Exolaunch arranges rides for Spire cubesats on Indian rocket
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California – German launch services provider Exolaunch announced plans at the SmallSat Symposium to send four Spire Global cubesats into low inclination orbits on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle later this year.
Through the launch, Spire is seeking to diversify the orbits of its cubesats, which gather weather data in addition to performing maritime and aircraft tracking.
The mission also will serve as a springboard for cooperation between Exolaunch and Indian launch services provider, New Space India Ltd. (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization, according to a Feb. 4 news release.
Exolaunch is integrating the Spire cubesats in EXOpod, a deployer large enough to hold 12 single cubesats. In addition, Exolaunch is providing launch services and technical support for the Spire mission.
“Spire first launched to an equatorial orbit on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle mission in 2015,” Robert Sproles, Spire director of Ground Stations and Launch, said in a statement. “We are excited to again be launching to a low inclination orbit with NSIL, this time through Exolaunch. Exolaunch has been a long-standing consistent launch partner for Spire, and we’re excited to see them expand their portfolio to include NSIL.”
Exolaunch has helped to deploy about one-third of Spire’s constellation. Spire has launched more than 100 cubesats and currently has about 80 in orbit.
“Spire is our long-time valued customer, and we are thrilled to be the provider that ensures its satellites can reach a variety of orbits,” Jeanne Medvedeva, Exolaunch Commercial Director, said in a statement. “For this launch, we improved our EXOpod deployer by reducing its mass while also increasing its available satellite mass … We’re also looking forward to the beginning of an important cooperation with the NSIL team, who broadens the commercial horizons for PSLV launches.”
NSIL was established in 2019 to provide commercial customers with access to Indian launch vehicles.
“NSIL thrives to make space access affordable to commercial satellites using ISRO’s launch vehicles including PSLV, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 3 and the launch on-demand Small Satellite Launch Vehicle for meeting small satellite launch needs,” Radhakrishnan Durairaj, NSIL executive director, said in a statement.