On Tuesday, November 16, Exolaunch, a Germany-based space logistics company, announced it signed a multi-launch contract with SpaceX to launch payload aboard SmallSat Rideshare Program missions which are dedicated to launching dozens of payload from different companies on a single Falcon 9 flight. Allowing multiple companies to share a rocket's payload fairing enables SpaceX to provide cost-effective launch services. Exolaunch previously worked with SpaceX, it now opened two offices in the United States to continue the partnership and expand their in-space logistics services to the American market.
“The global demand for more commercial missions and space-based applications is growing significantly. Exolaunch with its comprehensive rideshare capabilities and competitively priced services for cube- and microsats is in a prime position to help companies, in the USA and globally, wanting to benefit from these opportunities and gain access to space,” said Exolaunch Chief Executive Officer Chris Hearsey, “SpaceX is an excellent launch provider and their rideshare program is a great way to address SmallSat [small satellite] operator’s urgent need for more launches at lower cost.”
According to a press release by Exolaunch, the new contract is a two-year agreement that includes multiple launches and more slots for Exolaunch to integrate their customer satellites onboard SpaceX rideshare launches, called Transporter missions. Exolaunch launched over 1,500 kg of payload mass aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-1 and Transporter-2 missions, which included 46 CubeSats and 13 microsats operated by various countries globally. “Over 95 percent of that new capacity for next year, a payload mass of 3,000 kg and the equivalent of more than 100 satellites to be launched across SpaceX Transporter missions in 2022, has already been booked by Exolaunch customers,” the company said. SpaceX’s Transporter-3 rideshare-dedicated mission is scheduled for January next year, it will carry some satellites integrated by Exolaunch.
“This massive increase in procured capacity reflects the high customer demand we have had as a result of our successful mission management, satellite integration and deployment services on all previous missions with SpaceX,” said Exolaunch Vice President of Launch Services Jeanne Medvedeva. “The new multi-launch agreement is the next step in our close and extensive work with SpaceX. It also demonstrates the strong transatlantic cooperation in the commercial space sector between the USA and Germany,” they stated.
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