Commercial growth may be most likely to come from communications companies exploring ways to exploit [Low Earth Orbit] LEO and [Medium Earth Orbit] MEO to serve niche markets that have been traditionally unserved or underserved, and from Earth Observation applications that require continuous global monitoring (e.g., remote sensing, weather).” —Avascent Space and Satellite PracticeOn September 12, Via Satellite Magazine evaluated the paucity of dedicated launch options for small satellite manufacturers, interviewing several members of Avascent’s Space and Satellite practice concerning the possibilities to expand this market. Dino Lorenzo, president and CEO of SmallSat firm SpaceQuest discussed current options with an eye to cost competitiveness. Kosmotras’ Dnepr rockets have been the company’s most frequent choice, with an acceptable price point per launch. However, SpaceQuest is looking for other options. Firefly Space Systems and Rocket Labs are currently developing launch alternatives, but there is concern that their attractive pricing structure may double or triple by the time they’re operational. In addition to price, orbit is a large factor in launch selection. When utilizing rideshares, the SmallSat will end up located near the primary payload, which might not have a destination best suited to the SmallSat’s technological capabilities and mission. Dedicated SmallSat launchers would diversify the orbits available to firms, thus improving service through more intentional placement.
Read the full article here: “Flying Light: Evaluating Dedicated SmallSat Launches“