Adam Keith, Euroconsult: over the next five years expect to see number of smallsats launched growing by 19% a year, slowing to 9% a year in mid-2020s. #CDSmallSat18— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) February 13, 2018
Keith: in 2007-2016 smallsats dominated by tech demos and Earth observations. But in 2017-2026 expect half of smallsats will be for communications. #CDSmallSat18— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) February 13, 2018
...However, in a talk Feb. 15 at the Canadian SmallSat Symposium here, Jim Cantrell, co-founder and chief executive of Vector, disclosed that the inaugural Vector-R orbital launch would take place from “Kodiak,” a reference to the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, formerly known as the Kodiak Launch Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island.
“We’re working on getting a flight ready for quarter three. Officially we’re saying July,” he said. That date, he said, was pending receiving a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration, a process he said has been ongoing for two years. “It’s all success-oriented schedules, so things could slip. But we’re not talking about 2019: we’re really going to launch this year to orbit.”
That launch will carry payloads for undisclosed customers. “Our first launch is from Kodiak,” he said. “It will have a small payload and we’ll have a test payload on it as well.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, although Vector offers the Vector-R rocket, capable of placing 65 kilograms into orbit, for $1.5 million. Jordà-Siquier said in an interview at the conference that the launch reservations announced in the statement will be converted at later dates into full-fledged launch contracts for missions between 2019 and 2023.