Small satellite rideshare organizer Spaceflight is preparing to launch a series of progressively upgraded Sherpa orbital transfer vehicles that will act as smallsat deployers, space tugs and platforms for hosted payloads.
Spaceflight Industries has completed the sale of its satellite rideshare business, Spaceflight Inc., to a pair of Japanese companies following a U.S. regulatory review and the modification of an Intelsat loan.
Elizabeth Driscoll, business development director at Spaceflight, said the company is constantly in need of more launch options, but won’t rush to new vehicles without confidence they will deliver.
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Large-scale rideshare missions are not without their challenges, both for the launch provider and satellite operators.
Several startups offering dedicated launches for small satellites say they are on the verge of carrying their first customers, but none so far have progressed beyond test launches.
NASA signed its first contract with small satellite rideshare company Spaceflight to launch as many as 72 cubesats between now and 2020 for a total price of up to $5.5 million.
A Seattle company that provides launch services for small satellites is now able to sell to U.S. government agencies through a standard contract schedule.