Exolaunch Will Deploy 4 Spire-Built Satellites for NorthStar
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This news is classified in: Aerospace Communications Space

Jan 12, 2024

Exolaunch Will Deploy 4 Spire-Built Satellites for NorthStar via Rocket Lab's Electron

Exolaunch, the premier global provider of launch mission management, integration, and deployment services, announced today plans to deploy four Canadian NorthStar Earth & Space satellites, built by Spire Global, and launched via Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle. Exolaunch will provide separation systems, deployment, and integration services to ensure mission success for the first tech demo satellites for NorthStar’s commercial, space-based Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services.

This initial cluster of four satellites will create a space-based SSA constellation, with NorthStar being the first to simultaneously monitor all near-Earth orbits from space, delivering advanced services with precise information for resident space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.

The integration of four 16U satellites into the EXOpod Nova deployers was completed successfully in December at Spire’s Glasgow facility, marking a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts between Exolaunch and Spire. This achievement underscores Exolaunch’s commitment to excellence, proven capabilities to deliver reliable separation system hardware, and industry-leading launch mission management and integration services.

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Exolaunch’s EXOpod Nova is a next-generation deployer based on customer specifications for an expanded envelope cubesat. The EXOpod Nova increases the allowable satellite mass by up to thirty percent and the available side panel volume by a factor of four compared to traditional cubesat deployers, enabling satellite manufacturers to build more robust and capable technologies while reducing costs.

The next phase of integration was completed over the first week of January in Mahia, New Zealand, where Exolaunch oversaw the satellite integration with Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle. This process is a key step forward in preparing for launch from the same site, slated for no earlier than the 18th of January 2024.

“We are delighted to reach new heights in our established partnership with Spire, proud to support NorthStar’s first mission in their new constellation, and pleased to collaborate once again with the Rocket Lab team,” said Exolaunch’s chief commercial officer, Jeanne Allarie. “The smooth integration of satellites with the industry-leading EXOpod Nova deployers demonstrates our dedication to continuous innovation and proven reliability. We look forward to a successful launch on Electron.”

“Spire's dedication to innovation, coupled with Exolaunch's proven capabilities, marks a significant leap forward in advancing the capabilities of NorthStar's constellation,” said Frank Frulio, the general manager of Space Services at Spire. “As we embark on this groundbreaking mission, the collaboration between Spire, Exolaunch, NorthStar, and Rocket Lab exemplifies the seamless integration of expertise, technology and dedication to shaping the future of space services.”

“Exolaunch has played an important role in the launch preparations for NorthStar’s first block of 4 satellites,” said David Saint-Germain, NorthStar’s Chief Operating Officer. “Teamwork and dedication to detail and precision make all the difference. Exolaunch has been a real asset to our inaugural launch campaign.”

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