After the SpaceX rideshare, BlackSky has another four satellites booked to launch on India’s new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle this year, though delays with that program have made a launch date unclear, Merski said.
Intelsat is asking its bankruptcy court for authorization to modify a $50 million loan to Spaceflight Industries’ Earth-observation business BlackSky that could become a snag in Spaceflight’s sale of its launch rideshare business.
A study that found that every small satellite launched commercially in the last five years suffered delays is evidence of the need of greater standardization in payload accommodations so that smallsats can easily switch vehicles, one company argues.
Spaceflight Industries’ decision to sell its rideshare launch services company, Spaceflight, to two Japanese firms will benefit both Spaceflight and its parent company, executives of the two companies say.
Spaceflight Industries announced Feb. 11 it will sell its smallsat rideshare launch business to a pair of Japanese companies, allowing it to focus on its BlackSky geospatial business.
SpaceX disclosed new details about its small satellite rideshare efforts Feb. 5 as it, and other programs like it by large launch vehicle operators, put new pricing pressure on small launch vehicle companies.
The launch vehicle market is changing rapidly as satellites of various sizes seek transportation to both traditional and nontraditional orbits.
Spaceflight announced Aug. 6 that it will purchase the first commercial launch a new Indian vehicle scheduled to make its debut later this year.
Startups in the burgeoning small launch vehicle market acknowledge that only a handful of vehicles will survive a likely shakeout, driven more by commercial rather than government demand.