Rocket Lab To Launch Commercial Earth-Imaging Rideshare Mission For Planet, Canon Electronics

Electron lifts off with Capella Space synthetic aperture radar satellite on Aug. 31, 2020. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

LONG BEACH, Calif., 21 September 2020 (Rocket Lab PR) – Leading space systems company, Rocket Lab, has today announced its next Electron launch will be a rideshare mission to low Earth orbit for Planet and Spaceflight Inc.’s customer Canon Electronics.

The mission – named ‘In Focus’ in a nod to the Earth-imaging satellites onboard – will lift-off in October from Rocket Lab’s private orbital launch site, Launch Complex 1, in New Zealand. The mission will deploy a total of 10 satellites to precise and individual orbits.

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What’s On Board Vega Booster

The European Vega rocket that launched this evening was carrying 53 satellites on its first rideshare mission as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept Flight.

The payloads included 14 Flock 4V Earth imaging satellites from Planet, 12 SpaceBEE Internet of Things spacecraft from Swarm Technologies, and 8 maritime monitoring satellites from Spire.

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Spaceflight Inc. and Benchmark Space Systems Sign Exclusive Deal for Green Propulsion On Next-Gen Sherpa Vehicles

Sherpa-FX transfer vehicle (Credit: Spaceflight)

BURLINGTON, Vermont, August 5, 2020 (Benchmark Space Systems PR) – Benchmark Space Systems, a leading provider of green in-space propulsion systems for small satellites, today announced an exclusive services agreement with rideshare leader Spaceflight Inc. to provide a full range of non-toxic chemical propulsion solutions designed to accelerate satellite rideshare deployments to prime orbital locations aboard its next-generation Sherpa orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs).

Announced last month, Spaceflight’s first OTV in the Sherpa-NG family, Sherpa FX, will carry 16 customer spacecraft and several hosted payloads aboard a Falcon 9 no earlier than December 2020.

Benchmark’s safe chemical propulsion will be equipped on an upgraded vehicle called Sherpa-LT as early as late next year. Benchmark’s propulsion features a patented On-Demand Pressurization System (ODPS) that securely fires up the thruster once the OTV is safely in space and deployed from the launch vehicle.

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Spaceflight Inc. Reveals Launch Initiatives to Provide Greater Flexibility, Mitigate Delays, and Meet Specific Mission Needs

New orbital transfer vehicle, online booking site, mission management portal, all-in pricing, and spacecraft tracking among new programs  

SEATTLE, Aug. 3, 2020 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced, during the opening of Small Satellite Conference 2020, it is providing an array of new sweeping programs to deliver launch schedule assurance and greater flexibility to smallsat customers needing frequent, reliable, and cost-effective ways to get spacecraft on orbit. 

“One thing we’ve learned about launching smallsats over the past 10 years is that there is a growing requirement for flexibility in everything from contracting to switching vehicles, orbital destinations, booking options, and integration services,” said Curt Blake, president and CEO of Spaceflight. “With our expertise working with all major launch vehicles, we have the unique advantage of building flexibility into all aspects of our business to meet our customers’  individual mission needs. It’s foundational to our vision of getting spacecraft on orbit exactly when and where our customers want, and we’re excited to unveil several first-of-their-kind programs to support it.” 

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Mitsui Completes Acquisition of Spaceflight

SEATTLE, June 12, 2020 (Spaceflight PR) – Today, satellite rideshare launch provider, Spaceflight Inc., announced its acquisition by Mitsui & Co., Ltd., in partnership with Yamasa Co., Ltd., is now complete with the final review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

In February 2020, Spaceflight’s parent company, Spaceflight Industries, announced it had signed an agreement with the Japanese companies for the sale of the launch service provider, pending the CFIUS review. The review was complete in April and the acquisition finalized today, June 12, 2020. Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa will have 50/50 joint venture ownership in Spaceflight, but the launch service provider will continue to operate as a privately held, independent U.S.-based company.

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Firefly Aerospace and Spaceflight Inc. Sign Launch Services Agreement

CEDAR PARK, Texas/SEATTLE, April 22, 2020 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, and Spaceflight Inc., the leading launch services and mission management provider, today announced they have signed a Launch Services Agreement (LSA). The agreement confirms that Spaceflight will secure the majority of the payload mass aboard a Firefly Alpha launch, scheduled for lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2021.

In addition to being the anchor customer, Spaceflight will sign, manage, integrate, and deploy multiple payloads on the flight, enabling Firefly to maximize its full 630 kilogram launch capacity on the commercial Alpha mission to Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). Also, according to the LSA, Spaceflight will help maximize payload capacity aboard future Firefly Alpha launches.

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Spaceflight Awarded First GSA Schedule Contract for Satellite Launch Services

spaceflight_logoU.S. government agencies can now easily order CubeSat or MicroSat launches online, complete with pre-approved launch prices and a streamlined process

SEATTLE – February 10, 2016 – Spaceflight, the company reinventing the model for launching satellites into space, today announced it is the first launch services provider to be awarded the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Professional Services Schedule (00CORP). As a recipient of the contract, Spaceflight provides its services to federal agencies at a pre-negotiated fixed rate, enabling them to quickly and easily secure small satellite launch contracts completely online. This in turn reduces administrative costs and overhead and potentially increases how frequently the agencies access space.

