SpaceX, the brainchild of the visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk, announced that it would offer ‘rideshare’ launches for small satellites. The SmallSat Rideshare Program will enable companies to put their smaller satellites into orbit in a more affordable way.
The announcement came on Monday directly from Elon Musk who stated that this program would offer regularly scheduled rideshare launches to space using the Falcon 9 reusable rocket.
While rideshare on earth has become a very competitive market space with big names such as Uber, Lyft, and Juno trying to cement their position, Musk has been playing on a whole different level by enabling rideshare launches for satellites. SpaceX has also revealed the pricing details of the service, which starts at $2.25 million for 150kg payload mass.
When asked about the reason behind this initiative, Elon Musk had this to say, “Just like larger satellite operators, small satellite operators want to launch when they’re ready to launch on a reliable vehicle with a competitive price.”
The companies can pre-book their spot to launch their satellites into space. The already existing system of launching space rockets was centered around the large customers with the big payload. The problem arises when there is a delay at his end.
The satellites will smaller payloads are also forced to stay grounded. The smaller customers always had to be at the mercy of the larger customers. Through the SpaceX’s rideshare program, the smaller satellites will be launched on time with or without other satellites.
The company stated that it was committed to serve the changing commercial market by addressing the needs of small satellite operators with reliable, cost-effective, regularly scheduled, dedicated rideshare launch missions. The company plans to offer bookings in two batches, one in advance of 12 months and out, and the other between 6 to 12 months.
SpaceX is eying to launch its debut mission between November 2020 and March 2021 with the subsequent launches planned for early 2022 and early 2023. Elon Musk had already stated that his company had far sighter plans to venture deep into space.
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