Author Topic: Spaceflight Industries (including BlackSky)  (Read 5834 times)

Offline nadreck

Given that Space Flight Industries seems poised to be a major contender in the launch services aggregater marketplace, I do think they should have their own updates and discussion thread here.

Note that, as per Satellite news they are having a cyber Monday sale (ok they lowered prices at least until the end of the year) on launch 3U form factor satellites by 33%.  What is interesting is that this for a 2018 launch to SSO. I don't think they are worried about filling the flights over the next two years which suggests to me that they are testing the waters to see how price sensitive their market is, but that for now they know they enough of a market to do a number of dedicated flights for their aggregate business.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2018 02:04 PM by gongora »
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline nadreck

Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #1 on: 03/24/2016 08:17 PM »
http://spacenews.com/spaceflight-waits-out-spacex-delays-expands-rideshare-business-to-larger-satellites-and-geo-orbit/

An interview, during the recent Satellite 2016 conference, with Spaceflight Chief Executive Jason Andrews and Spaceflight Services President Curt Blake

They intend to aggregate secondaries for GTO missions too!
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline catdlr

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #2 on: 11/16/2016 01:45 AM »
Spaceflight Industries unveils BlackSky satellite’s first pictures of our planet

Quote
Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries is sharing some of the first pictures of Earth ever taken by its low-cost, high-resolution BlackSky Pathfinder-1 satellite – and they’re spectacular.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/spaceflight-industries-unveils-blacksky-satellite-185953973.html

YouTube Video (included in above article):
We need to simplify geospatial technology
Geospatial Media

Published on Nov 13, 2016
Jason Andrews
Founder & CEO
Blacksky

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMeZdr-_7ZU?t=001



photo credit: Spaceflight Industries
« Last Edit: 11/16/2016 01:46 AM by catdlr »
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Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #6 on: 09/16/2017 02:49 PM »
Quote
BlackSky and NGA Kick Off GEOINT Broker Platform Program
By Jodi Sorensen
September 14, 2017

Program to deliver a cloud-based geospatial intelligence broker platform

SEATTLE – Sept. 14, 2017 – Spaceflight Industries today announced the work BlackSky is doing for the Air Force Research Lab to develop and deliver a cloud-based geospatial intelligence broker platform is being conducted in partnership with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). On Aug. 29, the Air Force Research Lab awarded BlackSky, a division of Spaceflight Industries, a two-year $16.4 million cost-plus-prime contract for this work.

Under the contract, BlackSky will design and develop a GEOINT Broker Development Platform for evaluation by analysts, including those within the NGA. This program continues BlackSky’s support to the Predictive GEOINT Prototype (PGP) program that began in late 2014.

“BlackSky is excited to build on our long-standing relationship with the NGA,” said Brian O’Toole, executive vice president and chief technology officer of BlackSky. “The Broker Platform Program, conducted in cooperation with NGA, has evolved from a series of early capability demonstrations to a set of tools that analysts can use to access non-traditional GEOINT data sources and information services.”

The program features an agile development approach where NGA users provide continuous feedback and input into the platform development activities. O’Toole added, “This type of partnership between the NGA, the Air Force, and the commercial industry is proving to be an effective approach to accelerating the delivery of mission-specific GEOINT capabilities across the community.”

BlackSky is a division of Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries and serves government and private sector organizations with solutions enabled by the BlackSky platform. Within the platform, users can access BlackSky Spectra’s on-demand imagery service to search, purchase, task, and download visual imagery and multi-spectral data from a global collection network. They can also subscribe to BlackSky Events, the platform’s global event monitoring service that fuses news, social media, industry data services and physical sensor networks to provide early warning and insights on risks, threats, and opportunities that can impact their business.

For more information, visit www.blacksky.com or contact [email protected]y.com.

