SpaceX Launches Transporter-5

SpaceX launches Transporter-5 on May 25 2022

SpaceX launched Transporter-5 yesterday. That’s non-news for most of you by now, but it’s still worth running through the numbers and firsts of this mission. Transporter-5 had 59 spacecraft on its manifest, ranging from cubesats to hosted payloads to orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs). 

  • (F)light work: Transporter-5’s booster (tail name B1061-8) previously launched Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, a Starlink mission, and Transporter-4.
  • Return to Earth: B1061-8 has now launched and landed eight times. 
  • All-time stats: Falcon 9’s 156th flight, SpaceX launch #22 for ‘22, and 99th booster re-flight. Wen 100? 

It’s transfer time

Three of Transporter-5’s five payloads were OTVs/satellite dispensers. 

  1. Momentus ($MNTS) launched Vigoride with a number of customer payloads. The OTV has already deployed its first satellite, with more to follow in the coming days.
  2. Spaceflight’s new Sherpa-AC vehicle is carrying five spacecraft for Xona Space, NearSpace Launch, the US Missile Defense Agency, and MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory.
  3. D-Orbit launched its sixth ION Satellite Carrier, with two deployable cubesats and a pair of hosted payloads. 

Exolaunch, who we recently spoke with, launched 21 satellites from 11 countries on Transporter-5 for Spire ($SPIR), Satellogic ($SATL), NanoAvionics, Omnispace, Thales Alenia Space, and more. 

Exolaunch Transporter-5 infographic, showing the various payloads that launched on SpaceX's Transporter-5 mission. 21 satellites, 11 countries, 9 carbonixes, 6 exopods, and 4 exoports.
Image: Exolaunch

Payload-curated Transporter-5 highlights

IBM launched a cubesat, ICEYE conducted its largest satellite launch to date, HawkEye 360 grew its RF-monitoring satellite constellation to 15, and Xona became the first private company to launch a GPS satellite into space. Technically GNSS, but who’s counting? Finally, Nanoracks and Maxar launched the Outpost Mars Demo-1, an experimental vehicle that will demonstrate metal cutting in space.

The vibes: If you glanced at any space-focused Twitter or LinkedIn feeds yesterday, you could feel it in the air. Payload Twitter bestie Michael Madrid, who works at Starfish Space, summed it up best: