Launch is never boring and success is never a guarantee.
With 16 launches now under our belt, the majority of those having launched in the last 2 years, Spire already launches satellites into orbit more often than any other company in the world. But 3 launches in under 3 weeks? We thought this deserved a mention.
PSLV Cartosat 2F, which launched successfully on January 12th, was the first time PSLV flew again following its first failure in nearly 20 years. In August 2017, PSLV failed to deliver its payload to orbit because the fairing, or nosecone, failed to open during flight. Details around the failure investigation and corrective action were never shared publicly, so this return-to-flight mission required some trust on the part of the secondary customers. Ultimately, the launch went flawlessly.
Electron "Still Testing," shocked the world by achieving orbit on just its second test launch on January 21st. Spire signed a contract with Rocket Lab nearly three years ago, putting our faith in this great team to be the first private dedicated nanosatellite launcher to make it to market (plus to put New Zealand on the short list of the world's space faring nations) and we are proud to say we were a part of Rocket Lab's success on this launch.
Finally, the Soyuz Kanopus 3/4 mission, which launched successfully on February 1st, was the first return-to-flight mission of Soyuz out of the new Vostochny Cosmodrome after the total mission failure in November 2017. According to public statements, critical software changes for the new launch site had been overlooked, resulting in a catastrophic trajectory. Roscosmos and their launch partners executed an incredibly speedy return-to-flight and Spire is proud to be their first US customer delivered to space from their new Siberian launch complex.
In the end, Spire has 10 new LEMUR satellites in orbit from three different launch vehicles from three different countries in under three weeks! Looking forward to many more successes in 2018!