PTD-0 (Tyvak-0129) Satellite

PTD-0 (Tyvak-0129)
Spacecraft Pathfinder Risk Reduction (Tyvak-0129, PTHFDR, PTD-0, Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator, Pony Express 1)
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Units or mass 6U
Status Operational (Press release on 2020-01-14)
Launched 2019-12-11
NORAD ID 44853
Deployer RailPOD [Tyvak]
Launcher PSLV (C48)
Entity name NASA Ames Research Center
Institution Space agency
Entity type Government (Civil / Military)
Nation US
Manufacturer AIVT by Terran Orbital
Partners Tyvak, NASA Glenn, Lockheed Martin

Demonstrating next-generation Tyvak 6U spacecraft and flying Pony Express hosted payload from Lockheed Martin.


Lockheed Martin launched the Pony Express 1mission as a hosted payload on Tyvak-0129, a next-generation Tyvak 6U spacecraft. 

Pony Express 1, an example of rapid prototyping, was developed, built and integrated in nine months, and was funded completely by Lockheed Martin Research and Development funding. This orbital proving ground is validating payload hardware and software, and is packed with new technology that fits into a satellite the size of a shoebox.

Some of the key technologies being flight-tested include: 

  • HiveStar™ software validates advanced adaptive mesh communications between satellites, shared processing capabilities and can take advantage of sensors aboard other smart satellites to customize missions in new ways previously difficult to achieve in space. 
  • A software-defined radio that allows for high-bandwidth hosting of multiple RF applications, store-and-forward RF collection, data compression, digital signal processing and waveform transmission. 
  • 3D-printed wideband antenna housing developed by Lockheed Martin's Advanced Research Technology Center. 

Pony Express 1 is a dual-use payload that enables mesh networks in space through HiveStar™ and a second function that tests space to ground remote sensing.


Inaugural flight of Tyvak's next-generation spacecraft systems, which performed beyond expectations.

Lockheed Martin launched the Pony Express 1 mission as a hosted payload on Tyvak-0129, a next-generation Tyvak 6U spacecraft. Early on-orbit data show Pony Express 1 is performing its important pathfinding mission very well.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Photo sources [1]
COTS subsystems
  • PLATFORM - Tyvak
  • THRUSTER - Accion
Keywords Propulsion, Steerable Solar Arrays
On the same launch

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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