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Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News: May 23 – 29


Launching a small satellite? Don’t know where to start? Looking for last-minute deals? Precious Payload has you covered. Our weekly newsletter gathers the latest news on smallsat developments and launcher updates.



Last-Minute Space Deals!

Unfortunately, booking is already closed for the Transporter 6 mission in October. However, our launch partners still have HOT launch slots on the Transporter 7 (January 2023) and Transporter 8 (April 2023) smallsat rideshare missions. These slots will sell out fast, so check your schedule and contact our sales at info@preciouspayload.com. 


What are you waiting for? Get your reservations in before the deadline.


Are you still developing your payload? Book your slot on Transporter 11 mission in Q2 2024 ONLINE with our new launch partner Turion Space


Launch Updates

🇺🇸SpaceX launched its Transporter 5 smallsat rideshare mission carrying 59 payloads, including orbital transfer vehicles (Vigoride by Momentus, Sherpa-AC1 by Spaceflight, ION SVC-006 by D-Orbit), satellites, and non-deploying hosted payloads. See the complete list of payloads.


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🇺🇸Launcher contracted $1.7M from USSF to develop its small rocket Launcher Light and OTV Orbiter. [Source]


🇬🇧Astroscale(UK) and 🇬🇧OneWeb received $16M funding from ESA to demonstrate the ELSA-m servicer spacecraft by the end of 2024 and with plans to deliver a debris removal service to satellite operators. [Source]


🇬🇧OpenCosmos gets contracted by ESA for $5.6M to develop its space weather monitoring constellation of three satellites, NanoMagSat. [Source]


🇺🇸Astroforge received $13M funding for its first two demonstration flights for its asteroid mining missions on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission next year. [Source]


🇮🇹Apogeo Space gets funding of $5.37M from 🇮🇹Primo Space for the development of its IoT constellation of pico-satellites for the first half launch in early 2023. [Source]


🇺🇸Ultra Safe Nuclear and 🇺🇸Avalanche Energy get contracted by the U.S Defense Innovation Unit to demonstrate nuclear propulsion and power capabilities for small spacecraft in cislunar orbit by 2027. [Source]


The National Reconnaissance Office awarded 10-year contracts to 🇺🇸BlackSky ($3.2B), 🇺🇸Maxar Technologies($1B), and 🇺🇸Planet Labs to provide high-resolution commercial satellite imagery services to the US defence and intelligence community. [Source]



🇫🇷Gama contracts 🇺🇸NanoAvionics for the demonstration of its solar sails on the latter’s Alpha smallsat, which is for launch in the second half of 2022. [Source]


Amazon Web Services picked ten startups to join its second annual space accelerator program beginning June: 

  1. 🇺🇸Albedo
  2. 🇳🇱Blue Sky Analytics
  3. 🇺🇸EOS Data Analytics 
  4. 🇱🇺Mission Space
  5. 🇺🇸Kayhan Space
  6. 🇬🇧Magdrive
  7. 🇺🇸Epsilon3
  8. 🇺🇸ZaiNar Tech
  9. 🇺🇸Terradepth
  10. 🇩🇪The Exploration Company [Source]


🇺🇸Benchmark Space Systems joins hands with 🇬🇧Space Forge to develop reusable chemical propulsion systems for the latter’s demonstration project, ForgeStar-1. [Source]


🇺🇸Varda Space Industries to procure their fourth Photon bus from 🇺🇸Rocket Lab, which will power, relay, thrust, and control the attitude of Varda’s 120 kg manufacturing satellite. [Source]



Check out Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News: May 16 – 22