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Home / Region / Europe / Loft Orbital awards launch contract to Exolaunch to deliver YAM-3 microsatellite into orbit on Falcon 9

Loft Orbital awards launch contract to Exolaunch to deliver YAM-3 microsatellite into orbit on Falcon 9

Falcon 9 lift off; Credits: SpaceX

Exolaunch, the leading rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, has announced a Launch Services Agreement with Loft Orbital, a San Francisco-based company, to deliver Loft Orbital’s YAM microsatellite into sun-synchronous orbit on Falcon 9. Under the contract, Exolaunch will deliver mission management, deployment and integration services to Loft Orbital, who operates microsatellites and flies customers’ payloads as a service. The launch is targeted for December 2020 and is part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program.

The YAM-3 microsatellite will carry various payloads for Loft Orbital’s customers, including an Internet of Things payload, an onboard autonomy demonstration, a positioning and queuing demonstration and blockchain applications. Using a unique aggregation approach, Loft Orbital offers its customers end-to-end services and delivery of missions to orbit on a standardized satellite bus. Its customers provide payloads, sensors or experiments while also saving time and avoiding the complexity and costs of building their own spacecraft.

YAM-3 will be deployed from a Falcon 9 ESPA port with CarboNIX, Exolaunch’s shock-free lightweight separation system for microsatellites. This launch will mark the first cooperation between Loft Orbital and Exolaunch. In addition to the upcoming Falcon 9 mission, Exolaunch is set to arrange the launch and provide deployment services for Loft Orbital’s next microsatellite in 2021.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Exolaunch for YAM-3’s launch. We’ve been extremely impressed with the Exolaunch team and the CarboNIX technology, and we’re looking forward to a long-term partnership with their team,” said Pierre-Damien Vaujour, Co-CEO at Loft Orbital. “Remaining satellite bus, payload and launch vehicle agnostic is a core part of Loft Orbital’s value proposition, and YAM-3 is a prime example of the schedule benefits resulting from that strategy.”

Earlier this spring, Exolaunch procured launch capacity from SpaceX to launch multiple small satellites aboard Falcon 9 as part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program. Exolaunch will provide comprehensive rideshare mission management, deployment and integration services for the customers joining this launch. Exolaunch has numerous customers who already signed up for this mission, and the company now begins to release more information on its manifest.

“Loft Orbital’s unique service of aggregating multiple payloads on their satellites addresses the industry’s acute demand for reduced complexity and costs,” said Jeanne Medvedeva, Commercial Director at Exolaunch. “We are proud to deploy the YAM-3 microsatellite into orbit with Falcon 9 and provide comprehensive mission support for the launch, and we look forward to supporting additional YAM launches in the future.”

To date, Exolaunch has successfully arranged launch campaigns for nearly one hundred small satellites. The company’s expertise in rideshare launches – in combination with its brand new multi-port adapters, flight-proven sequencers and CarboNIX shock-free separation systems – allows smallsat developers to benefit from top-tier mission management under SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program.

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