TriSept Corporation, a leading provider of launch integration, management and brokerage services for commercial and government missions, announced on 14 January 2020 that it has procured a full mission aboard an Orbex Prime launch vehicle set to lift off in the autumn of 2022 from the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland.
With its expansion into the UK space market already underway, TriSept is building a multiple spacecraft manifest for a dedicated rideshare mission aboard the reusable Orbex Prime small satellite launcher. TriSept is a long-time go-to launch integration provider in the U.S. space market, enabling the launch of more than 200 satellites on 70 different missions aboard 20 different launch vehicles from 13 launch sites across the globe. TriSept announced last month it will have a full-time presence at the Harwell Space Campus in Oxford, England, beginning this year.
Designed and developed by UK-based Orbex, the Orbex Prime launch vehicle offers a payload capacity of 150kg to Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO), ideally suited for a broad range of commercial, government and scientific missions lifting off from Europe. In December 2019, Orbex revealed the advanced engineering techniques and materials that it is using at its factory in Forres, Scotland, to create the next generation of renewably-fuelled European launch vehicles. The Orbex Prime, which is up to 30 percent lighter than other small launch vehicles, utilizes bio-propane, a clean-burning, renewable fuel that cuts carbon emissions by 90 percent compared to traditional hydrocarbon fuels.
“TriSept is honored to add Orbex Prime to our growing launch portfolio, as we expand into the European space market and prepare to fill an exciting and diverse manifest aboard one of the most innovative and efficient launch vehicles in the world,” said Rob Spicer, TriSept President and CEO. “TriSept is already deep in discussions with spacecraft developers and a broad range of upcoming missions about securing rideshare slots aboard the Orbex rocket, which we expect will carry a complement of eight to twenty cubesats and microsatellites into orbit in 2022.”
“This exciting mission with our first US customer entering the European market will be a major milestone for the Orbex Prime launcher,” said Chris Larmour, Orbex CEO. “By bringing together Europe’s leading private launch services company and the launch integration and management leadership of TriSept, this is surely a mission to watch as the UK’s first spaceport emerges onto the global stage.”
TriSept helped shape the very rideshare and smallsat missions it supports today with one of the space industry’s most experienced launch integration teams. TriSept played a lead role in early rideshare innovations aboard the SpaceX Falcon 1 in 2009 and most recently the Rocket Lab Electron and the NASA ELaNa XIX mission that lifted 10 CubeSats into orbit in December 2018. Recently selected to continue providing launch integration and management support of NASA’s CubeSat missions through 2025, TriSept is working with all of the leading traditional and new space satellite manufacturers and launch vehicle providers.
With U.S.$40 million in project financing, Orbex is focused on bringing new innovations and efficiencies to the micro-launcher industry in order to offer faster, better and cheaper access to space from Europe. In December, Orbex’s disruptive potential was recognized when the company was included in the 2019 Sunday Times Fast Track Disruptors to Watch: 10 Companies Changing The World. The accolade is based on research across a cross-section of UK industries that examined factors such as business model, management team, investor credibility and total funds raised. Orbex is the only manufacturer to be included in the shortlist.