A SpaceX Falcon has successfully launched the Spaceflight SSO-A “SmallSat Express” mission. It was the third time this Falcon 9 first stage has flown.
There are 64 small satellites on the flight including two Canadian ones. The two satellites belong to Vancouver based Helios Wire and Cambridge based exactEarth.
Pathfinder II, a 20kg 16U satellite built by Astro Digital for Helios Wire, is the first of a planned constellation of 28 machine-to-machine (M2M) small satellite serving the Internet of Things connectivity market.
Vesta is a 3U (4kg) technology demonstration satellite that will test a “new two-way VHF data exchange system (VDES) payload for the exactEarth advanced maritime satellite constellation” according to builder Surrey Satellite Technology, LTD (SSTL). The satellite uses the SSTL-12 Nano platform.
At present we’re waiting on Spaceflight for the successful deployment of the Canadian satellites.
Also of note, SpaceX recovered the two fairing panels, another first, and SpaceX announced they will be used again.
Successful deployment of four microsats and the upper and lower free flyer with additional payloads for Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express confirmed. Follow @SpaceflightInc for further mission updates.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 3, 2018