On this mission, the 20th in our Flight Heritage, Exolaunch
successfully deployed the first-ever 16U smallsat into
geostationary orbit on behalf of
The mission launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy on April 30 at 8:26
p.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A
(LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center in Cape Canaveral, USA.
The deployment of a 16U smallsat into geostationary orbit (GEO)
marks yet another industry-first in a string of achievements for
After setting the benchmark as the first and only flight-proven,
16U-capable deployer, EXOpod has demonstrated its ability to
operate in ever more demanding missions and higher orbits.
On our first launch using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, we provided our
EXOpod deployment system as well as our signature mission
management & integration services for Gravity Space’s
GS-1. This 16U smallsat was built by
a microsatellite manufacturer with a focus on optimizing cost
and high performance in a scalable platform.
GS-1 showcases the full extent of
Space Inventor’s capabilities in a smallsat platform bristling
with state-of-the-art communications equipment and multiple
From its geostationary orbit,
GS-1 will use an array of
communications equipment to retain a slot reserved for an
upcoming communications satellite and preserve the license for
its attributed Ku and Ka band frequencies. Among the hosted
payloads on GS-1 are instruments
designed for Earth observation and scientific experiments, as
well as a space situational awareness demonstration payload from
all of which will take full advantage of
GS-1’s position in its coveted GEO
Gravity Space sought Exolaunch as a trusted partner on this
mission for our
extensive track record
of rideshare launches with SpaceX. As a secondary payload on
this launch, Gravity Space relied on Exolaunch’s 290 satellites
flight heritage to be safely integrated with the main
ViaSat-3 Americas mission and
deployed in GEO.
After nine successive missions together with SpaceX, this
Gravity Space mission marks a new milestone for Exolaunch with
the addition of Falcon Heavy to our portfolio and an outstanding
demonstration of our team and our system’s capabilities.
GS-1 was the third launch of 2023 for Exolaunch, closely
following the Transporter-7 mission
earlier in April. Exolaunch has manifested on every SpaceX
Transporter mission in 2023, as well as with multiple new launch
vehicles, and is anticipating to reach and go well beyond the
300 satellites launched milestone not later than this summer.