SpaceX announces ride-share service for small satellites
SpaceX is launching a new SmallSat Rideshare initiative which will allow small satellite operators to book a space on regularly scheduled, dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare missions.
SpaceX has announced its new SmallSat Rideshare initiative, which will allow small satellite operators to book a space on regularly scheduled, dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare missions to sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) from $2.25 million per mission. This includes up to 150 kg of payload.
The company says that unlike traditional rideshare opportunities, these missions will not be dependent on a primary payload, meaning satellite operators won’t need to wait for a space agency’s mission. Further, missions will not be held up by delays with co-passengers, SpaceX says.
If operators run into development or production challenges leading up to launch, SpaceX will allow them to use any money paid towards the cost of rebooking on a subsequent mission.
Taking off 2020
Rideshare missions accommodate customer payloads on 15” or 24” ESPA (EELV Secondary Payload Adapter) ports. Cubesats can be aggregated and launched on a customer provided, ESPA-compatible deployer. In addition, a single slot on top of the stack is also available for larger spacecraft.
The first mission will take place sometime between November 2020 and March 2021.
According to Frost & Sullivan, small satellite launch revenue will surpass $69 billion by 2030.