“Trial By Fire: Atomos Space’s Maiden Voyage into Orbit”

Atomos Mission One Rendering
Few missions more acutely embody the maxim “space is hard” than Atomos Space’s first demonstration mission, which the company has managed to pull back from the brink of disaster — more than once. That demonstration mission, dubbed Mission-1, launched to orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on March 4. Deployment was nominal, and Atomos received its first ping from the spacecraft seven minutes after deployment. After pulling some strings, they were able to get on the phone with the chief systems engineer of satellite communications company Iridium. Atomos’ spacecraft were moving too fast, and in direct opposition, such that they couldn’t perform the data “handshake” with those Iridium satellites to actually transmit information back down to Earth.