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Falcon 9 launches Transporter-4

The SpaceX Rocket take-off with 40 satellites from International partners to Orbit

Credit: SpaceX
Falcon9 / Transporter-4 payload bay

SpaceX is due to launch on April 1 at 16:24 UTC – 12:34 EDT, (with backup opportunities dates from April 02 to 08) its fourth SmallSat Rideshare Program mission – the Transporter-4 in Sun-synchronous orbit – SSO. It is a dedicated SpaceX launch-sharing mission. SpaceX's SmallSat Rideshare program offers small operators frequently scheduled and dedicated Falcon 9 ride-sharing missions in SSO orbit for EELV Secondary Payload Adapter aka ESPA-class payloads for just $1 million per mission, which includes up to 200 kg of payload mass. The Falcon 9 v1.2 FT Block 5 rocket that will launch the mission is the BoosterB1061-7. The launch will take place from the Space Launch Complex SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Meteorology, however, predicts a 30% chance of favorable weather.

Infographic by Space Intelligence and HDE

Falcon 9’s first stage (core) booster previously launched Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, and Starlink G4-7 mission. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the "Just Read the Instructions" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. And the Payload fairings will be recovered by SpaceX fairing recovery vessel "Bob". The Second Stage will be expended and reenters to earth atmosphere above south-west Indian Ocean.


The 40 payloads are mounted on top of the second rocket stage, and SpaceX shared a photograph of the interior of the fairing that shows the payloads arranged in a special configuration on the adapter with ESPA (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Port Adapter) ring technology.

ESPA allows dozens of small spacecraft to be connected to the payload adapter to get the most out of a rocket launch in a single mission, as illustrated below. The Payload Host Companies also have the option of using custom ESPA satellite adapters.

Transporter-4 Payloads inside Falcon9 fairing

EnMAP (Top Payload for this mission)

EnMAP stands for Environmental Mapping and Analysis Programme, is a German hyperspectral satellite mission that aims at monitoring and characterizing Earth’s environment on a global scale. EnMAP measures and models key dynamic processes of Earth’s ecosystems by extracting geochemical, biochemical and biophysical parameters that provide information on the status and evolution of various terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

EXOLAUNCH PAYLOADS for Transporter-4

Exolaunch's manifest on the Transporter-4 mission includes the following payloads and companies:

  1. SPARK 1 from Omnispace (USA) - designed and built by Thales Alenia Space in conjunction with NanoAvionics, Syrlinks & ANYWAVES, this new-generation NGSO satellite will operate in the 2 GHz S-band. Omnispace Spark 1 will support the mobile industry 3GPP standard, making connectivity possible direct to compatible devices. This program will serve to advance the development and implementation of Omnispace's global hybrid non-terrestrial (NTN) network.

  2. MP42 from NanoAvionics (USA, UK & Lithuania) - the first ring-deployed microsat of NanoAvionics carrying payloads from 5 different companies. The hardware and software of MP42 satellite bus, as well as mission operations infrastructure, are established on baseline architecture and mission-specific “building blocks” for flexible, time- & cost-efficient integration, resulting in wide applicability, reliability, repeatability, and manufacturability.

  3. SHAKUNTALA from Pixxel (USA & India) - is a hyperspectral Earth imaging satellite. The constellation is designed to provide global coverage every 24 hours, with the aim of detecting, monitoring and predicting global phenomena.

  4. BDSAT from Spacemanic (Slovakia) - BDsat project aims to support the radio amateur community with several HAM services and activities. Secondary goal is a verification of a prototype of pressure measuring equipment and to verify the functionality of this technology in open space conditions.

  5. ALFACRUX from the University of Brasília (Brazil) - developed by UnB and manufactured by Alen Space, the AlfaCrux satellite is designed for educational and technical investigations of narrowband communication and its applications carried out by researchers, students, and amateur radio operators interested in radio technique without pecuniary interest. Possible in-orbit technical demonstrations include digipeater solutions, scintillation impacts in the satellite communication link, and data collection systems.

