Maritime Launch Services to Launch Spaceflight Inc. Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicles

One Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicle design used to launch Smallsats to custom orbital destinations. Credit: Spaceflight Inc.

Maritime Launch Services (MLS) will launch up to five Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTVs) from Seattle area based Spaceflight Inc. aboard the Ukrainian built Cyclone-4M from Spaceport Nova Scotia as early as 2025.

In a press release Spaceflight Inc. stated that the Sherpa OTVs, used for rideshare customers, will be able to accommodate “CubeSats, smallsats, and large form-factor customer vehicles” on the MLS Cyclone-4M. Spaceflight Inc. has five Sherpa models that accommodate a variety of payloads. The said that “in 2022, Spaceflight successfully launched both its experimental OTVs – Sherpa-AC for hosted payloads, and Sherpa-LTC, which features chemical propulsion. The company is also underway preparing for the launch of the next variation in its Sherpa OTV program – Sherpa-ES, a higher energy variant with a bipropellant, high delta-V OTV that enables SmallSat delivery anywhere in cislunar space.”

Spaceflight Inc. noted that it had “successfully delivered more than 550 spacecraft across 55 launches, including both rideshare and dedicated launches, on a wide variety of launch vehicles. This includes launching five Sherpa OTVs which carried more than 50 payloads to space.”

“We’re eager to expand our portfolio of launch vehicle partners to carry our Sherpa OTVs to space. Maritime Launch represents an exciting new option as the first vehicle partner to launch from a commercial spaceport in North America,” said Curt Blake, CEO and president of Spaceflight Inc. “Not only does the Cyclone-4M deliver a wide variety of desirable inclinations for our customers, but the pricing is very attractive. The agreements to transport our Sherpa OTVs are foundational in our continuing efforts to expand our OTV capabilities from last-mile delivery to in-orbit servicing.”

Stephen Matier, president and CEO of MLS added that “we are thrilled to have Spaceflight aboard our Cyclone-4M launches starting in 2025. Spaceflight is a global leader with unmatched experience in mission management and payload integration. Our partnership will increase our launch offerings and provide our clients with innovative, last-mile delivery of their payload to orbit.”

MLS has signed several agreements in the past four months including with launch company Skyrora and Precious Payload to along with this new one with Spaceflight Inc. MLS is also planning for a suborbital test launch sometime this year by Canadian launch company Reaction Dynamics.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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