Offline gongora

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #7 on: 09/16/2017 02:56 PM »
Quote
Thales Alenia Space, Telespazio and Spaceflight Industries Partner to Accelerate the BlackSky Geospatial Platform and High Revisit Rate Constellation
By Jodi Sorensen
September 15, 2017

Parties Create World-Class Small Satellite Production Company to Build BlackSky Constellation

Paris, September 15, 2017 – The Space Alliance, formed by Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%), today signed a partnership with the US-based company Spaceflight Industries which includes the following elements:

-    A minority investment in Spaceflight Industries, which through its BlackSky business, has developed a geospatial platform and plans to build and operate a constellation of 60 small high-resolution observation satellites featuring very short revisit times;

-    The creation of an industrial Joint Venture in the United States between Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries specialized in the production of small satellites;

-    The implementation of a Joint Cooperation and Marketing Agreement between Telespazio and BlackSky enhancing their respective product and analytics portfolios on the market.

“This partnership reflects the ‘new space’ transformation strategy being implemented by Thales Alenia Space, with the ultimate aim of becoming a major manufacturer of small observation satellites constellations featuring short revisit times, both in Europe and the United States,” said Jean-Loïc Galle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space.

“This joint cooperation and marketing agreement gives both Telespazio and BlackSky a strong market boost to access leading markets in the geoinformation domain with highly innovative products,” added Luigi Pasquali, Chief Executive Officer of Telespazio.

“This partnership with two leaders in the European space industry accelerates our BlackSky business plan by funding our constellation, minimizing our constellation production risk, and reducing our time to market within key market segments,” said Jason Andrews, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Spaceflight Industries.

The Earth observation market is undergoing constant changes, with an increasing focus on requirements that combine high resolution and much shorter revisit times. Thales Alenia Space, Spaceflight Industries and Telespazio are combining their strengths to offer a constellation of small satellites that will be deployed in conjunction with a smart ground segment to offer services at very competitive prices by calling on massive and automated data/image processing. The result is a disruptive product, designed not only for traditional customers in the commercial observation market, but also to support the development of new vertical B2B markets, such as mining, energy, transport, finance, agriculture, industry and environment, and even B2C.

The agreement will be finalized pending all required regulatory authorizations.

Related articles:
[GeekWire] Spaceflight Industries teams with Europe’s Thales Alenia and Telespazio for satellites
[SpaceNews] BlackSky taps Thales Alenia to build constellation of 60 fast-revisit EO satellites
« Last Edit: 09/16/2017 02:56 PM by gongora »

Offline syrtis8major

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #8 on: 09/19/2017 08:15 AM »
Hi (first post on the forum despite being a daily reader since 7 years),

It is interesting to see how the company has been diversifying over the years with a clear focus on analytics and big data.
 
I have been recently offered a position at Spaceflight Services and I am looking for feedback about working conditions.

Does anyone have some clues about the mood there ?

Thanks

Offline gongora

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #9 on: 10/02/2017 07:25 PM »
SPACEFLIGHT AWARDED FIRST NASA CONTRACT FOR LAUNCH OF U-CLASS PAYLOADS
By Jodi Sorensen
OCTOBER 2, 2017

NASA KSC multi-year contract includes integration and launch of 72U capacity of cubesat rideshare

Seattle – October 2, 2017 – Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it was awarded its first NASA Contract for launch and integration services. The multi-year contract covers launch services in 2018 for a maximum of 24 payloads, with options to provide launch services for up to 24 additional payloads in 2019 and 2020. The potential total contract value is more than $5 million.

U-Class payloads are miniature space research satellites that typically utilize commercial, off-the-shelf electronic components. The U-Class payloads flown by NASA, often created by universities and nonprofit organizations, play a foundational role in the agency’s technology development and include investigations in planetary exploration, Earth observation, and fundamental Earth and space science.

“We’re pleased to work with NASA on these cubesat missions as it further validates our rideshare business model of providing frequent, cost-effective access to space,” said Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight. “Not only can commercial entities benefit from this new shared-space economy, but governmental agencies are quickly realizing the economies of it as well.”

Spaceflight provides the most launch options for customers, working with nearly every global launch vehicle provider, including the Falcon 9, PSLV, Dnepr, Antares, Cygnus, 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.

Offline Lar

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #10 on: 10/03/2017 12:02 AM »
Hi (first post on the forum despite being a daily reader since 7 years),

It is interesting to see how the company has been diversifying over the years with a clear focus on analytics and big data.
 
I have been recently offered a position at Spaceflight Services and I am looking for feedback about working conditions.

Does anyone have some clues about the mood there ?

