Orbiter SN3 falls into irrecoverable spin forcing emergency release of client sats including Otter Pup, which ended up in a spin of its own

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Launches, Reliability Info, Satellites, Seradata News

Launcher, the spacecraft delivery company, has reported that not all went to plan following the successful lift-off of its Orbiter SN3 delivery spacecraft on the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-8 mission on 12 June. Orbiter SN3 apparently successfully separated from the rocket. However, shortly afterwards telemetry showed it to be in a spin with a high rate of rotation. The cause was a faulty onboard attitude control system. Fearful that the spin would prevent the solar panels from charging the battery, leading to a cut in communications, Launcher decided to deploy all of its four client satellites early from the TRL11 deployer/dispenser aboard Orbiter SN3.

Orbiter SN3 is released from Falcon 9 but it later went wrong. Courtesy: Launcher

For three of the spacecraft – MDQSAT-1C and -1D store/forward pocket-cubesats and the educational cubesat Pleiades Squared – there were no issues and all were deployed successfully. However, for Otter Pup, a larger 37 kg technology test satellite, an irrecoverable spin was imparted to the cubesat which is now thought to be unusable.

Orbiter SN3 later ran out of power, which precluded it being used as a docking target for Otter Pup – if it finds a way to recover itself. The root cause of the anomaly appears to be software in nature.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to https://www.seradata.com/product/

Related Articles




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekInternational Space StationaressoyuzIGTRocket LabBlue OriginBeidouawardsStarlinkspaceSatellite broadcastingrussiaAirbus DSboeingmoonISROOneWebCargo Return VehiclemarsblogresearchspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESbarack obamaconstellationtourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122SLSNorthrop GrummanChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5missile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010ElectronLong March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterkscApollolawsUS Air ForceSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BKuaizhou 1AILSprotondarpaTalulah RileyElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CNorth KoreaeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.