A Word from SSO-A Mission Director Jeff Roberts

Are you ready for the most exciting and innovative rocket launches of the year?  Because that is what the space community will experience with the launch of Spaceflight’s Smallsat Express!

The Smallsat Express, also called Sun Synchronous Orbit mission A (SSO-A) is the first dedicated rideshare mission on a large rocket like the Falcon 9. Many rocket launches these days have a few smaller satellites as secondary passengers on board, hitching a ride to space. What makes Smallsat Express so special is that the whole mission is dedicated to these small satellites. Every smallsat is a First Class customer, not a “secondary”!

Small Sat Express is an extremely exciting mission with 64 spacecraft from 34 organizations and 17 countries. These spacecraft range in size from a refrigerator to ones as small as a cell phone, and their missions are even more diverse. We have cutting edge technology demonstrators for communications and earth observation, advanced propulsion systems, formation flying spacecraft, university experiments, high school projects, art, and even tomatoes! Each spacecraft is the culmination of people’s aspirations to use the advantages of space to improve life here on Earth, or sometimes just to do cool stuff to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, businessmen and explorers.

With this many customers, each with their own unique mission requirements, it takes a dedicated team of professional engineers at Spaceflight to make a mission of this complexity run smoothly. We have a group of engineers who are dedicated to specific customers to help them through the unique aspects of launch preparation, a group of engineers who designed and analyzed the launch configuration for success, and a third group of engineers who perform the assembly, integration, and test of the final architecture before it goes onto the rocket. By working together, Spaceflight provides access for everyone to space.


Jeff Roberts

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