Thanks

You might want to check out  glassdoor.com if you haven't ... and be advised that you might not get a lot of public answers as badmouthing one's employer might not be the best career enhancing move...

Congratulations and good luck.
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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #11 on: 10/04/2017 04:24 AM »
NASA launching up to 72 smallsats with Spaceflight for $5.5 million

WASHINGTON — NASA signed its first contract with small satellite rideshare company Spaceflight to launch as many as 72 cubesats between now and 2020 for a total price of up to $5.5 million.

Specifically, the contract enables the launch of 72 “units,” which typically measure 10 centimeters in length, width and height, and have a mass of around 1.33 kilograms. These units are often assembled in groups to form larger cubesats, such as the 3U cubesats Spire and Planet use, or the 6U Arkyd satellites of Planetary Resources.

Seattle-based Spaceflight provides rideshare opportunities on U.S. rockets from SpaceX, Orbital ATK and Rocket Lab, as well as India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, Russia’s Soyuz and the Russian-Ukrainian Dnepr. NASA’s launch policy, however, will restrict the 72U to ride solely on American rockets.
http://spacenews.com/nasa-launching-up-to-72-smallsats-with-spaceflight-for-5-5-million/
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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #12 on: 11/06/2017 05:01 PM »
[GeekWire Nov. 3, 2017] Spaceflight Industries issues $150 million investment offer amid high-flying plans
Quote
Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries is seeking as much as $150 million in new investment as it gets ready for a key rocket launch and a dramatic expansion of its satellite presence.

The outlines of the offering are described in documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing reports that $40,656,523 worth of securities have been sold, with $110 mlllion remaining to sell. The first sale was recorded on Oct. 19, according to the filing.
...

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #13 on: 11/23/2017 02:44 AM »
[Spaceflight] ORBITAL ATK CYGNUS OA-8 LAUNCH
Quote
Spaceflight is proud to have been part of the launch of multiple CubeSats on the recent Orbital ATK Cygnus OA-8 launch which was a NanoRacks mission to the International Space Station (ISS).   

Four CubeSats were manifested by Spaceflight on the Nanoracks external deployer through a contract with MEI and NASA Ames Rapid Response Space Works (RRSW) contract. They are ISARA, PROPCUBE, and Aerocube B/C (2 CubeSats).

What was particularly interesting about this mission is that these spacecraft will be later deployed from the Cygnus Cargo Resupply Vehicle after it departs the station and raises to a 500 km orbit. One other CubeSat from NASA Ames Research Center, EcAMSat, will be deployed directly from the ISS. 

This mission demonstrates the unique capability of Spaceflight to work with a variety of launch partners and vendors to provide the best solution for our customers. The spacecraft to be deployed by Nanoracks were re-manifested from a different launch which had been delayed.

Offline gongora

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #14 on: 03/08/2018 12:52 PM »
[GeekWire] BlackSky shows off first next-generation Global satellite for Earth observation
Quote
Spaceflight Industries’ BlackSky geospatial intelligence service is taking the wraps off its first operational satellite, Global-1, which will blaze the trail for what’s expected to be a 60-satellite Earth observation constellation.

The Seattle-based venture plans to have four of the Global satellites launched within the next year, as rideshare payloads on rockets that could include SpaceX’s Falcon 9, Rocket Lab’s Electron or India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV.


Offline gongora

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Re: Spaceflight Industries - updates and discussions
« Reply #15 on: 03/13/2018 08:36 PM »
[Spaceflight Industries] Thales Alenia Space, Telespazio and Spaceflight Industries Finalize Alliance to Manufacture Smallsats At Scale And Deliver Innovative Geospatial Services

Quote
Washington DC, March 13, 2018 –  At the Satellite 2018 conference, The Space Alliance formed by Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) announced today it has officially taken a minority stake in Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, having received all government approvals for the transaction.

This investment is part of an overall fundraising effort of $150 million from several sources which include The Space Alliance, existing investors, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., one of the largest general trading companies in Japan. With this latest funding, Spaceflight Industries has raised more than $200 million in total capital.

