New Venture Focuses on Secondary Launch Market

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Seattle-based Andrews Space announced April 14 the formation of a new company called SpaceFlight Services to focus on providing low-cost space access for small payloads through the use of standard flight interfaces and a streamlined integration process.

Andrews Space President and Chief Executive Jason Andrews said SpaceFlight Services will enable new missions and markets by making it easier for small, secondary payloads to find rides while at the same time giving launch providers additional revenue streams.

“This will enable a whole new class of missions and technology demonstration flights to rapidly mature technology as well as develop the next generation workforce,” Andrews said in a statement.

SpaceFlight Services will provide standard interface options for a range of small spacecraft, including cubesats and nanospacecraft. The new company also offers low-shock payload adapter-mounts for deployed microsats and payloads sized to launch as secondary payloads on the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles.

According to Andrews, SpaceFlight Services has signed an agreement with Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to manifest payloads using excess capacity on upcoming Falcon 9 launches of SpaceX’s cargo-carrying Dragon capsule, with space available starting in 2012.