Spaceflight Inc. has started the year by signing several significant launch agreements with a wide range of organizations including growing constellations needing routine and reliable launch schedules, smaller payloads requiring affordable bus-like options to popular orbits, firms needing regulatory and logistical guidance, as well as those seeking a personalized taxi service from loading dock to final orbital destination.
Organizations that recently signed launch deals with Spaceflight include Lynk, Astro Digital, Kleos, BlackSky, Umbra, Orbit Fab and several, undisclosed, U.S. government payloads.
In November 2020, Spaceflight supported the successful launch of the Kleos Scouting Mission satellites (KSM1) and is now helping Kleos Space prepare for the launch of its second cluster of satellites in mid-2021. The second cluster — KSF1 Polar Vigilance Mission satellites will launch into a 500 kilometer SSO aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, under a rideshare contract with Spaceflight Inc. Kleos’ satellites will detect and geolocate maritime radio frequency transmissions to provide global activity-based information, enhancing the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of governments and commercial entities.
Most recently, Spaceflight coordinated its first fully dedicated PSLV mission, successfully deploying its largest customer satellite to date, Amazonia-1, a nearly 700-kilogram Earth observation satellite. The company also successfully deployed 14 spacecraft from its first next-gen OTV (Sherpa-FX) on the record-breaking SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-1 launch in January.
In the coming months, Spaceflight is managing two dedicated rideshare missions on Rocket Lab Electron vehicles and a deployment from the International Space Station for several U.S government spacecraft. The company is preparing several ESPA-class OTVs complete with electric and chemical propulsion for missions later this year along with many traditional rideshare missions for a total of approximately 10 launches in 2021.
Spaceflight has also signed an exclusive business development agreement with Mitsui Bussan Aerospace Co., Ltd., the leading aerospace trading company in Japan. The new alliance enables Mitsui Bussan Aerospace to expand its services to now offer Spaceflight’s global rideshare and integration services in the APAC region, capitalizing on its regional and cultural expertise.
Celebrating 10 years of providing launch services, Spaceflight has launched nearly 350 satellites across 37 missions on eight different launch vehicles, including the Falcon 9, Electron, PSLV, and Vega. It has orchestrated several industry firsts, including the first fully dedicated rideshare with 64 smallsats about the historic SSO-A mission and the first-ever rideshare mission to GTO with a lunar lander.
“While the pandemic initially stalled many launch deals, we’ve really seen a tremendous resurgence in organizations coming to us to handle their very diverse launch needs,” said Grant Bonin, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Spaceflight, Inc. “In addition to traditional, cost-effective rideshare options, we’re also offering proven OTV solutions to satisfy a variety of orbital needs including GTO and beyond, many new dedicated launches, as well as expertise in many of the often overlooked but critical services like licensing, integration and logistics. We’re committed to ensuring the first mile of our customers’ launch is as well-executed as the last because both are equally critical to success.”
“Spaceflight Inc. played an important role in the success of Kleos’ first satellite mission and proved to be a proactive and flexible partner, which is essential to the success of the new space industry,” said Andy Bowyer, Kleos Space CEO. “They went above and beyond the call of duty to get our scouting satellites launched in the middle of a pandemic. We are grateful to have Spaceflight’s expertise and experience at our disposal as we prepare for the launch of our second cluster.”