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140 million dollars invested in space-as-a-service startup, Astra will fly from Cape Canaveral

Precious Payload Market Update: December 6, 2021 — December 12, 2021

Every week, the smallsat world changes. Technology progresses, space-as-a-services startups arise, and challenges are met. Precious Payload keeps you up to date with the weekly satellite industry roundup.

There are four stories we wanted to highlight: 

  • Last week, Loft Orbit celebrated a milestone, becoming the first-ever hosted payloads to bring in $140M in funding. To give you some perspective: they received more money than the rest of all Space-as-a-Service or hosted payloads startups combined.
  • NanoAvionics recently announced several contracts in both the North and South America region. The announcement that they are building a US-based office in their expansion to the Americas helps expand their customer base.
  • Astra becomes a resident of Cape Canaveral! We can expect that they will be frequently seen there, as they have a movable launch system that is easy to deploy on other launchpads aside from Alaska, Kodiak—it is part of their value proposition. 
  • Galactic Energy becomes the first private Chinese space launch company that reaches orbit. Only two things concern us. The first one—will they be open for commercial opportunities outside of China? Secondly, although the Chinese have joined the family of successful private space companies with their use of an old solid booster instead of a liquid rocket, which is just easier to make because they’re using the regular components from the China Great Wall Corporation, are they missing business opportunities by not using a liquid rocket? 

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Precious Payload releases its latest feature: a customizing option for dates, launch sites, operators, vehicles, and destination orbits in a comprehensive space launch schedule that gathers all the intel about global launch providers and their upcoming launches. Check out enhanced querying capabilities. (Source)

NanoAvionics partners with Chilean startup Lemu to develop the country’s first private satellite expected to be launched aboard Falcon 9 in 2023. (Source)

NanoAvionics will develop and launch Los Alamos National Laboratory‘s 12U cubesat that will host the Mini Astrophysical MeV Background Observatory (MAMBO) mission. (Source)

RocketLab launches BlackSky’s 11th and 12th Gen-2 EO satellites. (Source) 

Rocket Lab plans to launch three dedicated Electron missions for Japanese EO company Synspective starting 2022. (Source)

Astra plans to launch five cubesats for NASA‘s ELaNa 41 program aboard the Rocket 3.3 LV from Cape Canaveral in January 2022. (Source)

Loft Orbital raises $140M led by BlackRock. (Source)

Virgin Orbit will fly Spire‘s ADLER-1, a 3U cubesat, SatRevolution‘s imaging satellite STORK-3, SteamJet‘s SteamSat-2, and several payloads of the Defense Department’s Space Test Program on its fourth LauncherOne flight, scheduled for December 22. (Source)

China launches a group of space environment exploration and technology verification satellites Shijian-06 (05) to SSO aboard the Long March 4B rocket. (Source)

Chinese private firm Galactic Energy launches its second Ceres-1 rocket successfully placing five commercial satellites into SSO. (Source)

Tianjin University-1, an infrared remote sensing satellite developed by Changguang Satellite Technology

Lize-1 and Baoyun, scientific experiment satellites developed by Spacety

Golden Bauhinia-5, a remote sensing satellite developed by Starwiz for HKATG

Golden Bauhinia-1 (03) remote sensing satellite developed by Beijing-based ZeroG Lab for HKATG.

An SSTL led consortium secures $1.3M funding from the UK Space Agency to join a project of removing two spacecraft from LEO by 2025. (Source)

Fleet Space Technologies will develop a new batch of additively manufactured small satellites, Alpha, with plans to launch them to LEO in 2022. (Source)

Tomorrow.io is going public via a SPAC merger deal with Pine Technology expected to close in the first half of 2022. (Source)

ICEYE secures an additional $25M investment from Seraphim Space Investment Trust and plans to expand its unique SAR satellite constellation in 2022. (Source)

Canadian GHGSat will launch three satellites, GHGSat-C3, -C4, and -C5, to monitor greenhouse gas emissions aboard Falcon 9 by Q2 2022, with plans to launch seven more by Q4 2023. (Source)

Uganda will launch its first satellite, PearlAfricaSat-1, as part of the Joint Global Multi-Nation BIRDS Satellite project by August 2022. (Source)

South African EO satellite, SumbandilaSat reaches the end of its life after more than 12 years in orbit. (Source)

Redwire is going to work with Terran Orbital. (Source)

Terran Orbital delivers Echostar Corp‘s Global 3 smallsat into operational orbit. Tyvak, a subsidiary of Terran Orbital, will operate the satellite on behalf of EchoStar. (Source)

AST SpaceMobile pushes back the launch of its IoT technology demonstration satellite, BlueWalker 3 aboard Falcon 9 to Q3 2022, citing AIT delays. (Source)

Startup Cognitive Space, building AI tools to help satellite operators decide where to deploy their constellations to maximize revenue and manage data collection, enters 2022 with $5.5M in funds ready to develop a commercial product. (Source)


Check out Precious Payload Market Update: November 29, 2021 — December 5, 2021.