Mitsui acquires U.S.-based satellite rideshare service provider Spaceflight

Feb. 12, 2020

Mitsui & Co. Ltd. ("Mitsui", Head office: Tokyo, President: Tatsuo Yasunaga), in partnership with Yamasa Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Okayama, President Shinichi Sano), has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire satellite rideshare service provider Spaceflight, Inc. ("Spaceflight", Head office: Seattle, USA) from its parent company, Spaceflight Industries, Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020, subject to receipt of regulatory clearances. Following the closing of the acquisition, Mitsui will own a 50% stake in Spaceflight.

It is estimated that the space industry will grow from approximately ¥37 trillion in 2016 to ¥100 trillion in 2040 due to an increase in demand for satellite data and a decrease in the costs associated with space. In addition to specialized space industry firms, new emerging companies are expected to join the industry, bringing new technologies and ideas in areas such as Earth observation, communications, positioning and entertainment. Along with these developments, demand for space access is also expected to grow.

As the leading satellite rideshare service provider, Spaceflight offers the most diverse portfolio of launch options by working with launch vehicle operators around the world, as well as in-depth technical and integration knowledge, and comprehensive mission management services. Having launched 271 satellites into space via 29 rocket launches, Spaceflight is now number one in the rideshare market, providing a first-class launch experience for organizations wanting to get their spacecraft on orbit. Positioned as one of the growth drivers of the space market, Spaceflight has built a strong customer network with both commercial and government organizations around the world. Going forward Spaceflight will utilize Mitsui's network to develop and expand new services to better meet customer needs, while further collaborating with Japanese satellite development companies, launch operators and other stakeholders in the space industry.

Mitsui has positioned the space business as one of its new growth areas and is working to create new business opportunities with increasing demand for space-related services. Through Spaceflight, Mitsui aims to further expand its business by offering greater access for customers considering utilizing services related to space.

Spaceflight Company Outline

Head Office Location Seattle, Washington, USA
Established 1999
President Curt Blake
Business Activities Launch service for satellite operators

The moment a satellite using the Spaceflight service detaches from a rocket in spaceThe moment a satellite using the Spaceflight service detaches from a rocket in space
The launch of a rocket carrying satellites loaded by Spaceflight (Credit: SpaceX)The launch of a rocket carrying satellites loaded by Spaceflight (Credit: SpaceX)