Design_Net Engineering LLC and our sister company SpaceAvailable Inc. are working with a large customer base of over 50 commercial government payloads (e.g., Iridium, space Test program and NRO). Our first technology rideshare flew on a Falcon 1 in August of 2008. With the right hardware, the right integration flow, and for the appropriate price point, a business can indeed be developed around this principle. We are bringing primary customers and LV providers into the process early, and developing fixed and affordable cost points, with regular flight opportunities. We currently have a backlog of approximately a dozen funded customers waiting for a flight opportunity and we expect this will grow significantly with DNet's broadly useful adapter. Both Design_Net and SpaceAvailable are investing IR&D funds as commercial money to develop Phase 3 opportunities.
Different NASA centers have different uses for Small Satellite Rideshare. KSC is interested in flying P-POD class missions for education and technology; Ames desires to fly 6u and 12u form factors for biological purposes and is interested in potential Lunar missions; JPL has a number of technologies waiting for a ride. Adapters which enable NASA to make better use of its Launch Vehicle inventory and efficient use of lift mass will move some of the technology experiments from TRL 5 to TRL 8 and greatly assist the agency in buying down risk on its larger missions as well as flying the small ones for a predictable price. The particular adapter selected for development can accommodate all of these uses and take advantage of several launch vehicles. It is also very suitable for DoD/NASA opportunities which may happen more frequently in the future.