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Press releases

February 1, 2024

NorthStar is pleased to announce the successful launch of the first four of our SSA satellites


Launched January 31, 2024


The dawn of a new age in Space Situational Awareness

Mahia, New Zealand, February 1st, 2024 – NorthStar Earth & Space Inc. (“NorthStar”), a first-in-class leader in the delivery of commercial space-based SSA (Space Situational Awareness) services to enhance space sustainability and security, today announces the successful launch of NorthStar-1, the first four of its SSA satellites from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex in Mahia, New Zealand on January 31st, 2024, at 19:34 NZDT / 06:34 UTC with an imposed shortened launch window to avoid other space objects during the early launch phase. 

Aboard Rocket Lab’s second ‘return to flight’ launch and first launch of 2024, NorthStar has paved the way to the delivery of commercial space-based SSA observations of over 128 million resident space objects with a concept of operations that will provide more precise and comprehensive coverage simultaneously in all near-Earth LEO, MEO, and GEO regimes.   

The NorthStar-1 launch of the world’s first dedicated space-based SSA satellites is part of a movement towards a new era of space safety, sustainability, and security, radically changing humanity’s interaction with the fragile space environment. NorthStar’s unique services are the result of a highly challenging technical collaboration across multiple disciplines including astrophysics, orbit dynamics, systems engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, algorithm and software development.  This endeavour has drawn talent from around the world to NorthStar’s head office in Montreal and subsidiaries in McLean, Virginia and their European HQ in Luxembourg. 

“I am intensely proud of our NorthStar team on this landmark occasion,” said Stewart Bain, CEO and Founder of NorthStar. “This mission is the first of its kind and is the physical manifestation of a decade long dream to deliver hope to future generations of space enthusiasts and to all of us who every day depend on a sustainable and clean space environment for the wellbeing of our planet.  Special thanks are owed to the NorthStar team, our stakeholders, and partners at Rocket Lab, Spire, and ExoLaunch for achieving this smooth ride into orbit.  Shortening the launch window to avoid other space objects heightens the importance of our mission.  Now, the work begins at NorthStar to deliver the services to our eagerly awaiting clients. Our industry can start now to change the way we manage our essential space environment.”  

In step-by-step sequence, the key stages of the launch successfully progressed as follows:  

Liftoff Jan 31 at T0 06:34 UTC

Main Engine Cutoff at T0+2:25 

1st Stage separation at T0+2:28 

2nd Stage Engine ignition at T0+2:31 

Payload Fairing separation at T0+3:07 

At this point the launch vehicle is above the atmosphere and the spacecraft can be exposed to the space environment 

1st Stage drogue parachute deployment at T0+7:08 

The purpose of this parachute is to slow down the stage to subsonic speeds 

1st Stage main parachute deployment at T0+8:00 

2nd Stage Engine cutoff at T0+9:20 

2nd Stage separation at T0+9:24 

1st Stage splashdown expected by T0+18:04 

1st Stage is recovered by ship for refurbishment and reuse 

3rd Stage (Kick Stage) Engine ignition at T0+48:23 

Kick Stage Engine cutoff at T0+50:27 

Spacecraft deployed at T0+1:17:00  

Two spacecraft deployed first; the other two spacecraft deployed 45 seconds later 

All four spacecraft are identical, and in the same orbital plane 

About NorthStar:  

NorthStar Earth & Space was founded in 2015 by Telesystem, based in Montreal, and KinetX, a specialized engineering firm located in Arizona. It has 70 employees, including 50 in Canada. NorthStar is the first commercial service to monitor near-Earth orbits from space.  

NorthStar’s precise information services identify and anticipate the position of space objects to enhance spaceflight safety.   With headquarters in Montreal, Canada, a European headquarters in Luxembourg, and a dedicated US operation in McLean, Virginia, NorthStar addresses the ever-growing threat of space collisions as a major contribution to empower humanity to preserve our planet.  

For more information about NorthStar, visit northstar-data.com.   

For media inquiries, please contact ignacio.cires@northstar-data.com 

About Spire Global, Inc.  

Spire (NYSE: SPIR) is a global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, offering unique datasets and powerful insights about Earth so that organizations can make decisions with confidence in a rapidly changing world. Spire builds, owns, and operates a fully deployed satellite constellation that observes the Earth in real time using radio frequency technology. The data acquired by Spire’s satellites provides global weather intelligence, ship and plane movements, and spoofing and jamming detection to better predict how their patterns impact economies, global security, business operations and the environment. Spire also offers Space as a Service solutions that empower customers to leverage its established infrastructure to put their business in space. Spire has nine offices across the U.S., Canada, UK, Luxembourg, Germany and Singapore. To learn more, visit spire.com.