18 nations, 63 satellites deployed, 1 held prisoner: Spaceflight’s SSO-A exploit may be a one-off

by Peter B. de Selding

LOGAN, Utah — Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay didn’t summit Everest again after their historic success, and small satellite launch integrator Spaceflight Industries outlined why it’s unlikely to repeat its 53-customer, 64-satellite SSO-A rideshare launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in December 2018.

Here’s just a few of the data points along the way:

— Two large microsats weighing 350 and 600 kilograms drove the design specifications for the Multi Payload Carrier, built by Airbus Defence and Space. But neither . . .

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