It’s only February, and this year is already proving to be an exciting one!
We’re happy to announce that our parent company, Spaceflight Industries has signed a definitive agreement to sell Spaceflight’s rideshare launch business to Mitsui & Co., Ltd (via a partnership with Yamasa Co., Ltd.).
You can read the specifics in the press release here. We’re confident this is a win for our customers, partners, employees and the larger commercial space industry.
We have been heads down hammering out the details of this transaction, and now that it’s signed, we can shift our focus to ensuring we are setting up the infrastructure to support our growing commercial and government business.
I want to share as much information as we can as the transition moves forward. Here are a few key points that are probably top of mind for many folks:
- The transaction is now subject to CFIUS review. It’s not official yet. While that review process can take several months, we are researching and putting plans in place to ensure we hit the ground running when it’s approved–hopefully in 2Q 2020.
- Once approved, Spaceflight, Inc. will operate as an independently run U.S. company. We are committed to building the necessary business infrastructure to ensure our customers, both commercial and government, are fully supported and poised for growth. While the transaction is under review, we will explore the specific infrastructure recommendations. (We anticipate Spaceflight will be governed by a Board of Directors with a majority of U.S. persons. In addition, we will also be establishing a separate subsidiary with a Board of Directors composed of U.S. persons, to minimize any impact to our U.S. government customers’ launch experience.) We are confident that this deal will not interfere with that in any capacity; in fact we expect it to significantly enhance those relationships.
- Our name, our team, and our contracts all remain the same. We will be hiring a handful of new positions this year to support our business operations and ever-growing launch schedule. More people to better support you!
So why did we do this? The biggest, most obvious benefit is growth. The commercial space industry is evolving rapidly, and we are 100 percent committed to providing the most innovative and cost-effective launch options for our customers. Now we’re able to reinvest directly in our core launch business and have the financial and operational support from a large corporation to further expand our services, our technology capabilities, and the partnerships we bring to market. We can’t wait to share more in the coming months!
We’re excited for this next phase and all the enhancements it will allow us to pursue. We’ve long been the industry leader in rideshare, and along the way, we’ve gained experience in handling a wide array of spacecraft, managing launches on nearly every global launch vehicle, and created unique launch opportunities, including our groundbreaking SSO-A mission that successfully deployed more than 64 unique spacecraft, the first rideshare to GTO with the first commercial lunar lander, and our many SEOPS missions from the International Space Station. We’ve also opened a new state-of-the-art integration facility, and plan to expand integration services and create new efficiencies that will bring down costs for our customers. We’ve enhanced and expanded our engineering services, and now offer everything from full systems engineering to mission analysis and custom hardware solutions, including avionics and harnessing, to spacecraft logistics for shipping spacecraft around the world.
Even with all these advancements, there is still so much more we want to do. Now with Mitsui’s backing, we’ll be able to expand even further, pushing the industry to new levels, and making launch even simpler and more affordable for our customers. Our mission remains steadfast: to make space accessible for more organizations. We truly believe there is no limit to the potential of space.
We know there will be more questions, and we will be as transparent as possible. We’ll update you as news happens. In the meantime, if you have specific questions, please contact your Spaceflight representative and we’ll get back to you. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for the very latest updates.
Thank you for your continued support.
Curt Blake, CEO and President