Seven satellites trapped on Vigoride-3 (VR-3) after power fault

by | Jun 14, 2022 | Launches, Reliability Info, Satellites, Seradata News

The Momentus Space Vigoride-3 (VR-3) satellite delivery spacecraft has reportedly failed to release seven of its nine satellite payloads. This follows a serious power shortfall since its launch on the Falcon 9 Transporter-5 flight on 25 May. The cause is believed to be incomplete solar array deployment, which resulted in the spacecraft trying to charge its battery with its body- mounted solar cells alone.

Engineers are investigating the fault in the solar arrays – built by a subcontractor – which subsequently caused a loss of communications with the spacecraft.

Before its power became too low, Vigoride-3 managed to release two of its passenger spacecraft, FOSSAT-2E–11 and FOSSAT-2E-12, into orbit on 28 May. However, the other seven satellites (FOSSAT-2E-7, -8, -9, -10, -13, Veery-Hatchling and Selfiesat) remain stuck on the Vigoride-3 (VR 3). They will be counted as total losses if they are not released. And Momentus engineers are not hopeful.

Artist’s impression of Vigoride deploying a customer spacecraft. Courtesy: FCC



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