Press Release

Spaceflight Completes SHERPA Design Review, Announces Hosted Payload Opportunities

By SpaceRef Editor
August 7, 2013
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Spaceflight Inc. (Spaceflight) recently completed a system definition review for its SHERPA™ in-space tug and hosted payload platform. With this milestone, Spaceflight has announced hosted payload opportunities starting in 2015.

Spaceflight and its partner Andrews Space (Andrews) recently completed a System Definition Review to finalize the SHERPA™ family configuration and pave the way for full scale development and first flight in 2015.  With this review Spaceflight is moving forward with detailed design and hardware procurement.

Spaceflight’s SHERPA™ system is a spacecraft which uses a custom ring as its primary structure and includes a propulsion system and other spacecraft subsystems to operate as both a hosted payload platform and an in-space maneuvering stage to reposition small and secondary spacecraft.  SHERPA™ builds on the Spaceflight Secondary Payload System (SSPS).  Andrews completed SSPS Critical Design Review in 2012 in preparation for upcoming missions. 

SHERPA™ is a modular spacecraft and has three propulsion system variants to meet mission requirements.  The smallest variant, SHERPA 400, is capable of transporting up to 1,500 kg of payloads in Low Earth Orbit.  The SHERPA 1000 includes additional propulsion tanks to maneuver larger spacecraft or act as an upper stage.  The SHERPA 2200 uses a bi-propellant propulsion system to transfer small payloads from GTO to GEO as well as support interplanetary missions.

SHERPA™ is also being designed to support hosted payloads, which can be attached to any of its five ports.  SHERPA™ supports three axis and high accuracy pointing, and provides at least 50W of orbit average power and communication services to the payloads.

“With this milestone we are ready to offer commercial hosted payloads,” said Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Spaceflight. “We are targeting a first flight in late 2015 to a Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO), and are currently manifesting additional SSO flight opportunities in 2016 and 2017.”

Organizations interested in SHERPA™, or hosted payload services, should visit Spaceflight’s website at:

About Spaceflight:

Spaceflight Inc. provides routine access to space for deployed and hosted payloads at affordable prices by using standard flight interfaces, frequent flight opportunities and published commercial pricing.  More information about Spaceflight, and specific flight opportunities, can be found on the company’s website:

SpaceRef staff editor.