The first in a series of satellites built, assembled and delivered by Spire Global to carry NorthStar’s transformational, space-based monitoring system will be launching on an accelerated timeline in the fall of ‘23
Luxembourg, June 19, 2023 — NorthStar Earth & Space (“NorthStar” or “the Company”), a provider of comprehensive information services for the earth and space environment, today announced that Rocket Lab USA (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab”), a global leader in launch and space services, will launch the first satellites dedicated to NorthStar’s commercial, space-based Space Situational Awareness services. The initial block of four satellites, assembled and operated by Spire Global (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire”), a global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services within its Space as a Service program, is scheduled for deployment on Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle in the fall of 2023.
With the launch of its space-based SSA constellation, NorthStar will be the first to monitor simultaneously all near-Earth orbits from space, delivering a radically enhanced level of SSA services to the global satellite community, with timely and precise information for resident space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation and proximity alerts.
NorthStar has reacted swiftly in finding a launch solution and acquiring the services of Rocket Lab after the failure of the previous launcher in the fast-moving space sector. Rocket Lab and Spire have underlined their engagement by committing to deliver the satellites to space on an accelerated timeline.
“We had to react quickly to adapt our launch plans to untimely changes in the fast-moving space sector.” said Stewart Bain, CEO of NorthStar. “But we are confident that we have found an excellent, proven launch specialist in Rocket Lab. We recognize the highly effective effort from both Spire Global and Rocket Lab to preserve our plans to make a meaningful contribution to the safety and sustainability of space by launching our unique services this fall.”
“We developed the Space as a Service model to take the previously prohibitive cost and complexity out of the equation, allowing innovative companies like NorthStar to develop and deploy solutions from the vantage point of space, focusing on solving some of the most significant problems we face today. We’re proud that NorthStar has chosen to leverage the Spire Space Services model and next-gen 16U satellite bus to safely, securely, and rapidly deploy its constellation, which is tackling the pressing and ever-expanding issue of space debris and delivering critical information for satellite operators around the globe,” said Frank Frulio, general manager of Space Services, Spire.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, added: “We know that the precise placement of the first block of four satellites for a particular mission is critical to the constellation’s future success. With Electron’s agility, reliability, and proven ability to place satellites precisely, dedicated missions like this one for NorthStar are our bread and butter. Space debris is a global issue and the responsibility of all space users, so it’s great to be supporting a mission with a focus on making Earth’s orbit safer for everyone.”
“At a time of increasing urgency with regard to the threat of space congestion, highlighted just last week by the release of the World Economic Forum’s Space Industry Debris Mitigation Recommendations, we are proud to be able to make a decisive contribution to safer operations in space”, commented Stewart Bain.