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Isar partners with Spaceflight, African countries establish a space agency in Egypt, Astrobotic is going to the moon

Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News:

January 23–29, 2023


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

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🇩🇪Isar announced a partnership with 🇺🇸Spaceflight. This and other recent Spaceflight partnerships give the company more chance to reposition themselves after the downfall with 🇺🇸SpaceX.  


🇺🇸Astrobotic’s upcoming mission will be the first under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative by 🇺🇸NASA. Many companies vied for the funding to fly commercial payloads to the Moon, and Astrobotic was the winner.


The African Union has secured a milestone for commercial space development by inaugurating the African Space Agency headquarters in 🇪🇬Cairo. [AfricanNews]


Launch Updates

🇺🇸Rocket Lab successfully launched its ‘Virginia Is For Launch Lovers’ mission on January 24, with three 🇺🇸HawkEye 360 satellites aboard an Electron rocket. [Space.com]


🇺🇸ULA delivered its first Vulcan Centaur rocket to 🇺🇸Cape Canaveral Space Force station. The launch of the ‘Cert-1’ mission—carrying onboard two satellites for 🇺🇸Amazon’s Project Kuiper broadband constellation, and a Peregrine lunar lander by 🇺🇸Astrobotic Technologies—is anticipated in the next few months. [Space.com]


🇩🇪Isar Aerospace and 🇺🇸Spaceflight signed a multi-launch services agreement, providing one dedicated launch from 🇳🇴Andøya aboard its Spectrum rocket in 2026, and an additional yet-to-be-determined dedicated launch in 2025. [SpaceNews]


🇺🇸AstroForge signs a contract with 🇬🇧OrbAstro to deploy an asteroid survey mission spacecraft in late 2023, with payload from 🇺🇸Intuitive Machines aboard a Falcon 9. [SmallsatNews]


🇳🇱AAC Hyperion was selected by the European Defence Fund to develop an SSA satellite to be named ‘Naucrates.’ Expected to launch in 2026 by an Ariane 6, it will be the first European GEO satellite for SSA. [SatNews]


🇬🇧In-Space Missions partners with 🇸🇬SSTL, targeting the launch of the ‘Faraday Dragon’ rideshare mission in 2025. The project will fly payloads for government, commercial, financial, research, and educational organizations using In-Space’s Faraday satellite platform. [SatelliteEvolution]


🇺🇸Infleqtion and 🇺🇸World View partner to employ the former’s quantum technology with World View’s patented stratospheric balloon systems for stratospheric testing. [PRNewsWire]

🇮🇳ISRO plans to launch its SSLV with a 500kg payload capacity to LEO, with a launch window of February 10–15, 2023. [Economic Times India]



🇪🇺ESA selects 🇩🇪DCUBED to lead the consortium for its MARAS project—funded by ESA ARTES 4.0—to design, manufacture, and test the multi-panel Ka-band reflect-array antenna for a 12U cubesat in the constellation. Other companies contracted include 🇩🇪Celestial Space Technologies (for telecommunications), 🇩🇪German Orbital Systems GmbH (for expertise on satellite missions), and 🇩🇪Blackwave GmbH (for structures). [SmallsatNews]


🇺🇸SkyFi uses the $10M it has raised so far to build its new app to task satellites and buy archival images. The technology enables the retrieval of electro-optical and multispectral imagery from any of the company’s 16 data partners. [PayloadSpace]



The 🇬🇧UK Space Agency will invest $62M in the nation’s satellite communications industry. [ViaSatellite]


🇨🇭Swissto12 receives about $32.5M in funding from ESA for its HummingSat Partnership Project. The first satellite of the production line, IS-45, will be manufactured for 🇱🇺Intelsat and is slated for launch by 2025. [ViaSatellite]


🇺🇸Vaya Space raises $12M to fund the launch of its Dauntless rocket in early 2024. [OrlandoInno]


🇺🇸Quindar secures $2.5M in seed money to make three new engineering hires for its satellite web app that designs, tests, and operates their constellations. [PayloadSpace]


🇺🇸Atomos Space closed a $16.2M Series A investment, which will enable the company to complete its demonstration mission to show off the docking and towing capabilities of its OTV.


🇬🇧Charter Space, one of six space companies that participated in the Fall 2022 Techstars Aerospace and Defense Accelerator, has raised $1.2M to date. The startup is  now offering program management software for satellite missions to implement more efficient tooling and processes in the industry. [SpaceNews]



Check out Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News: January 16–22, 2023