Millenium Space Systems developed two smallsats that will be deployed in an experiment testing the drag-inducing component’s capacity to deorbit spacecraft from their orbits. The two payloads will be leaving for space via Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. The two payloads are representative of the upcoming DragRacer program. Rocket Lab will be trying to salvage part of the Electron rocket to facilitate the reuse trials for the boosters.
Alchemy, one of the two Millenium Space Systems payloads, will move over 70 meters within the device’s range to accelerate the possibility of the system dragging it to reenter the atmosphere. The other payload does not have a tether attached to it. The tethered payload will be coming back through the Earth’s atmosphere in one-and-a-half months, while the other will keep roaming its orbit for seven years.
The dragger that will be tethering the payload is called Terminator Tape and enough length for the spacecraft to move through hundreds of feet in its orbit. The project is an experiment to test the reliability, affordability, and simplicity of this deorbiting technology developed by Millenium Space Systems and Tethers Unlimited.
The chief executive of Millennium Space Systems, Stan Dubyn, explained that they are evaluating the potential of this method in deorbiting satellites’ remains at affordable prices to resolve the problem of debris accumulation in space. The chief of Tethers Unlimited, Robert Hoyt, outlines that this will be the first time to test the performance of the tether system in deorbiting remains from space and will help the engineers identify techniques that they can use to advance the performance of the device.
Other companies are also preparing to deploy their missions via Rocket Lab. The companies include UnseenLabs from France that will be deploying two CubeSats, and GomSpace that will be launching Bro-2 and Bro-3 satellites.
UnseenLabs wants to constellate 25 satellites in space to monitor the maritime operations of the French ships and combat any unseemly smugglers and pirates by monitoring their operations and sending the data to the concerned authorities.
Additionally, New Zealand’s newest satellite will be enjoying a rideshare mission on the Electron rocket. The country’s payload called Te Waka Āmiorangi o Aotearoa is a product of the development procedures by the University of Auckland and will mark the entry of the country into space expeditions. The spacecraft will be hosting the equipment to determine the degree of electrical disturbances in the top layer of the atmosphere and their subsequent impact on the planet’s tremors and earthquakes.
Finally, the chief executive of Rocket Lab, Peter Beck, expressed his satisfaction at the company’s successful spell in which it has acquired launch capabilities that they initially didn’t have. He added that it would be an exciting opportunity for its researchers and developers to expand their space operations and infrastructure.