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'Carrier' spacecraft in the news

6 Jan 2017, 19:29 UTC
'Carrier' spacecraft in the news
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Here's an IEEE article describing two planned multi-satellite missions.One is the Sherpa vehicle from Spaceflight Industries, set to fly on a Falcon 9 as a secondary payload on the Formosat 5 mission. This is expected to launch some time this year, so keep an eye out. The vehicle is described as a space tug by SI, and is capable of carrying mixed configurations of smallsats, cubesat launchers and other custom hardware. This first flight offers an 87-satellite capacity. The vehicle itself seems to be very flexible, with options for additional propulsion and add-on services. Another is the Indian Space Research Organization's C37 mission on PSLV, expected to launch near the end of this month. This is a medium-lift vehicle reaching polar orbits, with multiple upper stage restarts available. This launch system has already deployed multiple satellites to different orbits in one launch. Their next launch is expected to deploy over 100 cubesats and two rideshare satellites as secondary payloads to the Cartosat-2d mission.These craft are significantly smaller than my proposal. That's not surprising; even though the smallsat market is rapidly growing, there just isn't enough demand to justify launching a thousand or more of them a year. It will also ...

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