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Precious Payload helps teams ship satellites to space.

Kayhan Space upgrades its Pathfinder 2.0, Innospace launched their suborbital rocket from Brazil, Voyager acquired ZIN Technologies

Precious Weekly: March 13–19, 2023


Launch Updates

🇺🇸Rocket Lab to launch its “Beat Goes On” mission with two Gen-2 🇺🇸BlackSky satellites via 🇺🇸Spaceflight from 🇳🇿New Zealand on March 22. [SatNews] [LaunchSchedule]

🇺🇸Relativity’s Terran 1 launch is to take place on March 23 from 🇺🇸Florida. [RocketLaunch.Live] [LaunchSchedule]



This photo provided by Innospace shows HANBIT-TLV, its suborbital test launch vehicle, erected at the launch pad at the Alcantara Space Center in northern Brazil. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


Past Flights

🇺🇸Rocket Lab launched its “Stronger Together” mission from 🇺🇸NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on March 16, carrying two SAR satellites for 🇺🇸Capella Space onboard an Electron rocket. [Space.com] [LaunchSchedule]


🇰🇷Innospace’s suborbital rocket, Hanbit-TLV, launched successfully from 🇧🇷Brazil, carrying onboard the SISNAV navigation payload for the 🇧🇷Brazilian Department of Aerospace Science and Technology.  [TheKoreaHerald] [LaunchSchedule]



🇯🇵Pale Blue announced the successful testing and operation of its water vapor propulsion system installed on 🇯🇵Sony’s nanosatellite, “EYE”, for its STAR SPHERE Project launched on January 3 by 🇺🇸SpaceX. [SpaceWatchGlobal] [LaunchSchedule]


🇬🇧Open Cosmos to build a new nanosatellite to gather and monitor agriculture data on soil moisture for 🇪🇸Andalucía. The company is planning the launch for this year on a Falcon 9, provided it passes the required readiness tests. [SmallsatNews


🇩🇪Rivada Space selected 🇺🇸Aalyria to use the latter’s “Spacetime” platform for its planned LEO constellation of 600 satellites. Designed to ensure reliable, secure communications by continuously analyzing possible data paths, the project will launch its first satellites in 2025. [SatelliteEvolution]


🇬🇧Virgin Orbit exercises an operational pause—including suspending staff—due to financial constraints. An update on the company’s future plans is expected before the end of March. [Space.com]


🇱🇺OQ Technology ordered three additional satellites (Tiger-4, Tiger-7, and Tiger-8) from 🇱🇹Kongsberg NanoAvionics to build out a narrowband, ‘internet of things’ constellation. Neither company has disclosed the contract’s value or discussed launch plans for the satellites. [SpaceNews]


Our partners 🇺🇸Kayhan Space have upgraded their Pathfinder 2.0 space traffic management platform. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


🇲🇽Apco Networks ordered two GEO smallsats from 🇺🇸Astranis as a part of a batch of satellites Astranis plans to launch on an as-yet undisclosed, dedicated rocket. [SpaceNews]


🇩🇪DCUBED has been contracted by 🇺🇸Atomos Space to develop solar arrays for two of its OTVs, Meson and Gluon, for launch in January 2024. [SpaceWatchGlobal]



🇺🇸Firefly Aerospace gets a $112M 🇺🇸NASA contract for their “Blue Ghost 2” mission, to land payloads on the moon. It will also place the 🇬🇧Surrey Satellite Technology’s Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft in lunar orbit to serve as a communications relay for other spacecraft on or around the moon. The mission is scheduled to launch in 2024 on a two-stage Firefly Alpha vehicle. [SpaceNews]


🇩🇰Quadsat raised €9M to expand by using drones as stand-ins for satellites to test and calibrate antennas on the ground. [SatelliteEvolution]


🇺🇸Varda gets awarded a $60M 🇺🇸Air Force STRATFI contract to use their re-entry vehicle as a hypersonic test-bed and study its capsules’ re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere after microgravity production. [LinkedIn]


🇫🇷Arianespace gets contracted by the 🇮🇹Italian government for an undisclosed amount to deploy their “IRIDE” constellation. Consisting of 36 imaging satellites in total, the constellation will deploy over three Vega C launches starting in late 2025. [SpaceNews] [LaunchSchedule]


The 🇬🇧UK Space Agency to fund 🇬🇧Rolls-Royce with $3.52M for a Micro-Reactor program to deliver a modular lunar nuclear reactor by 2029. [CNBC]


🇺🇸ZIN Technologies acquired by 🇺🇸Voyager Space to help expand its space infrastructure and technology capabilities for the development of its Starlab space station. [PRNewsWire]



🇫🇷ESA’s initiative, Boost!, opens up funding-round opportunities for startups and consortia developing launch and in-orbit transportation services, and is expected to continue through 2025. [EuropeanSpaceflight]


🇦🇺The Australian Space Agency plans to grant $20.69M in funding over four financial years (2022-23 to 2025-26) to allow the country’s organizations to conduct joint projects with the Indian space sector through the ISI India Projects grant program. [AustralianGov]



Check out Precious Weekly: March 6–12, 2023


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