Spaceflight’s first rideshare mission aboard a Rocket Lab Electron readies for launch
(12 June 2019 - Spaceflight) Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it will launch seven spacecraft from five organizations later this month on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from Launch Complex 1 at the southern tip of Mahia Peninsula, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
This mission, also called “Make It Rain” by Rocket Lab as a nod to the weather in both Seattle and New Zealand, represents Spaceflight’s first of five launches scheduled with Rocket Lab this year.
Spaceflight’s mission patch for RL-1, its inaugural launch with Rocket Lab (courtesy: Spaceflight)
“We’re looking forward to not only our inaugural flight with Rocket Lab, but a long term partnership to increase access to space via frequent launches,” said Curt Blake, CEO of Spaceflight. “Having the Electron in our arsenal of small launch vehicles provides our customers with a low-cost, flexible option to get on orbit.”
Satellites on the mission include BlackSky’s Global-3, two U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Prometheus, Melbourne Space Program’s ACRUX-1, two Swarm SpaceBEEs, and an undisclosed customer. Spaceflight managed the procurement, integration, and mission management services for all the customers manifested on the Electron. The cubesats were processed and integrated in Spaceflight’s Auburn, Wash.-based facility while BlackSky shipped its microsat directly to the Rocket Lab facility in New Zealand for its final integration by the Spaceflight team.
“After launching our first two Earth observation satellites to sun synchronous orbit in 2018, we’re excited to get Global-3 up in a mid-inclination orbit to further deliver on the rapid revisit rate necessary to monitor locations of interest around the world,” said Brian O’Toole, CEO of BlackSky. “As we continue our constellation expansion, it will be critical to leverage the frequent launch cadence Spaceflight offers through Rocket Lab and others, and we’re excited to be on this inaugural mission.”
This mission marks Spaceflight’s third launch of 2019. It follows the successful launch and deployment of 21 spacecraft aboard PSLV C45 in March 2019 as well as the GTO-1 mission, launching the first commercial lunar lander in February aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9. Additionally, in December 2018, Spaceflight executed the company’s historic dedicated rideshare mission, SSO-A, which launched 64 unique smallsats. To date, the company has negotiated the launch of more than 260 satellites and has plans for approximately 10 more missions in 2019 launching nearly 100 payloads across a wide variety of launch vehicles, including the Falcon 9, Antares, Electron, Vega, Vector, PSLV, and LauncherOne.
Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of spaceflight by delivering a new model for accessing space. A comprehensive launch services and mission management provider, the company provides a straightforward and cost-effective suite of products and services including state-of-the-art satellite infrastructure and rideshare launch offerings that enable commercial and government entities to achieve their mission goals on time and on budget. A service offering of Spaceflight Industries in Seattle, Wash., Spaceflight provides its services through a global network of partners and launch vehicle providers.