Spaceflight Inc. Celebrates 10 Years of Business and the Successful Launch of More than 300 Satellites
Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, celebrates its 10th anniversary. Since its founding, the company has launched more than 300 satellites across 36 missions on eight different launch vehicles, including the Falcon 9, Electron, PSLV, Vega and the International Space Station. During its 10 years in business, Spaceflight has evolved from launch brokerage to providing comprehensive launch and mission management services for payloads of all sizes, across a wide range of launch vehicles, with integration and logistics services, a portfolio of propulsive orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), and the widest variety of orbital destinations.
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Infographic showcasing a selection of Spaceflight's most noteworthy accomplishments over the past 10 years. (Graphic: Business Wire)
“This is a monumental milestone for our company,” said Curt Blake, CEO and president of Spaceflight. “Ten years ago, rideshare was just a concept. We founded the company to serve the growing need for frequent and affordable launch options for the burgeoning smallsat industry. Since then, we’ve innovated new services, global launch practices, and OTV technology as well as executed several industry-first missions. We’re very proud of our pioneering spirit to provide the most flexible launch options for customers, helping them get their spacecraft on orbit when and where they want.”
Highlights: 10 Years of Launch Experience
After founding the company in 2011, Spaceflight executed its first launch in 2013 aboard a Soyuz vehicle. In 2015, it purchased its first Falcon 9 rideshare mission, and in 2016, its first PSLV launch. More significant stats include:
- 36 total missions executed in the last 10 years with half occurring in the last two and a half years
- 327 spacecraft deployed with nearly 70% launching in the last two and a half years
- Serving 79 unique customers, 75% of those commercial organizations
- Customers from 29 different countries, with more than 24 countries represented in each of the last three years
- More than 4,000 kilograms of total spacecraft mass launched
- 50% of launches have occurred on foreign launch vehicles
- Launches on eight launch vehicles, including Falcon 9, Electron, Vega, Soyuz, Antares and PSLV with agreements to fly on new vehicles including Virgin Orbit, Relativity, Firefly, and SSLV, when available
“Spaceflight has been a trusted partner and our go-to launch service provider for years,” said Kjell Karlsen, Chief Financial Officer at Astrocast. “The team’s expertise provides us with the peace of mind that our mission will be expertly managed. This coupled with the flexibility enabled by the company’s diverse portfolio of launch options makes Spaceflight a preferred provider for us. Congratulations on the 10-year milestone; it’ll be exciting to see what innovations they pioneer and bring to market in the next 10 years!”
Beyond the launches, Spaceflight has accomplished other noteworthy milestones, including:
- Pioneered the Sherpa-NG program, which includes three ESPA-class space vehicles complete with electric and chemical propulsion for last-mile delivery in space; the first OTV (Sherpa-FX) flew on record-breaking SpaceX Transporter-1 launch.
- Executed the historic SSO-A mission, the first Falcon 9 dedicated rideshare mission, which launched 64 satellites from 34 customers from 17 countries. At the time, it was the largest number of satellites to ever launch from a U.S.-based vehicle.
- Orchestrated the first-ever rideshare mission to GTO, launching the first privately funded lunar lander.
- Opened a new state-of-the-art integration facility in Auburn, Wash. where the team conducts end-to-end spacecraft testing, integration and engineering services.
- Secured a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) contract to offer cost-effective launch services for U.S. government organizations.
- Unveiled the first online booking site for customers to reserve launches and a mission management portal for easy online launch campaign coordination.
- Acquired by Mitsui & Co., Ltd., in partnership with Yamasa Co., Ltd., enabling deep resources to propel innovation and expand service offerings.
In January 2021, Spaceflight completed the successful launch of Sherpa-FX which carried 15 spacecraft on the record-setting SpaceX Transporter-1 mission. For its next mission, Spaceflight will be coordinating launch and mission services for several U.S. government spacecraft to the International Space Station on the SEOPS-3/ NG-15 mission. The company plans to launch approximately 10 missions across its global launch vehicle portfolio in 2021.
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.