New OTV missions seed infrastructure for situational awareness, IoT communications and fuel depots throughout LEO, GEO and cislunar
SEATTLE – Sept. 21, 2021 — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, announced it has recently signed several new launch agreements with a wide range of organizations that are expanding space infrastructure. The satellite constellations provide communications networks, device connectivity, weather forecasts, Earth observation, analytics networks, spacecraft collision avoidance, propellant depots, and more. Spaceflight is actively planning several Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) missions to support these efforts in low Earth orbit (LEO), Geosynchronous Equatorial orbit (GEO) and other cislunar destinations.
Notably, Spaceflight has signed new launch deals with Astrocast, Canon Electronics, Capella Space, GeoJump, HawkEye 360, Orbit Fab, Loft Orbital, NASA, NearSpace Launch Inc. / Inter-Modal Holding LLC, Portland State Aerospace Society, Space Products and Innovation (SPiN), Spacemanic, University of Toronto Aerospace Team, Xona Space Systems, and several undisclosed U.S. government organizations.
The list represents a combination of first-time flyers and repeat customers of Spaceflight, along with several spacecraft that were originally scheduled to launch on a different vehicle. However when those launches were delayed indefinitely, Spaceflight stepped in to remanifest the affected customers to ensure their spacecraft could get on orbit as quickly as possible.
“We’re seeing a significant rise in organizations, both commercial and government, moving beyond their initial pathfinder missions to pursue fully-operational space infrastructure missions and constellations,” said Grant Bonin, SVP of business development at Spaceflight Inc. “Whether it’s connecting IoT devices, monitoring weather, communications for emergency or consumer purposes, or fueling and tracking other satellites in space, these organizations are trailblazers, creating infrastructure to drive positive results that can improve our way of life. We’re pleased to offer proven launch and in-space transportation solutions to a wide range of destinations, from low Earth orbit to far-reaching orbits to satisfy their mission needs and expand these critical building blocks.”
One customer that continues to launch satellites at a rapid pace is Astrocast, a company building a nanosatellite IoT network to tackle challenges in industries such as agriculture and livestock, oil, gas and mining, maritime, environmental, connected vehicles, and IoT devices with a comprehensive direct-to-orbit service. Astrocast’s growing constellation helps organizations track assets by operating a sustainable and advanced nanosatellite network.
A long-time customer of Spaceflight, Astrocast has launched 12 satellites with the launch services provider and has plans to launch a total of 100 nanosatellites. In order to do this, Astrocast needs timely, regular, reliable, and cost-effective launches, which Spaceflight offers through its portfolio of launch vehicle partners and range of launch services.
“Launch flexibility and reliability is critical to the success of our constellation,” said Kjell Karlsen, CFO of Astrocast. “Through its variety of launches and launch services, Spaceflight offers a significant amount of flexibility with reliable vehicles which is unique and incredibly valuable in this industry. We have worked with Spaceflight in the past to reschedule launches and have been able to minimize delays as a result. Spaceflight understands our objectives and needs and that is what we need from our launch provider.”
Spaceflight recently reported 100% mission success from its SXRS-5 mission onboard SpaceX’s Transporter-2 mission in June, which successfully deployed 36 spacecraft. It marked the first flight of two Sherpa OTVs including Sherpa-LTE1, the industry’s first electric propulsion OTV. In addition to many traditional rideshare and dedicated missions, Spaceflight is preparing for multiple Sherpa missions, including the inaugural flight of Sherpa-LTC1, its chemical propulsion OTV, and Sherpa-ES, a new propulsive transfer vehicle, designed to execute missions to trans-lunar orbit, low-lunar orbit and beyond to geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO).
About Spaceflight Inc.
As the premier global launch services provider, Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of space transportation through its comprehensive suite of launch services and Sherpa® orbital transfer vehicles. The company provides unprecedented launch flexibility to ensure customers’ smallsats get to orbit exactly when and where they want through a combination of long-standing relationships with a diverse portfolio of launch partners, innovative satellite integration capabilities, including flight and ground support hardware, licensing and logistics management, and extensive mission management expertise. 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.
Christie Melby, Communiqué PR