Press Release

Spaceflight Announces SHERPA Launch Service Agreement with NovaWurks to Deploy DARPA Phoenix eXCITe Spacecraft

By SpaceRef Editor
December 9, 2014
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Spaceflight Inc., the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, today announced it has signed NovaWurks, Inc., to a launch services agreement for the eXCITe spacecraft, which NovaWurks is developing as part of the Phoenix program for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The eXCITe spacecraft would ride to low Earth orbit on Spaceflight’s SHERPA in-space transportation platform, which is scheduled for launch along with roughly 1,200 kilograms of other small satellite rideshare customers in Q3 2015. 

This mission is designed to be a key enabler in confirming the feasibility of satlets, a new low-cost, modular satellite architecture that DARPA is developing. Satlets are small independent modules (roughly 15 pounds/7 kg) that incorporate essential satellite functionality (power supplies, movement controls, sensors, etc.). Satlets can physically aggregate (attach together) in different combinations and scales and would provide capabilities to accomplish a range of diverse space missions with payloads of any type, size or shape. eXCITe uses NovaWurks’ Hyper-Integrated Satlet, or HISat. 

Curt Blake, President of Spaceflight, commented, “DARPA’s Phoenix program is a near perfect fit with SHERPA’s capabilities, which will open up additional access to space on commercial launch vehicles, as well as acting as an enabler for future missions to unique orbits.” Blake added, “This is an exciting time for new business models and concepts in the satellite industry, and we are thrilled to be working with a cutting-edge technology trailblazer like NovaWurks.”

NovaWurks’ Chief Technologist, Talbot Jaeger further explained, “eXCITe is a prime example of the flexibility of the HISat™ platform to be configured as a Conformal Spacecraft™. Proving this capability within the DARPA Phoenix program is a first step in realizing a revolutionary new way to construct more affordable satellites. We are pleased to partner with a like-minded organization such as Spaceflight for this mission.” 

Founded in 2011, Spaceflight has launched 76 satellites to date, and has more than 105 spacecraft under contract for launches scheduled between 2014 and 2017. For more information about Spaceflight’s launch services, visit  

About Spaceflight Inc. 

Spaceflight, “The Space Logistics Company,” provides frequent, cost-effective and routine access to space for deployed and hosted payloads. Spaceflight specializes in the launch of CubeSats, NanoSats and MicroSats. Through its global network of launch vehicle providers, Spaceflight can deploy payloads to low Earth orbit, the Moon and beyond. For more information, please visit on the web at and follow @spaceflightinc on Twitter.

About NovaWurks, Inc.

NovaWurks™ Inc. is a provider of high technology space products and services. With headquarters in Los Alamitos, Calif., the company’s team of scientists, engineers and designers invent, design and create a broad range of applications for space. NovaWurks’ flagship technology platform is the Hyper-Integrated Satlet or HISat™, the building block of cellular architecture, the core element in defining and building space structures. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Phil Brzytwa

Spaceflight Inc.



Danielle Zarrella, Communiqué PR

(206) 282-4923 x124 


Media Contact

James Greer

NovaWurks, Inc.

(562) 340-6270 x 700


Vivian Chan-Slater, Echo Media Group

(714) 573-0899


SpaceRef staff editor.