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SpaceX sweetens the deal for satellite rideshare program, and Starlink is in on it

29 Aug 2019, 06:30 UTC
SpaceX sweetens the deal for satellite rideshare program, and Starlink is in on it
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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket executes a 64-satellite launch for Seattle-based Spaceflight in December 2018. Now SpaceX is planning rideshare missions without Spaceflight’s involvement. (SpaceX Photo)
Three weeks after announcing that it’s getting into the rideshare market for launching small satellites, SpaceX slashed its prices by more than half – and said it’ll be offering rideshare opportunities on its Starlink broadband satellite launches as often as once a month.
Today’s moves suggest that SpaceX is amping up its effort to get in on the small-satellite launch market, using a strategy that was pioneered by Seattle-based Spaceflight.
Spaceflight made a splash last December by arranging a 64-satellite launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9, but after coping with the complexities involved in herding that many satellites together for a single mission, the company is heading in a different direction.
“Providing rideshare services on small- and medium-sized launch vehicles is becoming a better fit” for the needs of its customers, Spaceflight said when SpaceX made its initial rideshare announcement on Aug. 5.
In a follow-up announcement emailed to GeekWire and other media outlets today, SpaceX said it has “received a lot of interest and great feedback from customers.”
“As such, we have updated the ...

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