SEATTLE (Spaceflight Inc. PR) – Spaceflight Inc., the world’s leading provider of launch services, announced today that it has contacted its Sherpa AC vehicle and confirmed that the vehicle is nominally operational. This marks the first launch of Sherpa-AC, the latest addition to the company’s Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) portfolio. The Transporter 5 ride-along mission, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, lifted off from Cape Canaveral on May 25 and headed for a 525 km sun-synchronous orbit. Spaceflight has successfully delivered all five customer payloads, including two hosted payloads on the Sherpa OTV, to their desired orbital destinations.
The Transporter 5 mission marks Spaceflight’s 51st launch, its sixth in 2022, and the first launch of the Sherpa-AC OTV model. Sherpa-AC, named for its Attitude Control abilities, adds key features to Spaceflight’s basic free-flying Sherpa, including a flight computer, situational awareness and control, and more, making it ideal for in-orbit maintenance of hosted payloads.
Organizations on Spaceflight’s Transporter 5 mission include Xona Space’s Huginn mission, NearSpace Launch Inc.’s TROOP-3, MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Agile Micro Sat, and the Missile Defense Agency’s CNCE Block 2.
“This mission is an important milestone for our company and will allow us to further validate our technology in orbit and further achieve our corporate goals,” said Brian Manning, CEO of Xona. “The skills of the Sherpa and Spaceflight teams have been key in allowing us to make very rapid progress at this critical development stage.”
“The success of this mission is another significant achievement for Spaceflight and our Sherpa OTV program,” said Curt Blake, CEO and President of Spaceflight. “Designing and delivering OTVs that meet our customers’ growing needs for in-space transportation in LEO, GEO and beyond, support hosted applications, or build space infrastructure is key to our vision to provide the most comprehensive launch solutions. We look forward to continuing to expand our range of space transportation services and conducting more groundbreaking missions with our state-of-the-art OTVs.”
The Sherpa-AC is one of two variants that Spaceflight plans to debut in 2022 as part of its Sherpa-OTV program. Sherpa-LTC, aerospace’s first chemical propulsion OTV, is scheduled for launch later this year. Spaceflight’s Sherpa-ES, a high delta-V bi-fuel OTV, will launch in 2023 aboard the highly anticipated GEO Pathfinder lunar tosser mission.
Earlier this month, Spaceflight celebrated its 50th launch aboard Rocket Lab’s “There and Back Again” mission. Following this mission, Spaceflight has successfully provided launch, integration and mission management services for 553 spacecraft on a global network of launch vehicles.
About Spaceflight Inc.
As a leading global provider of launch services, Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of space transportation through its comprehensive suite of launch services and Sherpa® orbital transfer vehicles. The company offers unparalleled launch flexibility to ensure customers’ small satellites go into orbit exactly when and where they want, through a combination of long-standing relationships with a diverse portfolio of launch partners, innovative satellite integration capabilities, including flight and ground support hardware, licensing and Logistics management and comprehensive mission management know-how. Based in Seattle, Spaceflight has successfully launched hundreds of satellites and is part of the portfolio of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., which operates as an independent US-based company. For more information visit http://www.spaceflight.com.