BlackSky, the geospatial intelligence company of Spaceflight Industries, is now fulfilling its vision to deploy a high revisit rate earth imaging constellation which, especially when combined with other space and terrestrial based sensors, will enable delivery of innovative global monitoring solutions and geospatial activity-based intelligence products and services. BlackSky’s first four Global next-generation satellites are slated to launch in the next 12 months. This round of funding ensures production and launch of an additional 20 Global satellites which are planned to be in orbit by 2020. These smallsats will generate revenues that will enable the production and launch of the full 60 satellite constellation.

In conjunction with the investment, Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries are creating a Seattle-based industrial joint venture (owned 50% by Spaceflight Industries and 50% by Thales Alenia Space) which will be responsible for manufacturing cost-effective, high-performance  small satellites at scale, including the 20 satellites for the BlackSky constellation. The new company, named LeoStella LLC, will start operation this year. It will provide a unique capability for the US market as well as the fast growing low earth orbit constellations. The executive team is being formed from both Spaceflight Industries and Thales Alenia Space, as well as other leading organizations.

Finally, BlackSky and Telespazio have signed a joint cooperation and marketing agreement to distribute each other’s products and services, as well as co-develop, brand, and market unique applications and services. Under the agreement, Telespazio will sell BlackSky products and services within Europe to key government customers.

“This partnership reflects the ‘new space’ transformation strategy being implemented by Thales Alenia Space, with the aim of becoming a major manufacturer of small satellites for  constellations featuring short revisit times, both in Europe and the United States,” said Jean Loïc Galle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space. “The LeoStella LLC Joint Venture, will combine the innovative and competitive design of the platform developed by Spaceflight Industries, with the industrial expertise developed by Thales Alenia Space for constellations such as Globalstar 2, Iridium NEXT and O3b, and will be able to offer a production capacity exceeding BlackSky’s requirements.”

“This new and important agreement with Spaceflight Industries strengthens Telespazio’s role as global operator in the greatly expanding sector of the Earth Observation from Space,” stated Luigi Pasquali, Leonardo’s Coordinator of Space Activities and CEO of Telespazio. “The launch of new constellations of mini-satellites working alongside the main space systems will be one of the driving elements of the “space economy” and will allow Telespazio to meet in an even more effective and profitable way the present and future needs of innovative services for citizens, institutions and companies.”

According to Jason Andrews, Chairman and CEO of Spaceflight Industries, “This agreement with two leading players in the European space industry validates the BlackSky business model and reduces capital and execution risk for our high-revisit rate earth observation constellation. The LeoStella LLC Joint Venture with Thales Alenia Space represents a game changer for small and microsatellite production in the United States. Further, the partnership with Telespazio, and significant involvement of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., accelerates our go-to-market strategy and creates win-win synergies for all parties.”

The Earth Observation market is undergoing constant changes, with increasing requirements in terms of both high resolution and much shorter revisit times. Thales Alenia Space, Spaceflight Industries and Telespazio are combining their strengths to offer a constellation of small satellites that will be deployed in conjunction with a smart ground segment to offer services at very competitive prices by calling on massive and automated data/image processing. The result is a disruptive product, designed not only for traditional customers in the commercial observation market, but also to support the development of new vertical B2B markets, such as mining, energy, transport, finance, agriculture, manufacturing and environmental monitoring, and even B2C applications.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2018 08:36 PM by gongora »

Offline gongora

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Re: Spaceflight Industries (including BlackSky)
« Reply #16 on: 03/21/2018 02:24 PM »
BlackSky is getting ready to launch four 1m resolution sats this year on different launch vehicles, two into SSO and two into lower inclination orbits.

The first will be Global-1 on a PSLV flight under an FCC experimental authority (File Number 0864-EX-CN-2017):
Quote
REQUEST EXPERIMENTAL AUTHORITY
BlackSky Global, LLC (“BlackSky”) herein requests an experimental license for its prototype model, “Global-1”. As set forth below, Global-1 will be launched on a PSLV rocket.

Existing Experimental Program and Proposed Additional Experimental Satellite

The proposed experimentation is a continuation of the experimental work that BlackSky first commenced with its Pathfinder satellite program. The purpose of that experimental program was to test, develop, and demonstrate the efficacy and design of a newly configured microsatellite, including associated software applications, relative to their ability to provide high-resolution remote sensing in the Earth Exploration Satellite Service (“EESS”). To further that end, the Commission authorized BlackSky to launch and operate two prototype satellites, “Pathfinder-1” and “Pathfinder-2.”

