October 17, 2016 – Vector Space Systems, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, today finalized an agreement with York Space Systems, a Denver aerospace company specializing in small and medium class spacecraft, to conduct six satellite launches from 2019 through 2022 with the option for 14 additional launches. The first launch through the agreement will also be the inaugural launch of the Vector-H vehicle, which is capable of launching 100 kg into orbit, and will provide an integrated spacecraft to customers through a standardized platform.
York Space Systems will use the launches with Vector Space Systems to place their standardized S-Class satellite platform into orbit for commercial and government customers. York Space Systems’ satellites will also employ the unique Electric Upper Stage which uses Vector Space Systems’ propriety electric propulsion technology as the final insertion stage of the Vector-H to place the satellites into orbital altitudes up to 1000 km with zero loss of launch throw mass capability.
“Since our launch earlier this year, Vector has made it a priority to engage with partners who share our mission of making space more accessible to a new generation of innovators, and York Space Systems is a shining example of this type of partner,” said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector Space Systems. “By leveraging Vector’s low cost launch vehicle family, York Space Systems will now be able to offer more frequent low cost space access opportunities for new missions and data gathering missions, furthering our mission to eliminate the barriers for startups and entrepreneurs.”
York Space Systems currently focuses on small and medium spacecraft supporting a wide range of missions, including visible Earth Observation (EO), Infrared EO, Multispectral EO, Synthetic Aperture Radar EO, asset tracking, weather, communications, signals intelligence, and robotic servicing. The S-Class platform leverages a proprietary design to reduce the cost of manufacture by an order of magnitude, and will see first flight qualification Q3 2017. The platform design can utilize existing ride-share opportunities, and is simultaneously being designed for compatibility with dedicated small launch vehicles, such as the Vector-H. With an inventoried approach, York offers next day delivery supporting the rapid mission program timelines enabled by Vector.
“In this day and age, complementary capabilities and expertise for fielding space-based products and solutions for customers is hard to find,” said Dirk Wallinger, CEO of York Space Systems. “Vector is rapidly pioneering low cost rapid launch capabilities, and together we can bring the reality of space exploration to a broader array of commercial and government customers through the engineered compatibility of the S-class satellite platform and the Vector-H. We want to provide the next great ideas, with a turn-key space solution. Our work with Vector will help us do just that.” He continued, “Ultimately dedicated responsive launch is a game-changer, it allows us to completely rethink our architectural approaches to space, and opens the skies to the Space data frontier. We are excited to be a part of that, and happy to be partnered with Vector towards that goal.”