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Spaceflight Gets its First Rideshare Payloads on a SpaceX Starlink Mission

By | June 17, 2020

SpaceX’s fifth Starlink batch launch on Feb. 17, 2020. Photo: SpaceX

Spaceflight revealed Wednesday that it will launch two rideshare payloads aboard SpaceX’s tenth Starlink mission, marking the first SpaceX Starlink mission that will be accompanied by Spaceflight rideshare payloads. Spaceflight’s mission, which it has dubbed SXRS-1 to signify its first rideshare with Starlink, will include two Earth Observation (EO) microsatellites for Spaceflight’s customer BlackSky.

In addition to securing capacity aboard the vehicle, Spaceflight designed the adapters and harnessing, and executed the integration of the rideshare payloads. The mission is targeted to launch in the coming weeks from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“SpaceX has proved schedule consistency and launch reliability through its Starlink missions, even during this unprecedented time, and we are eager to offer it as a launch option to our customers,” said Curt Blake, president and CEO of Spaceflight. “We seek to maximize capacity on every launch because any space available is an opportunity for our customers to complete their missions. We’ve executed many firsts with SpaceX, including SSO-A, the first dedicated rideshare mission on a U.S. vehicle as well as the first-ever rideshare mission to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a lunar lander. We’re looking forward to another first with SpaceX.”

Last week, the Spaceflight rideshare business sale to Misui & Co was finalized.