Exolaunch Signs New Multi-launch Agreement with SpaceX, Expanding its Capacity for Rideshare Missions

Rideshare mission (Credit: Exolaunch)

Over 95% of Exolaunch’s 3,000 kg capacity on SpaceX Transporter missions in 2022 already booked – a sign of high customer interest and constant business growth

BREMEN, Germany, 16 November 2021 (Exolaunch PR) – Exolaunch, a global provider of launch services and in-space logistics, has signed a new multi-launch agreement with SpaceX. The agreement includes more launches, more slots and more capacity for Exolaunch to integrate customer satellites onboard SpaceX dedicated rideshare missions, called Transporter missions, during the next two years.

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SpaceX Wins Competition to Launch UAE Imaging Satellite

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-2 mission. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has won a contract to launch to launch the United Arab Emirates first largely domestically produced satellite as a rideshare payload aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in 2023.

MBZ-Sat will be the UAE’s fourth imaging satellite, with nearly double the resolution of the earlier KhalifaSat. MBZ-Sat is named after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

“We’re honored to support this mission, and we look forward to the successful launch of MBZ-SAT and many future projects,” said Tom Ochinero, SpaceX vice president of commercial sales.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) is constructing the 700 kg (1,543 lb) satellite. Engineers have completion of MBZ-Sat’s structure model and conducted initial tests, the center said.

Project director Amer Al Sayegh said during a press conference earlier this week that 90 percent of the mechanical parts and 50 percent of the electrical and electronic elements are being manufactured in the UAE. MBRSC is working with UAE-based companies Strata, EPI, Rockford Xellerix, HALCON and Falcon Group.

SpaceX has launched two Transporter rideshare missions to date. The company set a new world record by lofting 143 commercial and government satellites into orbit in January 2021. The Transporter-2 flight launched 88 satellites in June 2021. A third Transporter rideshare mission is scheduled for January.

Spaceflight Announces Rideshare Mission to the Moon

Sherpa EScape (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE, Sept. 14, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leader in global launch services, today announced a breakthrough cislunar rideshare mission: “GEO Pathfinder.” As a secondary payload on board Intuitive Machines’ IM-2 South Pole Mission, Spaceflight will execute rideshare deployments in trans-lunar orbit, low-lunar orbit and beyond to geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO). Spaceflight will utilize a lunar flyby with its new propulsive transfer vehicle, Sherpa EScape (Sherpa-ES), to deliver a payload from GeoJump, a new company dedicated to providing smallsat rideshare opportunities to GEO, that will also contain an Orbit Fab in-space fueling payload. The mission is slated to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than Q4 2022. 

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Exo-Space to Fly Vision-1 Image Processor on Orbital Transports Get Spaceborne Mission

xo-Space image processor integrated into 3U CubeSat. (Credit: Exo-Space)

LOS ANGELES (Exo-Space PR) — Exo-Space announced an agreement with Orbital Transports to demonstrate their Vision-1 image analysis data processing unit on a Get Spaceborne™ rideshare mission in low Earth orbit (LEO). The Vision-1 image processor executes novel machine vision algorithms to detect and classify objects and structures within the field of view of on-board imaging systems. Rather than sending large sets of raw data down to ground stations, the Vision-1 processes images directly from an onboard camera and sends down only the relevant information, reducing downlink costs and improving response times to observable events.

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Exolaunch Delivers One Ton of Small Satellites into Orbit on SpaceX’s Transporter-2 Rideshare Mission

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-2 mission. (Credit: SpaceX)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 30, 2021 (Exolaunch PR) – Exolaunch, the launch, deployment and integration services provider for the New Space industry, announced a successful launch of 29 satellites totaling one metric ton for its customers from the United States, South America and Europe on a dedicated rideshare mission of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program. The mission, named ‘Fingerspitzengefühl’, lifted off on June 30 at 19:31 UTC on Falcon 9 ‘Transporter-2’, completing one of the largest and most diverse rideshare missions for Exolaunch. With this launch, Exolaunch has flown 170 small satellites on multiple launch vehicles.

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Launch 2020: Europe’s Ambitions Frustrated by Pandemic, Booster Failure

The Ariane 5 for Flight VA251 departs the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone with its EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30 satellite passengers. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Last year was a tough one for Europe in terms of launches. The COVID-19 pandemic closed the Guiana Space Centre for extended periods. And the most troubled of the three rockets launched from the spaceport had another bad day.

Despite the problems, there were seven launches from French Guiana in 2020, with six successes and one failure. Five of the flights involved European rockets, and two others were Russian Soyuz boosters.

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Spaceflight Inc.’s Next-Gen Sherpa OTV Program Showcases Innovative Modular Design of its Flight-Proven Subsystems

Next-gen Sherpa OTV (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE, June 7, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leading global launch services provider, will debut newly developed technical innovations utilized for its next-generation Sherpa program, enabling small satellite transportation throughout cislunar space in a way that has never been accomplished before. Intentionally architected with modular plug-and-play subsystems, Spaceflight’s next-gen Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) program offers customers flexibility and customization, including multiple types of propulsion for last-mile delivery, flight-proven avionics and separation sequencers, rich deployment telemetry and imaging systems, direct space-to-ground networks, and more. Based on a standardized 24” ESPA port, the Sherpa OTVs offer a reconfigurable 300 kilogram payload capacity and are sized to launch on most rockets.

