Space Commerce

Spaceflight Formally Launches SHERPA and Announces Flight Schedule

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 7, 2012
Filed under , ,
Spaceflight Formally Launches SHERPA and Announces Flight Schedule
SHERPA space tug
Spaceflight Services

Spaceflight Inc. (Spaceflight) unveiled today its SHERPA in-space tug, which is dedicated to hosting and deploying small and secondary payloads.

“SHERPA is the next step in providing space access for small and secondary payloads,” said Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Spaceflight Inc. “SHERPA builds on our Spaceflight Secondary Payload System (SSPS) by incorporating a propulsion and power generation system to allow us to host payloads, as well as place them in an orbit other than the primary payload’s orbit.”

SHERPA is a three-axis stabilized platform with over 400 meters per second of on-orbit maneuvering capability. SHERPA can provide over 100 Watts of power to hosted or secondary payloads and can be upgraded to meet specific customer power, propulsion and pointing requirements.

Spaceflight has been working with its sister company, Andrews Space (Andrews), since 2010 to develop the SSPS and SHERPA family to meet its business requirements. Andrews will fabricate the SSPS and SHERPA at its recently expanded facility in Tukwila, WA.

“We’ve seen strong demand for our SSPS and secondary payload launch services,” continued Andrews. “However, one of the limitations has been that a portion of the secondary payload market requires going to a different altitude than that of the primary payload. SHERPA is designed to address this requirement, as well as expand our offering of services to include hosted payloads.”

Spaceflight’s first demonstration mission of SHERPA will occur in early 2014, with the first commercial mission scheduled for late 2014. Both missions will be carried to sun synchronous orbits on SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. Both missions are planned for launches to sun synchronous orbits on SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.

“We strongly believe in the utility of small satellites and support Spaceflight’s efforts to nurture this emerging market segment,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President of SpaceX.

Information on the SSPS and SHERPA systems, as well as the latest manifest and mission pricing, can be found on Spaceflight’s website at:

About Spaceflight Inc.

Spaceflight Inc. was established in 2009 by Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Andrews Space, to revolutionize secondary payload flight services for fixed and deployable cargo and transport. More information about Spaceflight and specific flight opportunities can be found on the company’s website:

About SpaceX

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. With a diverse manifest of launches to deliver satellites to orbit, SpaceX is the world’s fastest growing space launch company. In 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to put a spacecraft into orbit and return it safely to Earth. With the retirement of the space shuttle, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will soon carry cargo, and one day astronauts, to and from the Space Station for NASA. For more information, visit

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