From Spaceflight launch deal to a newborn fellowship

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HawkEye 360 satellites
An artist’s conception shows HawkEye 360’s satellites in orbit. (HawkEye 360 Illustration)

— Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc. says it’s signed an agreement with HawkEye 360 to support multiple launches of the Virginia-based company’s radio-frequency mapping satellites.

Spaceflight will provide mission management services for HawkEye 360’s Cluster 4, 5 and 6 launches. Each cluster consists of three 65-pound satellites that fly in formation to gather a wide variety of geolocation tracking data. SpaceX sent HawkEye 360’s first cluster into orbit in 2018 as part of a dedicated-rideshare mission organized by Spaceflight. Cluster 2 is scheduled for launch as soon as December on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that’s equipped with Spaceflight’s Sherpa-FX orbital transfer vehicle.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is one of several launch vehicles in Spaceflight’s portfolio for rideshare satellite missions. Other rocket offerings include Northrop Grumman’s Antares, Rocket Lab’s Electron, Arianespace’s Vega, Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha and India’s PSLV. Spaceflight has launched more than 300 satellites across 32 rideshare missions to date.

— Seattle-based RBC Signals has been engaged by California-based Swarm Technologies to host ground-based antennas for Swarm’s satellite IoT communications constellation.

The antennas will support Swarm’s next wave of satellites, part of a 150-unit constellation that’s due to go into full operation by the end of 2021. The first antenna included in the agreement has been placed on Alaska’s North Slope and is supporting the latest group of satellites to be deployed. Those 12 satellites, each about the size of a slice of bread, were sent into orbit on Sept. 2 by an Arianespace Vega rocket.

Plans call for additional Swarm antennas to be activated and hosted by RBC Signals in strategic locations around the world. RBC Signals, founded in 2015, takes advantage of company-owned as well as partner-owned antennas to provide communication services to government and commercial satellite operators.

Spaceflight Inc. Signs Multi-Launch Agreement with HawkEye 360

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New multi-year MLSA provides launch capacity for nine microsats, end-to-end mission management services, and schedule reliability for fast-growing radio signal mapping constellation

Spaceflight Inc., the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it signed a Multiple Launch Services Agreement (MLSA) with HawkEye 360. Under the agreement, Spaceflight will provide capacity, engineering, and mission management services to launch HawkEye 360’s Cluster 4, 5, and 6 of its radio frequency mapping satellites. Each cluster in the constellation consists of three approximately 30 kg microsats which fly in a unique formation to gather a wide variety of geolocation data.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201007005256/en/

Spaceflight Inc. signs multi-year MLSA with HawkEye 360 to provide launch capacity for nine microsats, end-to-end mission management services, and schedule reliability for fast-growing radio signal mapping constellation (Photo: Business Wire)

HawkEye 360 first worked with Spaceflight in 2018, successfully launching its first cluster of spacecraft aboard Spaceflight’s record-breaking SSO-A mission, the first fully dedicated rideshare mission with 64 smallsats aboard a Falcon 9. HawkEye Cluster 2, which features even more powerful satellites that can geolocate multiple signals simultaneously, is scheduled to launch with Spaceflight on its SpaceX Rideshare-3 (SXRS-3) mission via the Sherpa-FX orbital transfer vehicle on a Falcon 9, no earlier than December 2020.

“When you’re developing a next-gen constellation like HawkEye 360, it’s critical to have a variety of launch options at your fingertips,” said Grant Bonin, senior vice president of business development at Spaceflight. “Spaceflight partners with nearly every vehicle in the world, so we offer unmatched launch flexibility — meaning HawkEye 360 can get their spacecraft exactly where they need to be, exactly when they need to be there. It’s been a true pleasure to play a role in HawkEye 360’s growth over the past years,