SpaceX is expanding its launch services to directly address the needs of small satellite operators t
SpaceX Is Expanding Its Launch Services To Cater For Small Satellite Operators
SpaceX is expanding its launch services through the Smallsat Rideshare Program that is dedicated affordable rideshare to the sun synchronous orbit. This program will provide small satellite operators with regularly scheduled and dedicated Falcon 9 to the SSO(sun synchronous orbit) for ESPA Class payloads for as low as $2.25m per mission which includes up to 150kgs of payload mass. SpaceX announced this through a tweet and a blog post on its official website.
Many traditional rideshare opportunities heavily depend on a primary, but SpaceX will be able to bypass this. Pre-scheduled launches will not be held up by delays with co-passengers. One would still be able to launch according to SpaceX. SpaceX also highlighted the flexibility that it will offer for small satellite operators. Payloads that will run into production and development challenges in the run up to the launch, they can apply 100% of monies paid towards booking on a subsequent mission even though booking fees may apply.
The mode of transportation will be the Falcon 9 rocket which Space X claims is the world’s first orbital class rocket capable of reflight. SpaceX therefore, has an unparalleled understanding of vehicle performance which contributes to the overall reliability of launch programs. The Falcon 9 is 4m in diameter, weighs 549,000kgs (1,208,000lbs) and 70m in height.