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Arkisys and RFA join Launch.ctrl marketplace, NASA launches Artemis 1, and UAE is heading to the Moon

Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News: November 14–20, 2022


Everything you need to know about recent smallsat headlines around the universe. 

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Launch Updates

🇺🇸/🇦🇪/🇩🇪Precious Payload announces partnerships with 🇺🇸Arkisys and 🇩🇪Rocket Factory Augsburg-RFA to market payload slots and launches on our online satellite launch marketplace Launch.ctrl. [SpaceNews]


🇦🇺Gilmour Space plans to launch its Eris rocket in April 2023, making it Australia’s first orbital spacecraft. [NewScientist]


🇺🇸SpaceX to launch several intriguing payloads aboard the Falcon9 rideshare mission in late November:

  • 🇯🇵ispace’s Hakuto-R M1 lander (the mission is insured by 🇯🇵Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, which will provide the world’s first lunar insurance policy [ParabolicArc]); 
  • 🇺🇸NASA’s Lunar Flashlight cubesat mission (as secondary payload);
  • Rashid rover for 🇦🇪UAE;
  • and more payloads for 🇯🇵JAXA and other commercial firms in Japan as well as  Canada. [SpaceNews


🇺🇸Virgin Orbit receives license from the 🇬🇧Civil Aviation Authority to send its LauncherOne vehicle from 🇬🇧Spaceport Cornwall. [Space.com]


🇬🇧Skyrora schedules a Skylark L suborbital launch in April 2023, following its previous failure this year. Additionally, its first orbital launch is scheduled with Skyrora XL from the 🇬🇧SaxaVord Spaceport next year. [IndustryUpdate]




Last week

🇺🇸NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket launched their Artemis 1 mission carrying the Orion spacecraft from Kennedy Space Center. The following cubesats were onboard: [Space.com

  1. ArgoMoon by 🇮🇹Argotec [SmallSatNews]
  2. BioSentinel by 🇺🇸NASA
  3. CubeSat for Solar Particles (CuSP) by the 🇺🇸Southwest Research Institute
  4. EQUULEUS by 🇯🇵JAXA and the 🇯🇵University of Tokyo
  5. Lunar IceCube by 🇺🇸Morehead State University
  6. Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper by 🇺🇸Arizona State University
  7. Near-Earth Asteroid Scout by 🇺🇸NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  8. Omotenashi by 🇯🇵JAXA [Nippon]
  9. LunIR by 🇺🇸Lockheed Martin
  10. Team Miles by 🇳🇿Fluid and Reason LLC


🇺🇸ABL Space RS1 rocket aborts 1st-ever launch try during engine ignition. The mission is to launch 🇺🇸VariSat LLC’s tech demo for inter-satellite linking and communication—two 6U cubesats, VariSat-1A and VariSat-1B. [Space.com


🇮🇳Skyroot launched India’s first private rocket, Vikram S, from the 🇮🇳Satish Dhawan Space Centre carrying payloads for 🇮🇳Space Kidz (their educational satellite Fun-Sat), 🇦🇲Bazoomq (an educational satellite) and 🇮🇳N-Space Tech. [Twitter



🇮🇹D-Orbit will launch 🇮🇹NPC Spacemind’s 3U and 6U cubesats, Futura-SM,  and Futura-SM3, in Q4 2022 aboard the ION Carrier. [D-Orbit]


🇫🇷Expleo completes work on two nanosatellite projects due for launch in 2023. ENSO will measure solar radiation and monitor the ionosphere while HydroSat (don’t confuse it with Hydrosat, Inc.!)—a collaboration from Expleo, 🇩🇯 the Republic of Djibouti and 🇫🇷Montpellier University Space Center—will track environmental changes across Djibouti. [SpaceWatchGlobal


🇫🇮ReOrbit gets contracted by 🇪🇺ESA’s InCubed program to demonstrate the docking of two smallsats through its mission, Ukko. [ReOrbit]


🇮🇪Ubotica Technologies and 🇬🇧Open Cosmos to jointly launch an AI cubesat, CogniSat-6, with autonomous capabilities, which will be a part of the latter’s OpenConstellation project. [SatelliteRevolution]


🇨🇦SpaceRyde to launch a total of four commercial flights for 🇳🇱ISILaunch starting 2024 aboard both SpaceRyde’s Ryder rocket and Flying Spider balloon. [SpaceDaily]


Spire Global plans to launch their next-gen 16U satellite bus for Earth observation in 2023 that will carry payloads for customers like 🇨🇦NorthStar Earth & Space and 🇨🇦GHGSat. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


🇺🇸Phantom Space completes hot-fire testing of the engine supplied by 🇺🇸Ursa Major for the Daytona launch vehicle scheduled to launch in Q4 2023 from 🇺🇸Vandenberg Space Force Base, and from 🇺🇸Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. [SatNews]


🇮🇹D-Orbit, 🇫🇷The Exploration Company, 🇩🇪OHB System, 🇮🇹S.A.B. Aerospace, and 🇫🇷Thales Alenia Space France were awarded contracts for the first Proof-of-Concept Demonstrator (PoC1) by 🇪🇺ESA for in-orbit transportation demonstration as early as 2025. [ESA’s announcement]


🇺🇸BryceTech published a report on OTVs for space transportation and other applications. [Spaceflight’s blog]


ESTCube-2, developed by students at the 🇪🇪University of Tartu, will be launched on Vega C at the start of 2023. The main purpose of this educational cubesat will be to test the satellite’s plasma-braking system. [Announcement by University of Tartu]



Check out Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News:  November 7 – 13, 2022