Spaceflight Inc., the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced 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. The ability to launch rideshare payloads aboard SpaceX Starlink missions provides smallsat customers with a new, reliable and routine launch option. Spaceflight’s mission, which it has dubbed SXRS-1 to signify its first rideshare with Starlink, will include two Earth-observation microsatellites for Spaceflight’s customer BlackSky.
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Spaceflight to Launch Its First Rideshare Payloads on a SpaceX Starlink Mission (Graphic: Business Wire)
In addition to securing capacity aboard the vehicle, Spaceflight designed the adapters and harnessing, and executed the integration of the rideshare payloads. The mission is targeted to launch in the coming weeks from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“SpaceX has proved schedule consistency and launch reliability through its Starlink missions, even during this unprecedented time, and we are eager to offer it as a launch option to our customers,” said Curt Blake, president and CEO of Spaceflight. “We seek to maximize capacity on every launch because any space available is an opportunity for our customers to complete their missions. We’ve executed many firsts with SpaceX, including SSO-A, the first dedicated rideshare mission on a U.S. vehicle as well as the first-ever rideshare mission to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a lunar lander. We’re looking forward to another first with SpaceX.”
Spaceflight also announced today 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.
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. Spaceflight 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. This year, Spaceflight is scheduled to execute more than six missions.
About Spaceflight Inc.
Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of space transportation through its comprehensive and innovative suite of rideshare launch and mission management services. The company offers state-of-the-art satellite integration capabilities, including flight and ground support hardware, licensing and logistics management, and mission expertise to support each customer’s specific mission needs. Spaceflight’s diverse portfolio of launch partners across the globe enables the company to offer routine launch options and unprecedented launch flexibility. Based in Seattle, Spaceflight has successfully launched hundreds of satellites and is a part of the Mitsui & Co., Ltd. portfolio, operating as an independent, U.S.-based company. For more information, visit http://www.spaceflight.com.