicated rideshare mission of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program. The mission, named “Zeitgeist,” lifted off on January 24 at 15:00 UTC on Falcon 9 “Transporter-1,” completing one of the largest and most diverse rideshare missions for Exolaunch.
Zeitgeist kicked-off the first of several rideshares Exolaunch will manifest on Falcon 9 as part of a multi-launch agreement with SpaceX. On this mission, Exolaunch provided deployment, mission management and integration services to the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Dresden Technical University, ICEYE, NanoAvionics and other commercial companies for IoT, Earth observation and scientific applications.
image credit © 2021 SpaceX - Falcon 9 on launch pad
“This Zeitgeist mission set a new standard for rideshare launches and not only was a successful demonstration of Exolaunch’s capabilities, but also paved the way for smallsat developers from around the world to participate in SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program,” said Jeanne Medvedeva, Vice President of Launch Services at Exolaunch. “We are proud to be working with so many of the world’s leading satellite and technology companies to advance the NewSpace industry, and we are already looking ahead to additional Falcon 9 launches later this year.”
Zeitgeist was Exolaunch’s 12th rideshare mission. As with previous launches, Exolaunch utilized its proprietary flight-proven separation systems – CarboNIX, the next generation shock-free separation system for microsatellites, upgraded modifications of EXOpod cubesat deployers, as well as its EXObox sequencers to flawlessly deploy its customers’ satellites into the target orbit. With this launch, Exolaunch has flown 140 smallsats on multiple launch vehicles.
image credit © 2021 SpaceX - Zeitgeist smallsat cluster and other payloads
Exolaunch’s manifest on the Transporter-1 mission includes the following satellites:
Charlie nanosatellite built by NanoAvionics for Aurora Insight: The first of two nanosatellites, built and integrated by NanoAvionics for US radio frequency spectrum and wireless data provider Aurora Insight.
CubeLCT nanosatellite from the German Aerospace Center (DLR): The CubeLCT is developed by DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation in close cooperation with its commercialization partner Tesat-Spacecom (TESAT). The satellite has been developed and integrated by the Danish company GomSpace. The development of the CubeLCT serves the demand for increasing bandwidth, resulting in new sensor capabilities on small satellites.
SOMP2b (Student On-Orbit Measurement Project 2b) designed and built by TU Dresden to examine new nanomaterials under the extreme conditions of space, to test systems for converting solar heat into electrical current and to precisely measure the residual atmosphere around the satellite.
3 x ICEYE satellites: Three more satellites of the commercial constellation of radar imaging satellites built and operated by ICEYE.
24 satellites from unnamed commercial customers.
Exolaunch continues to make space more accessible through regular and cost-efficient rideshare missions for small satellites. In addition to successful satellite deployments from SpaceX’s Falcon 9, Exolaunch’s flight heritage includes Arianespace’s Soyuz-ST, RocketLab’s Electron, Roscosmos’ Soyuz-2 and a scheduled mission with ISRO’s PSLV later this year.
Exolaunch is a rideshare launch and deployment solution provider for small satellites. Its flight heritage includes the successful deployment of nearly 100 small satellites into orbit, in cooperation with launch vehicle providers worldwide. Exolaunch enables the visions of the New Space leaders, the world’s innovative startups, research institutions, government organizations, and space agencies. The company also designs and manufactures in-house flight-proven advanced separation systems to deliver the best-in-class integration services and deployment for small satellites.
For more information, visit: www.exolaunch.com