Seattle, WA – 8 August 2012 (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight Inc. (Spaceflight) announced today that the USAF Space Development and Test Directorate has exercised a contract option to launch the Kestrel Eye 1 imaging nano-spacecraft on a commercial launch in 2013.
The United States Air Force’s Space Development and Test Directorate previously contracted with Spaceflight to evaluate commercial launch options for the STP Satellite-3 (STPSat-3) and Kestrel Eye 1 Tactical Imaging Spacecraft (Kestrel Eye) spacecraft. After the conclusion of this feasibility study the Space Development and Test Directorate exercised a contract option to procure commercial launch services for the Kestrel Eye 1 spacecraft.
“We are extremely honored that the USAF Space Development and Test Directorate has selected Spaceflight for this watershed moment in the evolution of secondary payload acceptance. It’s another major step towards bringing the more affordable benefits of small, agile, commercial space providers together with Government customers to achieve the right solution for the mission.,” said Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Spaceflight Inc.
To meet the Kestrel Eye 1 mission requirements, Spaceflight will use its Spaceflight Secondary Payload System (SSPS) – a standardized integrated system for the transport of ESPA class payloads and CubeSats to orbit. The SSPS will be manifested on a commercial Falcon 9 launch in 2013. Spaceflight will develop a custom shelf to carry the Kestrel Eye spacecraft in a standard vertical launch orientation.
Spaceflight has been working with its sister company, Andrews Space (Andrews), since 2010 to develop the SSPS and SHERPA family to meet its business requirements. Andrews will fabricate the SSPS and SHERPA at its recently expanded facility in Tukwila, WA.
“This is a historic moment for the commercial rideshare market,” continued Andrews. “Our goal is to demonstrate that the US government can save significant money by using commercial launch services for small and secondary payloads.”
About Spaceflight, Inc.:
Spaceflight Inc. was established in 2009 by Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Andrews Space, to revolutionize secondary payload flight services for fixed and deployable cargo and transport. More information about Spaceflight and specific flight opportunities can be found on the company’s website: www.spaceflightservices.com
About Andrews Space:
Andrews Space, Inc. was founded in 1999 to be a catalyst in the commercialization and development of space. The company is an affordable integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced space technologies. To learn more, please visit: www.andrews-space.com.