Spaceflight to ride on Indian PSLV
Flight planned for early January
Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, will be launching 11 spacecraft in early January 2018 from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Spacecraft include Finland’s ICEYE-X1 SAR microsatellite, Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-6 6U asteroid prospecting demonstration cubesat, four Spire Global Lemur-2 cubesats, Astro Digital’s Landmapper-BC3, AMSAT’s Fox-1D cubesat, and others.
Spaceflight performed the cubesat integration at its Seattle Integration Facility and is in the process of shipping the spacecraft to India for the PSLV-C40 mission. The PSLV rocket is scheduled to lift off from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center in early January 2018 with the Cartosat-2ER navigation satellite, in addition to Spaceflight’s rideshare customers.
“PSLV-C40 is a perfect example of how our flexible, full-service rideshare model is enabling new commercial space businesses to exist while expanding into new markets,” said Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight.
“This mission brings new customers from outside the industry into space while continuing partnerships with existing customers for their ongoing satellite constellations.”
One first-time customer on the mission is Finland’s ICEYE with the country’s first commercial satellite, ICEYE-X1. ICEYE developed its own synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) sensor technologies suitable for satellites under 100kg in weight, making it one of the bigger payloads on the PSLV-C40 mission.
This is ICEYE’s first proof-of-concept microsatellite mission with a SAR sensor as its payload and also the world’s first SAR satellite in this size, enabling radar imaging of the Earth through clouds and even in total darkness. Potential use-cases for the data are monitoring sea ice movements or marine oil spills, and prevention of illegal fishing.
“Working together with Spaceflight to schedule and make this launch a reality has been an outstanding experience for ICEYE, and it has given us the necessary opportunities for scaling up operations for our constellation of micro-SAR satellites as planned,” said Rafal Modrzewski, CEO and co-founder at ICEYE.
Spaceflight offers customers the most options for getting to space, working with nearly every global launch vehicle provider, including the Falcon 9, PSLV, Antares, Cygnus, Electron, Soyuz and others.
Much like buying an airline ticket that is valid on multiple airlines, Spaceflight can ensure organizations have flexibility to move vehicles if changes or delays occur. Additionally, the smallsat rideshare service model helps organizations reach a desired orbit at a much lower cost than buying their own launch vehicle.
Spaceflight has negotiated the launch of more than 120 satellites on behalf of its customers and has contracts to deploy nearly 200 more through 2018. The company plans to coordinate and deploy its largest launch to date in 2018 with its first dedicated rideshare mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9.
Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of spaceflight by delivering a new model for accessing space. A service offering of Spaceflight Industries in Seattle, Washington, Spaceflight provides its services through a global network of partners, ground stations and launch vehicle providers. fii-news.com