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Spaceflight Inc., the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, announced it inked an agreement with SpaceX to secure rideshare capacity on multiple launches. This agreement between the two companies secures Spaceflight capacity to launch manifest payloads on several SpaceX launches through the end of 2021, providing launch schedule assurance to smallsat customers needing frequent, reliable, and cost-effective launches to Sun-synchronous orbit.
“By offering a variety of launch options, we can better meet our customers’ specific launch needs and offer increased launch flexibility," said Curt Blake, president and CEO of Spaceflight. “This agreement with SpaceX will be particularly attractive to smallsat customers. SpaceX's consistent launch schedule, coupled with our deep expertise in mission management and integration services, offers rideshare options with greater reliability. This agreement will allow us to package multiple payloads onto a single port to significantly reduce the cost per spacecraft for the end-customer.”
According to a recent research study by Bryce Space and Technology, delays are commonplace throughout the launch industry. “Launch delays are inevitable and are typically out of the control of rideshare customers. In order to offer launch flexibility and minimize the impact of significant delays, it’s critical to have capacity on a wide range of launches to easily re-manifest customers from one launch to another,” said Devon Papandrew, vice president of business operations at Spaceflight. “Having this guaranteed capacity with SpaceX improves our customers’ odds of getting on orbit when they need to and helps us ensure flights are as full as possible, lowering costs for all and minimizing environmental impacts.”
The agreement builds on a long-standing relationship between the two companies. Spaceflight and SpaceX have partnered for several industry firsts, including SSO-A, the first dedicated rideshare mission with 64 smallsats aboard a Falcon 9 in December 2018. Additionally, Spaceflight and SpaceX teamed up on the first-ever rideshare mission to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit carrying a commercial lunar lander in February 2019. Spaceflight also announced today it will launch two rideshare payloads aboard SpaceX’s tenth Starlink mission, marking the first SpaceX Starlink mission that will be accompanied by Spaceflight rideshare payloads.
“Spaceflight is one of the most experienced companies offering mission management and integration services for smallsat operators, and we are proud to offer their customers the best launch solution on the market,” says SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero. “Together, Spaceflight and SpaceX are providing small satellite operators access to space in the most reliable and cost-effective way possible.”
Spaceflight works with a large portfolio of launch vehicles, including Falcon 9, Antares, Electron, Vega, and PSLV, to provide a variety of launch options to its customers. The company has launched more than 270 satellites across nearly 30 rideshare missions. In 2019, the company successfully executed nine missions, the most it’s ever launched in one year, sending more than 50 payloads to space.