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Spaceflight Inc. Readies the Next of Four Dedicated Electron Launches for BlackSky

By providing a mix of both traditional rideshare and dedicated options, launch services provider delivers maximum flexibility for BlackSky’s growing constellation

SEATTLE, May 4, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc.) — Global launch services provider Spaceflight Inc. recently secured four dedicated Rocket Lab launches on behalf of its customer, BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services. Spaceflight will provide the integration and launch services for eight BlackSky smallsats across four dedicated Electron missions throughout 2021. The agreement also includes options for an additional two dedicated missions on Electron in Q4 2021.

The first of these four dedicated missions is scheduled to launch in May 2021 from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The mission, called “Running Out of Toes” by Rocket Lab and “RL-7” by Spaceflight to signify its seventh mission with Rocket Lab, will carry two 55-kilogram class BlackSky smallsats to low Earth orbit. The following three dedicated launches under contract will each take two more BlackSky satellites, furthering BlackSky’s goal to launch nine satellites in 2021.

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Long March 6 Launches 9 Satellites into Orbit

Long March 6 lifts off from Taiyuan on April 27, 2021. (Credit: CASC)

A Chinese Long March 6 booster launched nine satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on Tuesday at 11:20 a.m. local time in the inaugural flight of a new commercial rideshare program.

Long March 6 placed the following satellites into sun synchronous orbit:

  • Origin Space NEO-1 — asteroid mining technology demonstration
  • Qilu-1 — synthetic aperture radar
  • Qilu-4 — optical remote sensing
  • Foshan-1 — optical remote sensing
  • Apocalypse Constellation Zero Nine Star — Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Golden Bauhinia-1 01 — visible light remote sensing
  • Golden Bauhinia-1 02 — visible light remote sensing
  • Zhongan Guotong-1 — optical remote sensing
  • Tianqi-9 — optical remote sensing
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Delta IV Heavy, Chinese Space Station Launches on Tap for This Week

A Delta IV Heavy launches the NROL-44 satellite. (Credit: ULA)

The month of April is concluding with a string of launches from Russia, the United States, China and South America. Things kicked off on Friday with SpaceX’s launch of Crew-2 to the International Space Station (ISS). On Sunday, a Russian Soyuz rocket launched 36 OneWeb satellite broadband spacecraft from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.

One of the final United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rockets is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Monday afternoon. That flight will be followed by the fifth launch of China’s Long March 6 booster. Launches by Europe’s Vega and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets are scheduled over the next two days.

China will close out the month on Thursday by launching Tianhe-1 core module for that nation’s first permanent space station aboard a Long March 5B booster.

The full schedule for the week is below.

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Arianespace Offers a Ticket into Space to a Startup or Lab

  • Arianespace is launching a contest for satellite projects by space technology startups, labs or universities, in conjunction with the Viva Technology 2021 (VivaTech) innovation show.
  • The winner will get a free launch of their satellite on an Arianespace rideshare mission.
  • The main selection criterion will be the satellite’s mission, which should improve life on Earth or advance human knowledge.

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace, the European launch services company, is Arianespace, the European launch services company, is organizing a contest in conjunction with the VivaTech international innovation show. First prize will be a spot on a rideshare mission operated by Arianespace, to orbit the winning cubesat-sized satellite.

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Soyuz-2 to Launch 38 Spacecraft from 18 Countries on March 20

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On March 20, a launch of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage is scheduled from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that will deliver 38 spacecraft (SC) from 18 countries into three sun-synchronous orbits:

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Spaceflight Inc. Signs Multiple Launch Agreements to Start 2021, Leveraging Its Success Managing Both “Bus and Taxi” Smallsat Launches

SHERPA (Spaceflight Inc.)

Company reveals more dedicated launches, propulsive OTVs, and GTO/lunar missions to satisfy growing demand for flexible and comprehensive launch services

SEATTLE, March 3, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc.) — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, announced it has started the year by signing several significant launch agreements with a wide range of organizations, including growing constellations needing routine and reliable launch schedules, smaller payloads requiring affordable bus-like options to popular orbits, firms needing regulatory and logistical guidance, as well as those seeking a personalized taxi service from loading dock to final orbital destination.

Organizations that recently signed launch deals with Spaceflight include Lynk, Astro Digital, Kleos, BlackSky, Umbra, Orbit Fab and several undisclosed U.S. government payloads.

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ISILAUNCH34 Successfully Launched on Board Falcon 9

ISILAUNCH34 hardware (Credit: ISISPACE)

DELFT, Netherlands (ISISPACE PR) — Setting a new world record, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully deployed dozens of small satellites into a Sun-Synchronous Orbit for commercial and government customers, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Being part of “Transporter-1”, a SpaceX SmallSat Rideshare Program mission, we are proud that an impressive number of 53 satellites were accommodated in ISISPACE deployers by our ISILAUNCH team as part of the ISILAUNCH34 launch campaign.

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