What a year for the small satellite industry! Launching spacecraft through rideshare or “piggy back” is not a new concept, but in 2013, it became mainstream. Records for the number of payloads on one launch vehicle were set and broken within days of each other. 29 satellites were launched on a Minotaur and three days later 32 were launchedon Dnepr. 2014 should be a great year for Spaceflight, with 30 payloads onboard the ORB 1 mission heading to ISS for deployment.
This is not just a one off spike or plateau in small sat use, as Spaceflight expects an increase in quantity and size of spacecraft due to satellite owner’s preference for a slightly larger bus, which enables functionality traditionally held by large satellites, as well as a preference to shift toward new operating paradigms such as constellations and disaggregation.
Spaceflight provided launch logistics for six satellites this past year, on three separate launches, with more missions and vehicles planned next year. In 2013 we grew with new hires in engineering, business development, and legal, and will continue to expand in 2014.
ESPA Ring NOT Certified for Human Spaceflight
Left to Right: Jason, Adam, Kaitlyn, Phil, Kristina, Chuck, and Curt
We are proud of our customer’s accomplishments, which show us how many new and creative ways small satellites can be utilized. Equally exciting are the developments on the launch vehicle side. We are looking forward to building upon our strong relationships with launch services providers, and entering into partnerships with the emerging launch vehicle players.
As the year closes, we are grateful to work with extraordinarily talented customers, suppliers, and industry partners! Please feel free to reach out to us anytime. We always are hoping to add new people to our community of satellite developers, launch service providers and dreamers.