Cubesat integration complete as rideshare launch service provider prepares to deploy spacecraft for veteran and first-time customers in early January
Seattle – December 4, 2017 – Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it will be launching 11 spacecraft in early January from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Spacecraft include Finland’s ICEYE-X1 SAR microsatellite, Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-6 6U asteroid prospecting demonstration cubesat, four Spire Global Lemur-2 cubesats, Astro Digital’s Landmapper-BC3, AMSAT’s Fox-1D cubesat, and others.
SEATTLE, October 2, 2017 (Spaceflight PR) – Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it was awarded its first NASA Kennedy Space Center Contract (KSC) for launch and integration services. The multi-year contract covers launch services in 2018 for a maximum of 24 payloads, with options to provide launch services for up to 24 additional payloads in 2019 and 2020. The potential total contract value is more than $5 million.
Frustrated over delays with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, DARPA is considering launching an innovative experimental satellite on India’s PSLV rocket, SpaceNewsreports.
Jeremy Palmer, program manager for DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, told attendees at the Milsatcom USA conference that officials are hoping to launch the eXperiment for Cellular Integration Technology (eXCITe) satellite during the second half of fiscal year 2018, i.e., from April to September 2018.
The eXCITe spacecraft consists of 14 small satlets aggregated together into a single payload weighing 155 kg. The satlets, which are supplied by NovaWurks, have autonomous capabilities and are capable of operating individually or being aggregated into larger, more capable satellites.
eXCITe was originally scheduled to fly as a secondary payload aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9. It would have been deployed from a Spaceflight-supplied Sherpa payload dispenser, which aggregates smaller secondary payloads.
However, repeated slips in SpaceX’s launch schedule required Spaceflight to seek alternative rides to space for payloads that would have been deployed by the Sherpa dispenser.
DARPA would need a U.S. government waiver to fly eXCITe on the PSLV. The government has been granting an increasing number of waivers to American satellite manufacturers who say there is a shortage of domestic launch opportunities.
U.S. launch companies have pushed back agains the waivers, saying India’s PSLV and GSLV launchers are subsidized by the nation’s space agency, ISRO. A number of U.S. companies are developing launch vehicles specifically aimed at the small satellite market, but none has yet made a succesful flight to orbit.
SEATTLE, May 17, 2017 (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight, the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, today announced the purchase of a Rocket Lab Electron rocket to increase the frequency of its dedicated rideshare missions. The Electron is an ideal launch vehicle for dedicated and rideshare missions, especially those serving difficult-to-come-by launch destinations such as mid-inclination orbits for remote sensing satellites. In late 2015, Spaceflight began its dedicated rideshare launch service with the purchase of a SpaceX Falcon 9 and now expands the rocket partnership to Rocket Lab with the Electron.
SAN FRANCISCO (Elysium Space PR) – The pioneering company in memorial spaceflight, Elysium Space, is announcing today that its Elysium Star II memorial spacecraft will be on Spaceflight’s SSO-A dedicated rideshare mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
While Elon Musk keeps adding missions to the moon and Mars to SpaceX’s already crowded launch manifest, a Seattle company has been forced to find alternative rides to space for 89 satellites originally booked to launch on a Falcon 9 booster.
The small spacecraft were set to be deployed using Spaceflight’s SHERPA carrier, which would have been a secondary payload on Taiwan’s Formosat-5 satellite. The launch was originally scheduled for the end of 2015, but it recently suffered yet another delay.
“We found each of our customers an alternative launch that was within the same time frame,” [Spaceflight’s President, Curt ] Blake wrote. “It took a huge effort, but within two weeks, the team hustled to have all customers who wanted to be rebooked confirmed on other launches!”
Spaceflight was anticipating that the launch would finally take place around May or June, but Blake said SpaceX “recently communicated their 2017 manifest, and the impact on the Formosat-5 mission is significant.”
“We learned our launch would occur potentially much later than expected,” he said. By some accounts, the Formosat-5 mission has been shifted into 2018. That’s what led Spaceflight to look at alternatives….
The payloads that had been scheduled for deployment from the SHERPA carrier include Planetary Resources’ Arkyd 6 satellite, which is designed to test a midwave-infrared imaging system; and the Pathfinder-2 satellite, an Earth-observing spacecraft that serves as a prototype for Spaceflight Industries’ BlackSky constellation.
The Small Satellite 2016 Conference is now over. Below are links to Parabolic Arc’s coverage of the conference and the CubeSat Workshop that preceded it last weekend. There are also links to announcements made during the conference and in recent weeks.
Spaceflight CEO Jason Andrews gave at talk this week at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah. Below is a summary of his address derived from Tweets by Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) and David Hurst (@OrbitalDave).
Spaceflight Jason Andrews, CEO
Spaceflight scheduled to launch its SHERPA spacecraft carrier aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in late October
SHERPA is secondary payload to Formosat-5 spacecraft
SHERPA will deploy 89 satellites ranging from 2U CubeSats to 150-kg spacecraft
Launch will set a new world record for the number of spacecraft on a single launch vehicle
At Spaceflights’s request, Falcon 9 will drop perigee before deploying SHERPA to ensure spacecraft will de-orbit within 25 years
Spacecraft will be placed in sun-synchronous orbit
There’s a lot of demand for SSO launches
Lately there has been increasing demand for launching spacecraft to mid-inclination orbits
Spaceflight has flown 93 satellites on various launch vehicles to date
Company has 150 satellite launches on order that will fly on five launch vehicles
Spaceflight wants to make buying a space launch as easy as purchasing an airline ticket
SEATTLE, June 21, 2016 (Spaceflight PR) – Spaceflight, the leading provider of integrated launch services for small satellites, today announced it has successfully launched a flock of 12 Planet Dove satellites from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The 12 spacecraft are shoebox-sized satellites that will be delivered into lower Earth orbit to provide imaging data.
With our Falcon 9 Dedicated Rideshare Launch Services, we are able to drastically reduce the price point for smallsat launch. This holiday season, we’re taking this one step further to offer a drastically reduced price point for CubeSat launch – $200,000 for a 3U – nearly a 33% discount from our list price.
This launch will nominally go to a 500km Sun Synch Orbit in 2018, and the offer is only valid until Dec 31st or when the SHERPA port becomes full. For more information on the launch and a quick and easy purchase, contact us at 866-204-1707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEATTLE, September 30, 2015 (Spaceflight PR)— Spaceflight, the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, today announced the purchase of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the expansion of its launch services to include dedicated rideshare missions. Spaceflight’s first dedicated rideshare mission, named the “2017 Sun Synch Express,” will launch in the second half of 2017 to a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit which is popular for earth imaging satellites.
SAN DIEGO, August 10, 2015 (Kratos/Spaceflight PR) – Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today a partnership between its RT Logic subsidiary and Spaceflight Networks, Spaceflight Industries’ line of business providing cost-effective satellite communications and data services. The partnership will bring small satellite owners and operators the combined benefits of RT Logic’s small sat ground radio products and Spaceflight Networks’ global network of ground stations.
New Website Serves as One-Stop Portal for Bundled, Cost-Effective Small-Satellite Solutions and Services
SEATTLE, June 2, 2015 – Spaceflight Industries (Spaceflight), a next-generation satellite products and services company aimed at transforming the use of space, today announced it has completed the corporate integration of its three service lines under a common brand, including Spaceflight Systems (formerly Andrews Space), Spaceflight Services and Spaceflight Networks. To support the newly consolidated brand, the company also launched its official website for access to its comprehensive space products and services, www.spaceflightindustries.com.