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Launcher’s first Orbiter transfer vehicle and hosted payload platform successfully completes vibration test

Hawthorne, California
August 5, 2022
Photo: Orbiter SN1 in the Launcher HQ clean room after vibration testing. (Launcher/John Kraus)

HAWTHORNE, CA, August 5, 2022 - Launcher, the space logistics company focused on providing access to anywhere in space at the lowest cost, today announced that it successfully completed vibration testing for the first flight unit of its satellite transfer vehicle and hosted payload platform Orbiter

Orbiter’s first mission, SN1, is scheduled to launch November 7th, 2022 on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-6 rideshare flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Launcher’s SN1 mission will transport payload from ten commercial, research and academic customers.

On SpaceX Transporter flights, Orbiter can carry up to 400 kg of payload mass in the form of small and cube satellites. Additionally, Orbiter can support components and payloads by providing power, communications, and other commodities. Orbiter is equipped with a chemical propulsion system that uses ethane and nitrous oxide propellants, and the vehicle will initially provide up to 500 meters per second of delta-v or change in velocity. Orbiter is designed to integrate with SpaceX Transporter 24-inch ports and maximize the available volume to its customer payload.

Orbiter provides unique value to its customers by allowing them to quickly reach rideshare orbits and then precisely insert each spacecraft into its proper mission orbit in the most efficient way possible. The delta-v provided by Orbiter can be used to adjust altitude, inclination, and LTDN (Local Time of Descending Node) as well as local anomaly tailoring to distribute small spacecraft quickly and evenly along an entire orbital plane. Given the low additional cost for Orbiter above the SpaceX rideshare price, delta-v can be imparted to each customer spacecraft at a lower cost than implementing or expanding spacecraft resident propulsion systems. This lowers the overall capital cost of each spacecraft and extends its lifetime by maximizing the propellant remaining after reaching its proper mission orbit.

When Orbiter completes its transfer mission, the platform will continue to host components and payloads for up to two years. This enables both early-stage and mature space companies to increase the heritage and technology readiness of their payload or components without the added cost of a dedicated spacecraft and ground operations infrastructure. Using the shared resources available from Orbiter, these services are provided in a more efficient manner. 

Photo: Orbiter SN1 Solar Array (Launcher/John Kraus)

Below is a summary of the Orbiter’s current flight manifest:

Mission       Launch Date

Orbiter SN1 – November 7th, 2022 (Full)

Orbiter SN2 – February 15, 2023 (Selling Capacity)

Orbiter SN3 – May 15, 2023 (Selling Capacity)

Orbiter SN4 – October 1, 2023 (Selling Capacity)

For more information on Launcher and Orbiter please visit or email when you’re ready to join us to orbit.

More Orbiter SN1 photos are available on Launcher's Flickr.

Book a meeting with our team next week at the Small Satellite Conference ( ->

About Launcher

Founded in 2017, Launcher develops the world’s most efficient rockets and transfer vehicles to deliver small satellites to orbit. Orbiter, Launcher’s orbital transfer vehicle and satellite platform, is uniquely compatible with third-party rideshare launch vehicles as well as Launcher’s own Launcher Light rocket. With Orbiter, Launcher offers rideshare launch services to tailored orbits that best meet a spacecraft customer’s mission needs. Launcher is headquartered in Hawthorne, California.  Press contact:

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