SpaceX's Bandwagon Programme May Affect Small Launch Providers: Report

    Inam Ansari
    August19/ 2023
    Last Updated:


    San Francisco: Billionaire Elon Musk's space venture SpaceX is planning for a new series of missions to launch to mid-inclination orbits as part of its rideshare programme.
    The programme called Bandwagon, which was quietly announced at a space industry conference earlier this month, however, poses a threat to small launch providers, TechCrunch reported.
    Orbital inclination refers to what part of the Earth is visible to a satellite as it rotates around the planet. A satellite in an equatorial orbit is at 0 degrees inclination, a satellite in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) is slightly higher than 90 degrees and a mid-inclination orbit is around 45 degrees.
    Currently, SpaceX offers rideshare services on the Falcon 9 rocket to SSO through the Transporter programme, which is in high demand.
    But owing to new demand for MIOs from remote sensing companies that want to strengthen their coverage over areas like parts of Asia and the Middle East, the company aims to launch two Bandwagon missions in 2024 and 2025, according to SpaceX.
    Bandwagon missions' popularity could be a major threat to all other small launch providers, the report said.
    SpaceX has delivered 682 spacecraft to orbit to date via rideshare missions, according to Jarrod McLachlan, director of rideshare sales at SpaceX, who spoke at the industry conference. —IANS

    Categories :ScienceTags :SpaceX Bandwagon SSO