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.