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Astro Digital Selects Vector to Launch its First 12 Satellites

By | December 15, 2017
The Vector-R launch vehicle. Photo: Vector.

The Vector-R launch vehicle. Photo: Vector.

Vector announced it will conduct a dedicated launch in 2018 featuring one of Astro Digital’s satellites for remote sensing applications. Astro Digital plans to engage Vector to launch at least 12 such satellites as part of a larger constellation, with an option to then continue operations at a pace of two to four dedicated satellite launches per year.

Astro Digital’s Landmapper HD satellite will catch a ride on Vector’s Vector R launch vehicle in 2018. Headquartered at NASA Ames Research Park in California, Astro Digital’s mission is to monitor the whole Earth, every day, from its constellation of small satellites.

“Having the opportunity to put a payload on Vector’s recent sub-orbital launch and being able to test our hardware under real-life conditions really solidified our decision to join forces,” said Chris Biddy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of Astro Digital. “Launches continue to be one of the biggest risk factors for our business, but partnering for a dedicated launch with Vector means we set the orbit and we set the launch date, which effectively lowers our risk and cost.”

After securing a $21 million Series A round led by Sequoia Capital earlier this year, Vector has accelerated its flight test series and initiated pathfinding operations at several proposed launch sites. In August, the company completed a successful commercial sub-orbital mission at Spaceport Camden in Georgia and more recently announced that it will conduct at least three orbital launches from Virginia Spaceport’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport over the next two years. Vector recently opened its Silicon Valley headquarters in San Jose, California and will break ground on its launch vehicle manufacturing facility in Pima County, Arizona next year.