Spaceflight Industries, the owner of both Spaceflight Inc. and BlackSky, is selling the Spaceflight Inc. portion of the business to the Japanese industrial megacorporation named Mitsui & Co, and Yamasa. Both of these megacorporations will co-own the company in a 50/50 joint venture after the closing. The deal will see that Spaceflight will resume operating as an independent business, which is based in the United States, having the headquarter in Seattle. They have a similar goal of providing the rideshare launch services for smaller satellite payloads.
In the meantime, Spaceflight Industries will utilize the funds produced from the sale to invest again in the BlackSky business. BlackSky is an Earth observation company that deals in geospatial intelligence and is now operating four satellites in orbit with eight more planned to join the constellation later in this year.
Mitsui & Co. is one of the largest businesses in Japan which operates various sectors, including energy production, infrastructure, food, IT, consumer products, chemicals, mining, and more. The deal indicates that Mitsui & Co. will now become in the rocket launch rideshare business too. Besides, Mitsui has an aerospace arm that includes a space business that provides satellite development and operation services.
This Spaceflight, Inc., since 2010, has been offering its services and has launched a total of 271 satellites on 29 different rocket launches with ten missions set to take place in this year alone. The business of this company is poised to develop as more launch providers, and smaller satellite operators enter the market.