  6. BRO-7 from UNSEENLABS (France) - the seventh satellite of UNSEENLABS' constellation dedicated to the geolocation of vessels at sea. UNSEENLABS processes and analyzes the RF data, and provides unique knowledge for national security operations, for environmental protection and for an increasing number of applications in the commercial sector. Their constellation is designed to provide data to clients to follow maritime traffic, regardless of the time of day and weather conditions.

  7. ARCSAT from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) (Norway) - a GomSpace manufactured nanosatellite designed to demonstrate the use and relevance of a satellite relay for UHF communication at high latitudes. The satellite will be able to cover any point on the Earth's surface, ranging from 4 up to 15 daily passes at higher latitudes from a polar orbit;

  • 5 x NEWSAT MICROSATS from Satellogic (USA & Argentina) - the mission will include the first deployment of Satellogic's new Mark V satellite model. This new generation of satellites enhances the company's constellation with improved cameras, radios, computers, and other subsystems compatible with all components from previous models, offering Satellogic's customers higher quality products. The remaining satellites are four updated NuSats Mark IV. These improved satellites contain increased onboard storage and upgrades to the propulsion and navigation systems. This launch will expand Satellogic's fleet to 22 satellites delivering high-resolution data from space

D-Orbit Payloads

D-Orbit's SCV-005 Almighty Alexius, the fifth mission using the Company’s proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION) on Transporter-4, a flexible and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) spacecraft designed both to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations in orbit.

ION will deploy four satellites from Kleos Space S.A. (ASX:KSS, Frankfurt:KS1, Kleos), a spacepowered radio frequency reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, and three satellites, PlantSat, SUCHAI 2 and SUCHAI 3, developed at the Space Exploration Laboratory (SPEL) of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics (FCFM) at the University of Chile in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Chile.

ION will host a passive payload from Upmosphere, an Italian start-up offering the opportunity to value one’s memories by placing them in special wooden boxes, which will travel around the Earth for a few years aboard D-Orbit’s satellites. The payload consists of a wooden UPbox containing mementos from four different clients.

Mission Phase and Deployment Timeline

EVENT COUNTDOWN provided by SpaceX

All times are approximate


00:38:00 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load

00:35:00 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading underway

00:35:00 1st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading underway

00:16:00 2nd stage LOX loading underway

00:07:00 Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch

00:01:00 Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks

00:01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins

00:00:45 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch

00:00:03 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start

00:00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff


All times are approximate


00:01:12 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)

00:02:30 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)

00:02:34 1st and 2nd stages separate

00:02:41 2nd stage engine starts

00:03:01 Fairing deployment

00:08:40 1st stage entry burn begins

00:09:09 1st stage entry burn ends

00:09:59 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO)

00:09:59 1st stage landing burn begins

00:10:26 1st stage landing

00:14:00 EnMAP deploys

00:16:41 LEO-1 deploys

00:17:30 GNOMES-3 deploys

00:28:43 2nd stage engine restarts (SES-2)

00:28:45 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)

01:08:28 2nd stage engine restarts (SES-3)

01:08:29 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-3)

01:14:42 ARCSAT deploys

01:14:54 AlfaCrux deploys

01:15:07 12 Swarm spacecraft deploy

01:16:22 Shankuntala deploys

01:16:39 BD-Sat deploys

01:17:08 BRO-7 deploys

01:17:28 NewSat-27 deploys

01:17:44 NewSat-23 deploys

01:18:43 NewSat-24 deploys

01:20:18 NewSat-25 deploys

01:22:48 NewSat-26 deploys

01:23:25 Hawk 4C deploys

01:23:36 Hawk 4B deploys

01:24:13 Hawk 4A deploys

01:25:46 MP42 deploys

01:25:58 Lynk Tower 01 deploys

01:26:17 SCV-005 Almighty Alexius deploys

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