ABL and Virgin Orbit launches fail, SpiderOak and Capella Space raise millions, and Djibouti to build a spaceport
Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News:
January 9–15, 2023
Everything you need to know about recent smallsat headlines around the universe.
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🇺🇸Virgin Orbit’s ‘Start Me Up’ mission was unsuccessful in its launch from 🇬🇧Spaceport Cornwall on January 9, due to upper-stage failure. [VirginOrbit] Payloads on board:
- 🇬🇧IOD-3 AMBER by Satellite Applications Catapult, 🇬🇧Horizon Technologies, and 🇬🇧AAC Clyde Space
- 🇬🇧Prometheus-2 by the Ministry of Defence, Airbus Defence, and Space and In-Space Missions Limited
- CIRCE by 🇬🇧Defense Science and Technology Laboratory and 🇺🇸Naval Research Laboratory
- DOVER by 🇬🇧RHEA Group, 🇪🇺ESA, and 🇬🇧Open Cosmos
- ForgeStar-0 by 🇬🇧Space Forge
- AMAN by the 🇴🇲Sultanate of Oman and 🇵🇱SatRev
- STORK-6 by 🇵🇱SatRev
🇺🇸ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket failed to reach orbit due to an engine anomaly after launching from the 🇺🇸Pacific Spaceport Complex on January 10. [Space.com] Payloads on board were VariSat-1 and VariSat-2, part of a demonstration mission for inter-satellite linking and communication by 🇺🇸VariSat LLC.
🇨🇳China launched its Chang Zheng 2D rocket with a commercial rideshare mission from 🇨🇳Xichang Satellite Launch Center on January 13. On board was Yaogan-37, sent to carry out in-orbit verification tests of new technologies such as space environment monitoring. Also on the rocket were Shiyan-22A and B, two Earth-observation payloads. [NASASpaceflight]
🇸🇪Esrange Space Center, Europe’s first satellite orbital launch complex, officially opened in Kiruna on January 13. [Politico]
🇧🇬Endurosat’s 12U cubesat, propelled by 🇪🇸ienai SPACE, will be tested for collision avoidance using data from 🇵🇹Neuraspace. The launch is scheduled for 2023 aboard 🇩🇪Isar’s Spectrum rocket. [ViaSatellite]
🇺🇸HawkEye 360’s Cluster 6 smallsats are slated for launch aboard an Electron rocket from the 🇺🇸Wallops flight facility on January 23 as part of 🇺🇸Rocket Lab’s ‘Virginia Is For Launch Lovers’ mission. [SmallsatNews]
🇩🇰Space Inventor offers their EDISON In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) Flight Opportunity as a part of the ESA Pioneer Programme. Planned for Q2 2024, the launch into a polar orbit aboard a 6U cubesat comes in at a ROM price of €94,000. [SatSearch]
🇩🇯Djibouti signs an MoU with 🇭🇰HKATG and 🇧🇪Touchroad International Holdings Group for the development of a commercial spaceport worth $1B in the country over the next five years. [SpaceinAfrica]
🇺🇸Marshall Space Flight Center collaborates with 🇺🇸Los Alamos National Laboratory and the 🇺🇸University of Alabama on Cubespark, a six-cubesat lightning-mapping constellation. Launch plans TBA. [SpaceNews]
🇯🇵Axelspace’s AxelGlobe constellation data to be used for 🇨🇦NorthStar’s SSA object-monitoring project. [SpaceNews]
🇺🇸SpiderOak raised $16.4M in a Series C funding round, to be used for in-orbit testing and secure flight heritage for its cyber security solutions. [SpaceWatchGlobal]
🇺🇸Capella Space gets $60M in funding from the 🇺🇸U.S. Innovative Technology Fund, which will help increase its imaging capabilities and accelerate the development of new data products. [SmallsatNews]