Artwork shows the Sherpa-LTE1 orbital tug firing up its propulsion system. (Spaceflight Inc. Illustration)
Two Seattle-area space companies have forged an alliance to facilitate space-to-ground communications for orbital transfer vehicles.
Under the terms of a ground station service agreement, Redmond, Wash.-based RBC Signals will support ground-based communications for multiple missions involving Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc.’s Sherpa orbital tugs.
The deal came into play during the successful deployment of satellites from Spaceflight’s Sherpa-LTE1 transfer vehicle, which was sent into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in June.
“We were thrilled to support Spaceflight’s important mission in testing their Sherpa-LTE1 for increased capabilities for future missions,” RBC Signals CEO Christopher Richins said today in a news release. “We look forward to supporting and scaling with Spaceflight and their customers via our global ground network as Spaceflight continues to provide increasing options and capabilities for rideshare to space.”
In different ways, RBC Signals and Spaceflight Inc. both take advantage of other people’s space infrastructure. Spaceflight Inc. arranges for satellites to share rides on rockets launched by SpaceX, Rocket Lab and other launch providers. Meanwhile, RBC Signals makes use of company-owned as well as partner-owned antennas to provide communication and data processing services on ...