For the latest launch update on Astrocast, read more here.
Astrocast is on a mission to connect the planet to solutions that will change the world. Their vision is for a connected world where IoT (Internet of Things) is global, and benefits everyone. Their satellites help track assets by operating a sustainable and advanced nanosatellite network. To do this, they need timely, frequent, and cost-effective launches. That’s where Spaceflight comes in.
Their first demonstration satellite launched on Spaceflight’s historic SSO-A mission in 2018 on a SpaceX Falcon 9, and the second demonstration satellite launched in 2019 on one of Spaceflights PSLV missions. Now, they are ready for the spotlight as they launch their commercial missions on multiple upcoming Spaceflight launches, including SXRS-3, dubbed Transporter-1 by SpaceX.
To accomplish their goals, Astrocast plans to have 80 nanosatellites on orbit. What sets Astrocast’s constellation apart from others is the very low signal and small antenna and terminal with long battery life. The small size lets them put the terminal on everything from fishing buoys to animals. They are helping the fishing industry in Spain, and can track individual cows in remote areas, preventing the spread of bovine disease; another customer is tracking endangered animal species while another customer will be tracking heavy machinery in remote locations. By having a robust constellation and ground station network, Astrocast will be able to track items worldwide within 15 minutes – eventually improving to near real-time location tracking.
Why did Astrocast come to Spaceflight? CFO Kjell Karlsen explains, “Flexibility is a huge issue for us. What Spaceflight offers is a lot of flexibility. Our first commercial mission was schedule to be on another launch vehicle, but due to the corona virus outbreak that one was delayed. We were able to work with them to move to another launch vehicle. That schedule flexibility is what we need.”
Rideshare is an ideal solution for Astrocast. Besides the cost savings and the ability to switch launch vehicles due to unforeseen circumstances, Spaceflight handles the nuances of launch that would require time and resources from the Astrocast team. “If you sign up to launch directly with one launch vehicle, you are stuck. You’re a small player and have to deal with the contract yourself,” says Karlsen. “Dealing with the launch vehicle directly takes a lot of effort and takes time away from what we are doing. I’m not in the business of running a launch team. If
i had to deal with this directly, I’d have to build a bigger team. I want to focus on what my business does.”