Do rocket science. We’ll do the rest.

Precious Payload helps teams ship satellites to space.

Orbex secures £40.4M in funding, ESA affirms Sateliot´s 5G IoT satellite technology, and EU backs 49 space projects

Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News: October 17-23, 2022


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

Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe here


Launch Updates

With 🇺🇸SpaceX’s new rideshare offering, the minimum contract price is just $275k. This is a huge blow to the middleman, who is now almost obsolete. Everyone is seriously questioning the viability of the rideshare aggregator model. Read an analysis of this issue from Andrew Maximov, CEO and founder of Precious Payload. [SpaceX: Market maker or market killer?]


🇩🇪DLR launched a suborbital MAPHEUS 12 mission from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden. The sounding rocket with several payloads reached 260 km and data from experiments were successfully recovered after the flight, reports European Spaceflight. One experiment tested the effects of microgravity on marine invertebrates in an effort to reveal insights into the origins of cancer. [European Spaceflight] [DLR LinkedIn]




🇺🇸Sidus Space and 🇺🇸Vaya Space have signed a launch agreement for four launches over multiple years. This will allow Sidus Space to deploy its LizzieSat constellation into LEO. Earlier, Sidus signed an LSA with 🇺🇸SpaceX. [Sidus Press Release]


🇮🇪Ireland has signed an Exchange of Letters with 🇪🇺ESA to facilitate the launch of Ireland’s first satellite, EIRSAT-1, from French Guiana in the beginning of 2023. The satellite will study gamma ray bursts, and test novel surface treatments and an alternative attitude control algorithm. [Ireland Government]


🇺🇸Astra has received orders for more than 200 engines, and has delivered two full programs of Astra Spacecraft Engines to date. [Astra Press Release]


🇩🇪Rivada Space Networks, launching a LEO constellation of 600 satellites, partnered with 🇸🇬SpeQtral to enable secure, global connectivity for governments and enterprises. [SmallsatNews]


🇪🇺ESA affirms 🇪🇸Sateliot´s 5G IoT satellite technology. This approval has also been received by Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, Sony, Nokia, Ericsson, Eutelsat, and Siemens. [SmallsatNews]


🇮🇹D-Orbit, in collaboration with 🇪🇸Elecnor Deimos, has secured a contract for the launch and deployment of ALISIO-1, a 6U cubesat procured by 🇪🇸the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Q3 2023. [SmallsatNews]


🇮🇹D-Orbit will launch 🇬🇧ODIN Space’s in-orbit tech demo in Q2 2023. [D-Orbit’s Press Release]



Newspace startups saw a sharp decline in investment in the third quarter of 2020, according to a new report from Space Capital. Overall, $3.4 billion was invested into space startups in Q3 2020, a 47% decline from the previous quarter. This is one of the industry’s lowest-funded quarters in terms of private investment. [Space Investment Quarterly]


🇬🇧Orbex has secured £40.4 million in Series C funding, led by the new investor Scottish National Investment Bank. This latest round of funding will allow Orbex to scale up its resources as it prepares for its first vertical launch from 🇬🇧UK soil. [Orbex Press Release]


🇪🇺The European Commission has announced €200M in funding for 49 space projects including the following:


  • ASCEND will receive a grant of €2M to conduct the first in-orbit demonstration of a data center powered by solar energy, in order to reduce the exponential impact of digital technology on energy consumption and on climate warming.
  • CARIOQA, a project by 🇬🇷Cretan Matter Waves Group, will receive €17M to prepare for the deployment of quantum gravimeters/accelerometers in space within the decade, through a Quantum Pathfinder Mission.
  • DUSTER will be backed with €1M to develop an instrument to study dust particles in situ for planetary and small-body exploration missions.
  • The ENLIGHTEN project by 🇫🇷ArianeGroup will be funded with €17.6M to develop engines fueled by liquid hydrogen, using the latest advances in additive manufacturing. [European Commission]


Check out Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News: October 10-17, 2022