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DARPA Proposes $127 Million in Space Spending

XS-1 entry (Credit: Northrop Grumman)
XS-1 entry (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has proposed spending $126.7 million on 10 space programs in FY 2016, including two initiatives designed to radically reduce the cost of launching payloads into space and a number of programs focused on in-orbit satellite servicing.

The budget is $53.2 million less than the $179.9 million will spend in the current fiscal year. While three programs would see major reductions in funding, DARPA would also start three new programs, including one focused on advanced propulsion technologies. (more…)











Spaceflight Inc. to Launch NovaWurk’s Innovative Satlet for DARPA

SHERPA (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)
SHERPA (Spaceflight Inc.)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

DARPA’s ambitious Phoenix program, which aims to transform the way satellites are built and operated, will get an orbital test next year in a satellite launch that will combine the efforts of two up and coming NewSpace companies.

NovaWurks, of Los Alaimos, Calif., has signed an agreement with Spaceflight Inc., of Seattle, to launch the eXCITe spacecraft during the third quarter of 2015. NovaWurks’ tiny “satlet” will be part of approximately 2,650 lbs. (1,200 kg.) of other rideshare spacecraft that will aboard Spaceflight’s SHERPA in-space transportation platform.

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Spaceflight Partners With Japanese to Launch 8 CubeSats

spaceflight_logoSEATTLE, Nov. 4, 2014 (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, and Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS), today announced a cooperative launch service agreement to integrate and deploy CubeSats from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Astro-H mission. The Spaceflight and JAMSS commercial partnership has enabled U.S. commercial CubeSat customers to launch on an H-IIA launch vehicle for the first time.

“We are very excited to provide additional small-satellite launch opportunities on the H-IIA vehicle and work with JAMSS to continue to commercialize low Earth orbit,” said Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight. “JAMSS has been a tremendous partner providing key insight on how to successfully integrate and launch small satellites with JAXA, and we look forward to this mission and future collaboration.”

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Spaceflight Inc. Announces Small Satellite Data Communications Network

spaceflight_logoSpaceflight to become first and only company to offer both rideshare launch services for free-flying spacecraft and ground-station communications in one bundled service

SEATTLE, July 30, 2014 – Spaceflight Inc., the space logistics company reinventing the model for launching small satellites, today announced it is expanding its services to include Spaceflight Networks, a business dedicated to cost-effective spacecraft communications and operations for small-satellite customers. The expansion will make Spaceflight the first and only company dedicated to providing a bundled package of small-satellite communications and data services along with its existing rideshare launch services.

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OmniEarth Signs MOU With Spaceflight Inc. for Launch Services

spaceflight_logoARLINGTON, Va., Jul 21, 2014 (OmniEarth PR) — OmniEarth LLC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Spaceflight Inc. for rideshare launch services related to its planned constellation of up to 18 satellites.

Under the agreement, Spaceflight Inc. will identify launch opportunities and provide associated pre-launch support to OmniEarth. Spaceflight has strong partnerships with prominent launch vehicle providers, such as SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Roscosmos, and Virgin Galactic, and is well-suited to facilitate launch accommodations for OmniEarth.

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Spaceflight, NanoRacks Partnership Launches Planet Labs Satellites

Two of the 28 Planet Labs Dove satellites that make up the Flock 1 constellation are seen launching into orbit from the International Space Station on Feb. 11. (Credit: NASA)
Two of the 28 Planet Labs Dove satellites that make up the Flock 1 constellation are seen launching into orbit from the International Space Station on Feb. 11. (Credit: NASA)

SEATTLE (Spaceflight Inc. PR) – Spaceflight Inc. and NanoRacks announced today that an additional 28 Planet Labs Dove CubeSats are en route to the International Space Station on the Orbital Sciences Cygnus Orb-2 Mission. The satellites were manifest via the NanoRacks Space Act Agreement with NASA, and are scheduled for deployment using the self-funded NanoRacks’ CubeSat Deployers manufactured by Quad-M Inc.

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DLR Signs Launch Services Agreement with Spaceflight Inc.

Eu:CROPIS spacecraft (Credit: DLR)
Eu:CROPIS spacecraft (Credit: DLR)

SEATTLE, July 8, 2014 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, today announced it has signed the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to a launch services agreement for the Eu:CROPIS mission. The Eu:CROPIS spacecraft is scheduled for a rideshare launch on a Spaceflight SHERPA vehicle in 2017.

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Spaceflight Inc. Deploys 11 Planet Labs Dove Satellites

Two of the 28 Planet Labs Dove satellites that make up the Flock 1 constellation are seen launching into orbit from the International Space Station on Feb. 11. (Credit: NASA)
Two of the 28 Planet Labs Dove satellites that make up the Flock 1 constellation are seen launching into orbit from the International Space Station on Feb. 11. (Credit: NASA)

SEATTLE (Spaceflight Inc. PR) -– Spaceflight Inc., the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, announces that it has successfully deployed 11 Planet Labs Dove earth-imaging spacecraft from an International Space Company (ISC) Kosmotras-operated Dnepr launch vehicle.

“SmallSat constellations are a critical, growing piece of the space economy,” said Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight. “We are thrilled to expand our launch heritage with Planet Labs and ISC Kosmotras to enable the cost-effective and timely launch of small satellites.”

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