Exolaunch, a German launch services company, has inked a multi-launch agreement with SpaceX for additional capacity on Transporter rideshare flights within the next two years. Exolaunch’s capacity will be considerably increased as a result of the new agreement, which comes on the heels of high demand for its services indicated by recent and prospective missions.
Exolaunch has already secured 4 SpaceX Transporter missions for the year 2022. Over 95% of that capacity has already been reserved, with over 100 satellites and a cumulative payload mass of about 3,000 kilograms. The next flight, Transporter-3, is set to launch from Cape Canaveral no early than January 2022. Exolaunch was used by roughly 25% of the payload mass on the last flight, Transporter-2, that launched on June 30.
“This significant increase in purchased capacity reflects the tremendous client demand we’ve had as a consequence of our effective mission management, satellite integration, and deployment services on all past flights with SpaceX,” said Jeanne Medvedeva, who serves as the vice president in charge of the launch services at Exolaunch.
Exolaunch assists satellite operators in finding cost-effective launch options for low-mass microsatellites and cubesats, reducing the need to pay for a payload block weighing hundreds of kilos. The corporation groups satellites together to make the most of the available kilos and to reduce the cost of launch. Exolaunch also provides in-house adapters, separation systems, and other services to help customers get into orbit.
Michael Tolstoj, who is the mission director of Exolaunch, informed SpaceNews at the Space Tech Expo Europe 2021, “We’re the missing connection between SpaceX as well as the smallsats themselves.” “It’s very difficult, if not impossible, for a cubesat maker to deploy directly without a significant investment of resources.”
On SpaceX’s Transporter-1 and 2 missions, the company’s EXOpods delivered 46 cubesats, with 13 microsats split by the CarboNIX system. According to Exolaunch, it has deployed more than 1,500 kg of the satellite mass as well as a diverse combination of missions from prominent NewSpace firms from around the world.
Exolaunch, based in Berlin, has opened a U.S. office as part of its growing partnership with SpaceX and its high number of U.S. customers. “I think we’re getting to a place where we have a pretty good procedure for getting consumers signed up and then really launching them,” says Kier Fortier of Exolaunch’s US Launch. “In overall, the Starlink rideshares and Transporter flights have been a great program for us.”
Exolaunch is a Berlin-based subsidiary that facilitated its first deployment in 2013 aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. Although Soyuz flights have provided the majority of the company’s flights, the newer Transatlantic alliance is offering the most prospects. Exolaunch is also working on its Reliant space tugs, which will provide last-mile delivery and debris removal services, with a flight test scheduled for late 2022.