tech track papers

Categories: 2019, Launch Time

Maximizing Launch Opportunities Through Dedicated Rideshare and Flexible Contracts

In 2018, the value of smallsat launches is expected to reach nearly $1.7 billion and, in 2019, that number is expected to grow to $1.95 billion. In fact, the smallsat industry shows no sign of slowing with a projected 13 percent year-over-year growth rate through 2023. The growth in the smallsat industry has created significant demand for access to space. In an effort to meet this demand, Spaceflight is launching its first dedicated rideshare launch in which it will send 64 payloads from 34 organizations from 17 countries to space. This launch is a significant milestone for Spaceflight, the industry, and many of the customers due to its size and complexity. At the symposium in April, I will be able to share important lessons learned, such as the ideal-size vehicle for rideshare, practices to streamline integration, and logistical insights around managing and integrating many payloads.

Another trend that will be crucial to the growth of the smallsat market will be launch flexibility. Access to space is a scarce resource and it’s important we are developing innovative solutions that allow us to maximize its use. Developing assets and accessing space are complex processes, making delays common. And delays can have a significant impact on companies and organizations that need to get their assets on orbit in a timely matter. I will share how rideshare can increase flexibility by offering customers the ability to switch launchers, or even launch vehicle providers, to secure a launch that meets their needs. Flexible contracts are already a part of our service offering, but one of our goals at Spaceflight is to decrease the amount of time needed to switch and integrate a payload, and I can speak to how we’re working on integration solutions that will enable us to accomplish this.