In-Space Missions has vowed to continue its Faraday satellite programme after the extreme disappointment of losing their maiden satellite Faraday-1.
The nanosat was launched on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket yesterday evening (4th July) from New Zealand, but the launch vehicle failed in its late ascent, losing Faraday-1 and its seven payloads on-board, as well as several other satellites launching with Electron.
“The In-Space team sat poised yesterday evening watching the launch of Faraday-1, which was a culmination of two years of hard work. When we heard that the launch vehicle failed four minutes into the flight, we were all absolutely gutted,” said Doug Liddle, CEO and Founder of In-Space Missions, which is based in Bordon, Hampshire.
Faraday-1 had been carrying payloads from several customers including Airbus Defence and Space, Kleos Space, Lacuna Space, the Space Environment Research Centre in Canberra, Canadensys Aerospace and Aeternum.
“Many of our team have been involved in previous space missions, so we’re fully aware of the fragile nature of launches. However, this knowledge and experience doesn’t make this failed mission any easier to accept. We are also extremely disappointed for the seven customers on-board our satellite but will work hard with them all to ensure their planned missions successfully reach orbit as soon as possible,” added Doug.
Rocket Lab had previously launched 12 successful missions. Following launch, Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, tweeted: “We are deeply sorry to our customers Spaceflight Inc., Canon Electronics Inc., Planet, and In-Space Missions for the loss of their payloads. We know many people poured their hearts and souls into those spacecraft. Today’s anomaly is a reminder that space launch can be unforgiving, but we will identify the issue, rectify it, and be safely back on the pad as soon as possible.”
Looking to the future, Doug said: “In-Space will not be deterred by this unfortunate accident. A lot of amazing work has been achieved to date, and we are already putting our experiences on Faraday-1 to work on our Faraday-2nd generation ESA programme, as well as on a number of other satellites we have under contract. We were planning a Faraday-1b for launch in the middle of 2021 and we will now look to bring this forward. We will continue to work closely with our payload customers and plan to be on the launchpad again in the very near future.”
Background for editors:
In-Space Missions Limited
In-Space Missions (UK) brings together experience and innovation to create space businesses through collaboration and in-orbit demonstration. It develops new space and ‘newspace’ missions and provides consultancy and procurement support to the space sector. In-Space operates globally and has collaborated with or supported over 40 newspace, traditional space, institutional, financial, academic and government organisations since its inception in 2015. In-Space provides Space as a Service capability (Faraday-1, launch Q1 2020), is developing an AR/VR immersive real-time video from space service (launch late 2020), and has developed a number of platform technology products.
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