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Launcher’s Orbiter SN1 failure, RIP SpaceRyde, and more smallsat updates

Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News:

February 13–19, 2023


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

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Launch Updates

🇺🇸Launcher’s Orbiter SN1 OTV took off on January 3 aboard the Transporter 6 and we’ve since learned the mission has failed, due to a loss of power and control. Here’s a list of payloads stuck: 

  • Unicorn-2G/2H (2x 3P, 🇬🇧Alba Orbital) 
  • MDQSAT-1A/-1B “Dibu Martinez” & “Juana Uzurduy” (2x .5U, 🇦🇷Innova Space, Argentina, IoT)
  • ? (🇮🇹NPC Spacemind, just deployer or payload too?)
  • PROVES-Yearling (1U, 🇺🇸Bronco Space/Cal Poly Pomona) 
  • Sapling-1 (1U, 🇺🇸Stanford Student Space Initiative) 
  • 🇺🇸Beyond Burials (hosted payload)
  • 🇺🇸TRL11 (hosted payload) 
  • Logitech MEVO (hosted payload) 




🇰🇪 The University of Nairobi, the 🇺🇸University of Arizona, and 🇬🇧Space Trust given the chance to launch a student cubesat under the “Accessing Space with Vega C” program by 🇦🇹UNOOSA and 🇮🇹Avio. The satellite, NaSPUoN-0GPM2030, which will demonstrate capabilities like an inflatable antenna, will fly onboard the Vega C rocket for an undecided period. This initiative is aimed at boosting 🇰🇪Kenya’s space sector. [SpaceRef]


🇨🇦SpaceRyde has filed for bankruptcy only months after noise complaints ended its rocket engine tests, and has named 🇬🇧Deloitte to handle its affairs. [PayloadSpace]


🇰🇪SayariLabs’ first nanosatellite hardware, SPP board, makes it to space aboard 🇺🇸Antaris’ JANUS-1 satellite launched on the SSLV-D2 rocket on Feb 10. [LinkedIn]


🇮🇳Einrodge started the world’s first ‘space market intelligence’ platform, Singularity, which can track space supply chains, organize commercial events, and provide insight into the industry. [LinkedIn]


🇺🇸NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center used AI to design specialized, one-off structures adopted by 🇺🇸NASA missions in different stages of design and construction, including astrophysics balloon observatories, planetary instruments, and space weather monitors, etc. [NASA]


🇺🇸Maxar signed a contract with 🇺🇸Umbra for dedicated access to the latter’s SAR constellation, with plans to combine it with Maxar’s high-resolution optical imagery. The new product will be available starting in Q2 2023 and will undergo full integration by 2024. [Maxar]


🇪🇸Celestia Aerospace, with the 🇪🇸City of Sabadell and 🇪🇸Consorci de la Zona Franca, entered into an agreement to base Celestia’s operations in 🇪🇸Spain. The facilities will include their HQ, a nanosatellite production plant, and their launch system’s development area dubbed Space Arrow. This deal was made despite the company having secured a seed round over a year ago, and having a limited online personnel presence. [EuropeanSpaceflight]



🇺🇸Astranis lands a $4.5M contract with 🇺🇸Space Force to integrate its Protected Tactical Waveform on one of the former’s communications payloads. Astranis will be launching its first satellite, Arcturus, aboard Falcon Heavy in April. [SpaceNews]


The 🇬🇧UK Space Agency plans to fund 18 projects with a total of £6.5M across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


🇨🇳Space Pioneer has secured a current total of $438M in funding, and is preparing for the launch of its Tianlong-2 launcher from 🇨🇳Jiuquan spaceport in March. [SpaceNews]


🇪🇺 The European Union to approve the $6.4B funding plan for the multi-orbit connectivity constellation IRIS², clearing the way for manufacturers to submit bids to build, launch, and deploy the multi-orbit network by 2027. [SpaceNews]


🇺🇸Sidus Space awarded an agreement worth $2.5M by 🇳🇱The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to deploy and test TNO’s laser communication terminal, HemiCAT, aboard a Sidus’ LizzieSat satellite. [SmallsatNews]



🇨🇳Chinese commercial launches might witness a doubling in number from 2022, with increasing launch capacity and more firms planning their orbital launches for 2023. [SpaceNews]


Past Flights

🇯🇵Japan’s H3 rocket launch, carrying the ALOS-3 Earth observation satellite from 🇯🇵Tanegashima Space Center, aborted due to ignition failure of the solid boosters. A new launch date is yet to be announced. [Space.com]


🇺🇸Virgin Orbit’s “Start Me Up” post-flight analysis reveals the cause of the January 9 mission failure to be a dislodged fuel filter, starting from the second-stage burn. [SatelliteEvolution


Check out Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News: February 6–12, 2023


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