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Norway’s Orbital Spaceport Launches, Transporter 9 Rideshare Approaches, Skyroot Raises $27.5M

Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter! In this issue, we delve into the exciting developments in the space industry, from the grand opening of Norway’s cutting-edge orbital Andoya Spaceport to the impending launch of Transporter 9’s thrilling rideshare mission. Plus, discover how Skyroot’s recent funding success is propelling innovation to new heights. Join us as we explore the latest updates in the niche of commercial space.

Precious Weekly: October 30 — November 5, 2023

Norway's Orbital Spaceport Launches, Transporter 9 Rideshare Approaches, Skyroot Raises $27.5M

Image: Andoya Spaceport’s opening ceremony

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Launch Updates

All eyes are on 🇺🇸 SpaceX’s Transporter 9 mission, set to launch around 100 payloads to LEO on November 11. Among others, 🇫🇷 Exotrail will debut its Spacevan, while Planet will launch its new Pelican-1 satellite alongside its 36-satellite SuperDove Flock 4q. 🇺🇸 TrustPoint will fly its ‘Time We’ll Tell’ PNT payload on top of the Impulse Space’s OTV. Check out the list of payloads on NASAspaceflight’s forum.

🇺🇸 Rocket Lab reschedules the 🚀 ‘Venus Life Finder’ mission, a privately funded probe, to late 2024, after a previous date in 2023. [SpaceNews]

🇺🇸 Redwire is launching PIL-BOX, an in-space pharmaceutical manufacturing platform to grow small-batch crystals of protein-based pharmaceuticals and other key pharmaceutically relevant molecules for research, on 🇺🇸 SpaceX’s 29th cargo resupply mission to the ISS on November 9. In collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), they’ll conduct experiments to develop treatments for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and pain. [Redwire]

🇺🇸 Virgin Galactic completes its Galactic 05 mission with suborbital experiments onboard. [Virgin Galactic]



  • FAA completes safety review for 🚀 the next Starship launch, but 🇺🇸 SpaceX still waits for the environmental review from the  𓆝 𓆟 𓆞 𓇼 ⋆。˚ 𓆝 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service⋆。˚ 𓇼 * ‧˙· 𓆝.° 。˚𓆛˚。 °. [SpaceNews]
  • China’s commercial launch company 🇨🇳 iSpace has launched and safely landed its Hyperbola-2Y hopper on its path to developing a reusable launch vehicle. [SpaceNews]
  • 🇺🇸🚀 Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser is complete and will undergo NASA testing in the coming weeks. [Sierra Space]
  • 🇺🇸 Blue Origin unveils its latest moon lander design, showcasing the Blue Moon Mark 1 (MK1) cargo lander. [Blue Origin]
  • 🇺🇸 Momentus completes vibration testing of its Vigoride-7 orbital service vehicle. The spacecraft is scheduled to fly on 🚀 SpaceX’s Transporter-10. [Momentus] List of customers.
  • 🇺🇸 True Anomaly completed assembly, functional testing, and solar array deployments of its first Jackal autonomous orbital vehicle. [True Anomaly]
  • 🇪🇺 ArianeGroup has revealed a 1/6th prototype of its Susie spacecraft. The full-scale Susie will have a payload capacity of seven tonnes. [EuropeanSpaceflight]



🇸🇦 The Saudi Communications, Space & Technology Commission (CST) releases the “KSA Space Market Investment Opportunities Report,” with valuable content beginning on page 36, covering the vision, goals, stakeholders of the Saudi space program, case studies, and more. [KSA Space Market Opportunity Report]

🇦🇺 Australia and the 🇺🇸 US have signed an agreement to allow American rocket launches from Australian spaceports. [SpaceNews]

🇳🇴 Andoya Spaceport, the future orbital launch site of 🇩🇪 Isar Aerospace in Norway, is officially opened. [Andoya Space]

SpaceX’s  🇺🇸Starlink has achieved a breakeven cash flow. [Elon]


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Funding, Grants, and Contracts 

🇺🇸 United Launch Alliance (ULA) secured 11 missions valued at $1.3B, while 🇺🇸 SpaceX was assigned 10 missions valued at $1.23B through the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 program. These launches are planned over the next two to three years. [CNBC]

The Hyderabad-based 🇮🇳 Skyroot Aerospace raised $27.5M in a pre-Series C funding round led by Temasek. Skyroot will launch its second commercial rocket, the Vikram-I, with a payload capacity of upto 300 kg into LEO, in 2024. [Reuters]

🇫🇮 Kuva Space secures $17.8M in Series A funding from investors including Voima Ventures, Nordic Foodtech VC, Earth VC, Springvest, and Business Finland. They plan to deploy a constellation of 100 microsatellites for Earth material composition observation. With three satellites already in space, Kuva Space will add two more next year, including the first, Hyperfield-1, scheduled for launch in June 2024. [Kuva Space]

🇪🇸 Arkadia Space, a green orbital propulsion company, closed $2.97M seed funding. Draper B1 leads the round with the backing of Expansion Ventures. With the funding, the company will expand its facilities and workforce in Spain, and accelerate the development of a hypergolic bipropellant spacecraft thruster. Arkadia is planning a demonstration flight in late 2024. [Arkadia Space]

🇺🇸 Sidus Space, a space and sata-as-a-service company, renowned for the development of the LizzieSat constellation, secured a 5-year, $10 million IDIQ contract to support an undisclosed US commercial company with their lunar transportation mission. [Sidus Space]

Gary Lai, Blue Origin’s chief architect, unveiled Interlune, a moon-centric startup he co-founded and serves as CTO. 🇺🇸 Interlune aims to harvest lunar resources for Earth’s use. The startup has been in stealth mode for three years, raised $1.85M in seed funding in 2022, and recently secured a $246K grant from the National Science Foundation. [GeekWire]

Chinese commercial launch company 🇨🇳 Space Pioneer has announced a new $13.7M round of funding for the development of the Tianlong-3 rocket comparable to the SpaceX Falcon 9, capable of lifting 17 tons to LEO. The smaller Tianlong-2 had a successful inaugural flight in April. [SpaceNews]

🇺🇸 Astra defaults on a debt agreement and expresses uncertainty about raising necessary funds (read more on CNBC). However, it secures interim financing from two investors, providing a brief window until the end of next week to seek additional funding. [Astra]


Discover our smallsat updates from last week – read now!


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