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Rocket Lab Successfully Completes First commercial launch with Spire

November 12 2018

The first rocket designed specifically for deploying small satellites enters low Earth Orbit

Space is hard, and launch is even harder. But yesterday, Rocket Lab achieved an almost unprecedented success last Saturday with “It’s Business Time,” the company’s first commercial launch carrying small satellites from all over the world.  This launch is an industry first, as the first commercial mission for a launch vehicle designed and dedicated specifically to putting small satellites like ours in orbit. This launch illustrates how the industry is embracing smaller, cheaper rockets designed specifically to accommodate the growing small satellite industry.

In just two years, Rocket Lab went from just testing, to the first commercial launch of their Electron rocket. Earlier this year Spire worked with Rocket Lab on a test payload during “Still Testing,” and now we’ve achieved our 5th launch of 2018, and 18th launch of all time. Hitching a ride on “It’s Business Time” were LEMUR-2-ZUPANSKI and LEMUR-2-CHANUSIAK, two more satellites carrying maritime, aviation, and weather-tracking sensors for a total of 62 satellites in orbit.

Frequent launches to low Earth orbit help us put new and improved satellites into production but typically, we've had few missions to choose from. Our launch providers are some of the most dedicated and ambitious partners we have. With more than 40 different new launch companies in the works, Spire is supportive of getting the capable ones off the ground. From vehicles with decades of proven experience to newspace ventures, we secure launches from all over the world. This strategy allows us to achieve the launch frequency we need to continue building one of the largest commercial satellite constellations in orbit. The success of "It's Business time" is both a great sign for Spire, our satellite network, and for the continued growth of the entire industry.

We’re receiving more data than ever before, with a growing ground station network and new supercomputing programs to accommodate the load. This would not be possible without the growing success of the smallsat launch industry, led by companies like Rocket Lab which pave the way.  

Next, join Spire in India for ISRO’s November 26 PSLV C43 launch, with one of our largest batches of satellites yet.  

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