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Spire Global Lands NorthStar Earth & Space as Space-as-a-Service Customer 

By Rachel Jewett | March 16, 2022
Artist rendition of Spire's Lemur-2 satellite. Photo: Spire

Artist rendition of Spire’s Lemur-2 satellite. Photo: Spire

NorthStar Earth & Space has signed with Spire Global for its space-as-a-service offering, tasking Spire with building three satellites focused on space-situational awareness (SSA) and debris monitoring. The contract, announced Wednesday, includes options for NorthStar to scale the constellation to dozens of satellites. 

NorthStar said this constellation will be able to deliver timely and precise orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation services, and proximity warnings to the global satellite community. 

Spire is developing its first 12U satellites for this mission. The first three satellites are anticipated to be launched early in 2023. Once operational, NorthStar will operate the satellites using Spire’s integrated support infrastructure. 

“Maintaining pace with the exponential increase in space activity demands immediate action from commercial innovators. Spire provides on-board processing, tasking, flexibility, and agility within an attractive service level agreement business model,” said Stewart Bain, NorthStar CEO.

Last year, NorthStar received “approval in principle” from Canadian authorities for its planned constellation of satellites with optical sensors for SSA services and additional satellites with a combination of hyperspectral and infrared sensors for Earth observation. 

This is a win for Spire’s space services segment. Also this month, Spire signed a space services deal with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to build four 6U Lemur satellites for SNC to conduct radio frequency (RF) collection and analysis.