Virgin Orbit, Spire Global Sign Multilaunch Agreement
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This news is classified in: Aerospace Contracts Communications Space

Oct 13, 2022

Virgin Orbit, Spire Global Sign Multilaunch Agreement

  • Spire Global has committed to purchase multiple launches from Virgin Orbit, starting in 2023.
  • The launches will support Spire's growing Space Services business as well as upgrades and enhancements to the company's fully deployed satellite constellation.
  • The launches are part of Virgin Orbit's growing launch backlog as it heads towards its first international launch later this year from the United Kingdom.

Building on their shared record for successful collaboration in responsive space, Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR), a global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, has entered a binding Launch Service Agreement with leading launch provider, Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB), to purchase multiple launches over several years. The first launch is expected to take place in 2023.

Exemplary of the growing demand for the small satellite market, the launches will support the growth of Spire Space Services, a platform which offers customers fast and scalable access to space through a subscription model, and continual upgrades and enhancements to the company’s fully deployed satellite constellation. Spire will make full use of LauncherOne’s demonstrated flexibility by launching to a variety of orbits – from mid-inclination to polar – all out of Virgin Orbit’s first spaceport in Mojave, California.

Spire Global and Virgin Orbit previously demonstrated the flexibility of LauncherOne’s rapid call-up capabilities with the late-load of Spire’s ADLER-1 satellite on board the Above the Clouds mission from Mojave, CA in January 2022, an expedition which took just 22 days from the initial call-up to payload integration. Building on that  success, the two companies are teaming up to provide rapid and flexible launch solutions to Spire’s global customer base.

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“We’re very pleased to have formed this strategic relationship with the innovative Spire team.   Our previous joint execution of the ADLER-1 launch demonstrated the potential of marrying expert satellite capabilities with rapid, flexible launch” said Virgin Orbit CEO, Dan Hart. “Demand from the small satellite market continues to be strong and we are privileged to be among the few operational companies serving this vitally important sector.”

“Working with Virgin Orbit gives us flexibility and control over launches, rather than waiting for the secondary rideshare market to provide the orbits we want on timelines that we have to work with,” said Robert Sproles, Vice President, Constellation Planning & Operations. “It’s particularly crucial for offering our Space Services customers rapid and reliable access to space so that they can meet their mission-critical deadlines.”

Spire joins Virgin Orbit’s growing backlog of customers seeking both flexibility of launch location and orbital destination. As a small launch provider, Virgin Orbit is dedicated to providing flexible, affordable, rapid launch opportunities anytime, anywhere to the commercial, educational, and government small satellite industry.