The launch of both satellites was postponed because of delays in the Falcon-9 launch rocket mission. Because of this delay, Pathfinder-1 was moved to a PSLV rocket and was successfully launched on September 25, 2016. Pathfinder-1 then went through an extensive test program that ended when transmissions from Pathfinder were terminated in October of this year. While the testing was largely successful, it also revealed shortcomings that BlackSky hopes to remedy with an updated prototype model, Global-1, rather than proceed with Pathfinder-2

The purpose of the Global-1 experimental satellite is to allow BlackSky to test, develop and demonstrate that satellite’s subsystems, in particular those subsystems that have been upgraded from the Pathfinder model. BlackSky believes that these subsystems will address the issues that arose with regard to Pathfinder-1, among other things, to allow for improved imaging capability from this second generation prototype satellite.

BlackSky plans to launch Global-1 on a PSLV rocket. The launch period now planned for launch by PSLV targeted for May- June 2018.

The FCC filing for the initial four satellite constellation (including Global 1 after its test phase) can be found here: SAT-LOA-20180320-00023
Quote
This application is for authorization to operate the first commercial phase of the BlackSky Constellation. This phase includes four (4) microsatellites currently in development, including Global-1. Each satellite has a mass of approximately 55 kg, and take both still and video images at a resolution (GSD) of 1.0 m [This is performance at 450km, NADIR. Actual performance varies as a function of altitude].
...
Physical description of the spacecraft: Each Global satellite has a launch mass of 56.4 kg. Basic physical dimensions are 55 cm x 67 cm x 86
cm. A CAD model of the spacecraft is shown in Figure 1 (each of the four Global satellites are identical).

Each Global satellite’s load bearing structure is comprised of three 45 cm x 50 cm skeleton deck plates, radiating side plates, and a vertical mounted 66.5cm x 86 cm side solar panel connected with struts. The Global satellites maintain 3-axis attitude control. Attitude knowledge is provided primarily by two orthogonally mounted star trackers. Attitude actuators include four reaction wheels and three orthogonal magnetorquers.

Total satellite mass at launch, including all propellants and fluids: 56.4 kg.

Dry mass of satellites at launch, excluding solid rocket motor propellants: 52.7 kg

Description of all propulsion systems (cold gas, mono-propellant, bi-propellant, electric, nuclear): Each Global satellite contains a single propulsion system with a single valve and a single thruster. This system uses electrically warmed butane as the working fluid. Butane is stored at saturation conditions (normally 1 to 100 psi) within two interconnected tanks. The butane is warmed to several hundred degrees Celsius via an electrically heated aluminum block just before exiting the nozzle. Propulsion is not required to deorbit the satellite, but is part of the satellite to allow for orbit phasing and minor orbit adjustments.

Identification, including mass and pressure, of all fluids (liquids and gases) planned to be on board and a description of the fluid loading plan or strategies, excluding fluids in sealed heat pipes: 3.76 kg of butane at saturation conditions not to exceed 100psia

Fluids in Pressurized Batteries: None. Each Global sat uses two unpressurized standard COTS Lithium-Ion batteries. Each battery has a height of 98mm, a width of 96mm, a length of 176mm, and a mass of 1.6 kg.

Description of attitude control system and indication of the normal attitude of the spacecraft with respect to the velocity vector: The long axis of the spacecraft can be oriented parallel to the nadir vector during imaging, but the satellite will typically be oriented in a sun-pointing attitude. For the purposes of orbital debris assessment, the smallest (worst-case for orbital lifetime) cross-sectional area is used, meaning that a face of 55 x 55 cm is in the velocity direction (the actual area of the deck plates are 45 x 50 cm, but there are some protrusions from the plates, such as the start trackers, so 55 x 55 cm is used). This results in a cross-section area of 0.3025m2. The cross sectional area in a nadir-pointing configuration would be between 0.47 m2 and 0.57 m2.

Description of the electrical generation and storage system: Standard COTS Lithium-Ion battery cells are charged before payload integration and provide electrical energy during the mission. The cells are recharged by solar cells mounted on the solar arrays. The battery cell protection circuit manages the charging cycle.

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