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Andrews Space Forms Secondary Payload Service Company

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:26 am via: Andrews Space
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(Andrews Space) – Signs Agreement with SpaceX to Offer Near Term Flight Opportunities

Andrews Space today formally announced the formation of SpaceFlight Services (SpaceFlight), a service company focused on providing routine low cost space access for small payloads through the use of standard flight interfaces and a streamlined integration process.

SpaceFlight is a commercial provider of small payload flight services for fixed and deployable cargo and spacecraft. SpaceFlight’s process allows payloads to be rapidly manifested, certified, integrated and flown to space by simplifying launch integration planning and providing a single customer interface.

SpaceFlight provides standard interface options for a range of small spacecraft, including the CalPoly P-POD canister for CubeSat-class spacecraft as well as dispensers to launch 6U, 12U and 24U nanospacecraft. In addition, SpaceFlight provides low-shock payload adapter mounts for deployed MicroSats and ESPA class payloads.

The basic fee structure includes flight service, safety audit, review and approval for flight documentation, coordinating of launch and on-orbit services, and customer manifest planning.

“This will enable new missions and markets,” said Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Andrews Space and Founder of SpaceFlight . “For the first time customers have regularly scheduled flight opportunities and commercial pricing for small payloads ranging from CubeSats to ESPA class payloads. This will enable a whole new class of missions and technology demonstration flights to rapidly mature technology as well as develop the next generation workforce,” continued Andrews.

While commercial launch vehicles often have excess payload capability, the opportunities to use this capability has been limited and sporadic due to mismatched orbit destinations between the primary and secondary payloads, and availability of launch vehicle capacity.

SpaceFlight was established to match these opportunities, increasing the available rides for secondary payloads and introducing additional revenue streams to the launch provider.

For near term flight opportunities, SpaceFlight has signed an agreement with SpaceX to manifest payloads using excess capability on upcoming Falcon 9/Dragon missions. Under this partnership, customers will have access to multiple scheduled flight opportunities including dedicated DragonLab scientific free-flyer missions. SpaceFlight is currently offering payload space on missions in 2012 and beyond.

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