Spaceflight successfully completes modal survey for SSO-A spacecraft
(4 October 2017 - Spaceflight) Spaceflight, the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, today announced its SSO-A Integrated Payload Stack has successfully completed a modal survey of the primary structure.
The series of tests, conducted by a third party, subjected Spaceflight’s nearly 20-foot satellite rideshare structure (flight structures with mass models to simulate critical customer spacecraft) to low-level vibration to excite the core structure. Results from these tests are used to correlate the detailed finite element model of the structure with flight structure, ultimately allowing engineers to calculate flight environments that the structure, avionics, and customer spacecraft will be exposed to during the launch.
This completes a significant milestone for the company’s first Dedicated Rideshare mission, dubbed “SSO-A,” which plans to launch many small satellites into sun-synchronous orbit from a SpaceX Falcon 9 next year. Spaceflight’s SSO-A mission will carry spacecraft from nearly 50 government and commercial organizations across 16 different countries, including Thailand, Finland, Germany, Australia and Singapore. It will deploy all of the smallsats to a sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit which is popular for Earth-imaging satellites. The mission, scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, will transport both microsats and cubesats, with 90 percent of the manifest accounted for by commercial and/or international organizations.
Spaceflight's integrated payload stack being assembled. (courtesy: Spaceflight)
“This is the most complex launch we have ever designed and developed,” said Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight. “Because we’re breaking ground with such a historic mission, we need to ensure the payloads and spacecraft subsystems will withstand the turbulence and vibrations of launch. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for our team and testament to our integration expertise.”
Spaceflight provides the most launch options for customers, working with nearly every global launch vehicle provider, including the PSLV, Dnepr, Antares, Cygnus, Minotaur, Electron, Soyuz and others, to ensure organizations can access space when they want. The “rideshare service” model provides more options for organizations to reach a desired orbit at a much lower cost than buying their own launch vehicle.
Spaceflight has launched more than 120 satellites to date. The frequency of satellite launches, combined with Spaceflight’s cross-section of customers and variety of mission-applications, is a strong indicator of the growing capabilities of small satellites and the need for more timely and cost-effective access to space.
Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of spaceflight by delivering a new model for accessing space. A comprehensive launch services and mission management provider, the company provides a straightforward and cost-effective suite of products and services including state-of-the-art satellite infrastructure and rideshare launch offerings that enable commercial and government entities to achieve their mission goals on time and on budget. A service offering of Spaceflight Industries in Seattle, Washington, Spaceflight provides its services through a global network of partners, ground stations and launch vehicle providers.