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ELaNA mission RIP, new EO acquisition, and Ukrainian rocket to launch from Canadian soil

Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat Market Update: February 7 – 13

Here is your smallsat news for the week in one simple newsletter. We’ll keep it short and informative for you. Always.

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Spire Global acquires EO company exactEarth. This deal is an example of a company using resources gained from going public to make a big splash in the earth observation industry.

SpeQtral plans to launch a quantum satellite mission dubbed SpeQtral-1 in 2024. We’re pleased to be able to share this news! We’ll soon give you a heads-up about our work with this fantastic Singapore company and have something to say about the project. Look out for the announcement.

Greg Wyler’s startup E-Space raises $50M to fund the launch of two Beta test satellites for its future mega constellation. There is a lot of controversy around Greg Wyler’s plans. A shiny number of 300,000 satellites raises more questions than the answers on Twitter’s threads.

Launcher Space partners with SpaceX to manifest and launch three Orbiter space tugs, starting with the Transporter-6 mission in October. It is good news indeed. We covered this topic in a video before — the advice for new startups working on the upstream was not to develop another rocket but to start thinking about the last-mile delivery. And Launcher is just another example of a company that began with an orbital launcher but then also developed space tugs. Great decision for them, and an excellent example for dozens of other companies building another orbital vehicle.

Launcher Space is joining Spaceflight for Transporter-6 with the new space tug. All the Transporter launches are available for booking in our launch schedule with 7+ brokers.

Astra fails to launch its first commercial payloads to orbit, losing several spacecraft from NASA’s ELaNa 41 mission. Astra is a public company, and it has had its share of failures. They always develop great technical capability but have a tendency to miss the mark. Four satellites met unfortunate fates: the Bama-1 cubesat, which was developed at the University of Alabama, New Mexico State University’s Ionospheric Neutron Content Analyzer, the QubeSat from UC Berkeley, and R5-S1 from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Maritime Launch Services plans to go public through a merger with Ceres Acquisition Corp. Maritime has just received a large amount of funding and plans to start launching the Ukrainian-made Cyclone 4M rocket from Canada in 2023. It all sounds like a very crazy project that has taken four+ years to reach the finishing line.

Advanced Space partners with the U.S.A.F Research Laboratory to share data collected from a 12U CAPSTONE cubesat in cis-lunar orbit, expected to be launched aboard RocketLab’s Electron by Q2 2022. (Source)

Sateliot raises $11.4M in a Series A investment. The company builds an IoT communication constellation. (Source)

Pixxel selects Dawn Aerospace to provide propulsion systems for its Hyperspectral Imaging constellation. (Source)

Nanyang Technological University leads a group of companies in Singapore to build a 100kg remote-sensing smallsat for the VLEO tech demo. (Source) 

ESA shortlists payloads from Spacemanic; TU Berlin; ESA Education Office, University of Catalunya, and University of Lisbon; and more to be launched aboard Ariane 6 first flight in Q3 2022. (Source)

Launcher Space partners with SpaceX to manifest and launch three Orbiter space tugs, starting with the Transporter-6 mission in October. (Source) 

Rocket Factory Augsburg will launch its RFA One LV from the Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Orbital launch complex in Australia. (Source)

Check out Precious Payload Market Update: January 31, 2022 — February 6, 2022