Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it will launch two payloads on its first rideshare mission to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The mission is scheduled for no earlier than mid-February 2019 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launching from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The primary payload on the mission is a telecommunications satellite for the South East Asia region. It was built by SSL, a Maxar Technologies company, which also procured the launch vehicle. Spaceflight will manage the launch of the two secondary payloads, Israeli non-profit SpaceIL’s lunar lander, and the U.S. Air Force Research Lab’s (AFRL) experimental small satellite, S5.
This will be Spaceflight’s first mission beyond Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) and its first combined launch with SSL. In addition to securing capacity aboard the launch vehicle, Spaceflight is handling all the mission management and integration services for the lunar lander, called Beresheet (Hebrew for in the beginning), and AFRL’s spacecraft. This includes a multitude of services, from the unique aspects of pre-launch design, assembly, and integration to the final analysis and testing of the architecture before the spacecraft are encapsulated into the rocket.
A Ground-breaking Mission
While rideshare missions are becoming more and more routine, Spaceflight’s first GTO mission stands apart for several other reasons.
“This is an important mission for Spaceflight as we expand and evolve our customer offerings,” said Curt Blake, CEO of Spaceflight. “The launches we pursue continue to get more sophisticated and demonstrate that our expertise goes beyond identifying and scheduling launches. We also offer valuable integration and deployment services that enable our customers to reach space in a cost-effective manner and get to their desired orbit successfully. With this mission, Spaceflight is demonstrating that the Moon is in reach.”
This mission marks Spaceflight’s inaugural launch of 2019 and the first mission following SSO-A, its historic dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare mission, which launched 64 unique smallsats from 34 organizations from 17 countries in December 2018. To date, the company has negotiated the launch of more than 200 satellites and has plans for approximately 10 missions in 2019 launching nearly 100 payloads.
Date: Feb 11, 2019