On 13 January SpaceX was selected by MethaneSAT LLC (part of the Environmental Defense Fund) to launch its MethaneSAT mission in late-2022. The satellite will ride on a Falcon 9 rocket and will likely be joined by other payloads considering its less than hefty mass (reportedly circa~ 350 kg).
MethaneSAT and its launch is expected to make use of an US$100 million grant to the EDF made by the Bezos Earth Fund in December 2020.
After suffering payload losses in early-January the Transporter-1 SpaceX rideshare mission – planned for launch NET 21 January – has gained more passengers. The losses previously mentioned consist of one of the launch coagulators – Momentus Space – along with its associated payloads. Coupled with two DARPA CubeSat missions with were damaged during integration with the rocket.
The newcomers take the form of 10 Starlink satellites SpaceX received FCC approval for on 8 January. Permission was granted to place these sats into a “polar” orbit in order to speed up the spread of Starlink coverage over the USA – specifically Alaska in this case.
On 11 January satellite SAR company Iceye, Finland, confirmed that three of its radar units would be flying on the upcoming mass rideshare mission.