Last year Spaceflight has successfully placed 60 satellites into an orbit. This was done using Falcon 9. This year the agency aims at placing lesser number of satellites at one time and focusing more on the launches. Spaceflight is based at Seattle. The company is known for launching smaller satellites. These act as secondary payloads on large launch vehicles. The company had purchased a Falcon 9 for a mission, which has been termed as SSO-A SmallSat Express. This activity took place in last year December. The Vandenberg Air Force Base was used for this activity. Falcon 9 carried 64 small satellites in this mission; these satellites were from both private and government clients.
This was a successful mission but Spaceflight does not want to take the risk once again in near future. This comment was made by Curt Blake at the 35th Space Symposium. He is the CEO of Spaceflight. He stated that this was the upper limit of the number of satellites which can be carried at one time. He gave the reasons of not getting so much demand at single point of time for one launch. He said the main challenge is many customers move out at the last moment stating that their satellites are yet to be ready. On the other hand, there are customers who are excited to launch their satellites. Changing one satellite space and including another becomes a complicated matter.
He called the launch of 64 satellites successful, stating that just 4 out of these were tracked down. He also informed that 1 of the satellites out of these 4 was a cubesat. This was not deployed because it has not received the license. He pointed out another issue which is communication gap. The customer, Spaceflight and Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) need to have proper coordination.