Spaceflight is dedicated to increasing access to space for everyone, from emerging companies to schools and research universities to established space agencies. Making launch easy and affordable is what we do – we are committed to making it a successful experience for each of our customers, guiding them through the complexities of launch. After a successful launch and deployment, we are thrilled when we hear from our customers that they have made contact with their satellite. On rare occasions, contact is not established – satellite construction and communication is complex, especially for first-time flyers. We work with our customers and offer assistance with troubleshooting, but spacecraft operation and communications is where our customers take over.
We are always happy to work with CSpOC (the Combined Space Operations Center) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, which works to catalogue all space objects. As good stewards of the commercial space industry, we encourage our customers and partners to report where their satellites are to the Air Force – a good practice but not one that is required. Ultimately, this is up to the individual customers.
On our historic SS0-A mission, we launched 64 satellites. Of these 64, only 4 have not been in contact with their operators. We ran thousands of deployment simulations and spaced each deployment at least 5 minutes apart to make it easier to identify each satellite. We anticipated it taking slightly longer than usual to identify each, given the number of satellites aboard, but are delighted that all but four of the satellites been contacted, and that these customers are enjoying mission success.
As more and more satellites are launched in the coming years, there will be a need for improved tracking protocols and Spaceflight is committed to being part of this conversation and helping move the industry forward. Managing spacecraft on orbit is critical to the future of this industry and the innovations that come from it. We encourage all members to operate responsibly.