Firefly Buys Spaceflight, China Launches Stackable Satellite, DiCaprio Backs Lidar Constellation [+18 more updates]
Greetings from Precious Weekly, your trusted guide in the smallsat universe! In this week’s edition, we’re covering some major developments: Firefly’s strategic acquisition of Spaceflight, China’s innovative launch of a stackable satellite, and Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio’s venture into the space industry with an investment in a lidar constellation. And there’s more — we’ve got 18 additional updates ready for you. So, let’s get started and explore the latest happenings in the smallsat sector!
Precious Weekly: June 5 — 11, 2023
🇺🇸 Firefly Aerospace acquires smallsat launch broker Spaceflight Inc., including its Sherpa orbital transfer vehicles, to offer end-to-end space transportation services. After finalizing all current Spaceflight missions, services will be available only in sync with Firefly launches. SpaceNews
🇺🇸SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched the Transporter-8 mission to LEO, carrying 72 spacecraft, on June 12. NSF
🇨🇳 CAS Space successfully launched the Longjiang-3, China’s first stackable satellite, aboard a solid-fuel Kuaizhou-1A rocket. China plans a 13,000-satellite mega-constellation, “Guowang,” to rival Starlink. SpaceNews
🇨🇳 China’s Lijian-1 rocket, known as Kinetica-1, successfully launched 26 small satellites — commercial tech demos and remote sensing payloads on June 7, 2023. SmallSat News
🇷🇺42 smallsat projects, including international commercial customers, have arrived at Russia’s Vostochny Cosmodrome for integration. They are set to launch with the Meteor-M № 2-3 satellite aboard the Soyuz-2.1b rocket on June 27, 2023. Roscosmos
- 🇺🇸Sidus Space, planning to launch its first LizzieSat satellite aboard a Transporter mission scheduled later this year, has contracted with SpaceX to launch four additional flights in 2024 and 2025. SmallsatNews
- 🇱🇺LuxSpace’s Triton-X Genesis platform, accommodating up to 90 kg payloads, is set for a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch in October 2023. SatNews
- 🇺🇸Quantum Space, backed by a $15M Series A round, is fast-tracking its Ranger transfer vehicle for GEO and cislunar missions, with the first launch planned for early 2025. The company is to launch its first Scout spacecraft, QS-1, with a space situational awareness payload, in late 2024. SpaceNews
- 🇬🇧The Satellite Applications Catapult and 🇬🇧Open Cosmos will build and launch a demo satellite for the OpenConstellation as early as Q1 2024. The satellite will host a miniaturized EO payload for monitoring Atlantic coastal and maritime areas. SmallSat News
- 🇦🇺Neumann Space signed a contract with Space Inventor to launch a 6U cubesat equipped with Neumann Drive, a unique propulsion system, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 in Q4 2023. SatNews
- 🇺🇸 Climate tech firm Hydrosat acquires Netherlands-based IrriWatch, integrating satellite data and irrigation management to boost crop yields and conserve water amid climate change. Yahoo!
- 🇺🇸 Ursa Major makes rocket engines, and Orbit Fab, which creates in-orbit refueling infrastructure, lays off employees due to tight funding, affecting 80 and 10 staff, respectively. CNBC
- 🇳🇿 New Zealand releases a National Space Policy. SpaceRef
🇺🇸ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket successfully completed a flight readiness test for Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander mission, set for June 2023. SatNews
🇺🇸KSF Space reveals plans for suborbital testing of its reusable Jupiter Rocket, aiming to carry payloads to suborbital altitudes. Engine fire test scheduled for July 2023. SmallSat News
🇺🇸Stoke Space’s reusable rocket engine, powered by liquid methane and liquid oxygen, meets flight requirements. “The heat shield is actively cooled and fully integrated into the engine.” Twitter
Funding and Contracts
- 🇺🇸Nuview, a lidar startup, secures $15M funding, including a $3M seed round and $12M from an ongoing Series A. Leonardo DiCaprio is among the new investors. TechCrunch
- 🇺🇸The Spaceport Company, a mobile sea platform provider, won a $1.5M contract from the Defense Innovation Unit to support responsive launch goals. Payload
- 🇺🇸ExLabs, developing spacecraft for orbital debris clean-up, secures a $1.7M SBIR contract from SpaceWERX. SpaceRef
- 🇪🇺🇸🇪 REXUS/BEXUS program invites university students to submit experiment proposals for rocket and balloon missions. Deadline: October 18, 2023. LinkedIn
- 🚀Showcase your space logistics solutions at IAC 2023 in Baku! Join Precious Payload’s Access to Space workshops at the UAE Space Agency booth. Limited spots. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to participate!
Discover our updates from last week – read now!