Under the contract, Exolaunch will provide launch, integration and deployment services to the Swarm satellites. The spacecraft will be launched to SSO on the Falcon 9 smallsat-dedicated rideshare mission targeted for launch in December 2020.
Swarm enables global connectivity with the world’s first low-cost satellite network. The company’s goal is to provide affordable, low-bandwidth, two-way connectivity for IoT devices around the world, particularly in remote areas that lack strong communications infrastructure. Swarm supports IoT devices in agriculture, energy, logistics, maritime, and other sectors. Overall, Swarm is planning to launch a total of 150 satellites into orbit.
The satellites will be integrated on a Falcon 9 ESPA class port and deployed into orbit with the EXOpod, Exolaunch’s proprietary deployment system. Having deployed 80 cubesats of various sizes to date, EXOpod has demonstrated excellent flight heritage and precise deployment into orbit. EXOpod will be mounted on a Falcon 9 ESPA class port with EXOport, a flexible multi-port adapter enabling optimal accommodation of small satellites. After integrating SpaceBEEs into EXOpod at the Swarm’s facilities in Mountain View, the satellite integration with the launch vehicle will take place at SpaceX’s facilities in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Exolaunch procured launch capacity from SpaceX to launch multiple small satellites aboard Falcon 9 as part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program early in 2020. Shortly after, Exolaunch acquired numerous international customers who signed up for this mission leading to the company extending its contract with SpaceX for an additional ESPA class port. To date, the company has successfully arranged launch campaigns for nearly 100 small satellites and is launching 50 more small satellites into orbit this year alone.
“Swarm is excited to start launching with Exolaunch, particularly given their successful deployment history with small satellites,” said Sara Spangelo, CEO of Swarm. “They’ve been great partners to work with so far and we look forward to launching with them.”
“Swarm’s nanosatellites network will significantly reduce costs for the end-user and enable wide adoption of the technology. It makes an excellent case for demonstrating possibilities of space economics,” said Jeanne Medvedeva, Commercial Director at Exolaunch. “Our team, experienced in handling large constellations of satellites, is ready to utilize its launch expertise and deployers to arrange the rides to space for Swarm aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9.”