Spaceflight launches 64 satellites on 1st rideshare mission

Spaceflight, a rideshare and mission management provider, has announced the launch of its SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission, the largest single rideshare mission from a US launch vehicle to date, the company said.

The company launched 64 spacecraft to sun-synchronous low Earth orbit via a SpaceX Falcon 9 that launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Spaceflight launched 15 MicroSats and 49 CubeSats from government and commercial entities including universities, startups, and even a middle school. The payloads vary from technology demonstrations and imaging satellites to educational research endeavors.

To accommodate the large number of payloads, Spaceflight built an integrated payload stack that was nearly 20 feet tall. Once the launch vehicle reached orbit, the upper and lower free flyers separated from the vehicle. The free flyers then successfully deployed all spacecraft, dispensing one payload every five minutes over five hours.

With the success of SSO-A, Spaceflight has now launched more than 210 satellites since its founding in 2011. In addition, the company is contracted to launch nearly 100 satellites in 2019. Among the upcoming launches is Spaceflight´s next dedicated rideshare mission, which will occur in 2019 on a Rocket Lab Electron.

Spaceflight is a comprehensive launch services and mission management provider, with products and services including state-of-the-art satellite infrastructure and rideshare launch offerings that enable commercial and government entities to achieve their mission goals on time and on budget.