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Orora Tech raises $15.8M, Agnikul establishes first private launchpad at Satish Dhawan Space Center, and more awesome space news

Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News:

November 28–December 5, 2022


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

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Launch Updates

🇺🇸SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Hakuto-R lander and Rashid rover, is delayed for an unspecified period. [SpaceFlightNow]


🇬🇧OneWeb to launch the next 40 satellites of its LEO constellation onboard 🇺🇸SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket today (December 6). [SpaceNews]


The 🇺🇸SpaceX Transporter 6 rideshare mission is targeted for launch in mid-December. Find the list of launch service providers, OTVs, satellites, and payloads here. [Launch.ctrl]


🇨🇦Canadian CubeSat Project (CCP) will launch payloads from seven 🇨🇦Canadian universities (Yukon College, the Aurora Research Institute, the University of Alberta, McMaster University, Concordia University, Université de Sherbrooke, and York University) in March 2023 aboard a Falcon 9 rideshare. [SpaceQ]


🇱🇺OQ Technology announces the MACSAT mission—a demonstration of advanced 5G IoT services—to be launched on a Vega-C rideshare mission set for March 2023. [SpaceRef]


🇺🇸Momentus gets contracted by 🇦🇺CUAVA to launch its CUAVA-2 smallsat via Vigoride OTV aboard a Falcon 9 rocket in October 2023. [BusinessWire]


🇮🇹Apogeo Space has signed a multiple-launch agreement with 🇮🇹D-Orbit for Italy’s first nanosatellite constellation—enabling global connectivity services for IoT devices—to be launched between 2023 and 2027. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


🇫🇷Arianespace signs a contract with the European Commission for five Vega C launches for 🇫🇷French Guiana’s Copernicus program between 2024 and 2026. [ParabolicArc]



Last week we’ve graduated from the MISK accelerator program in Saudi Arabia. It was a great opportunity to engage with local investors and local space entities, including the Saudi Space Commission (SSC). Read our founder Andrew Maximov’s article, Saudi Arabia is Open for Space Business, for more on how the Gulf’s largest economy is looking to space for its future. 


Consider joining The Saudi Space Techstars Founder Catalyst Program. Kicking off in January 2023, this pre-accelerator  by Techstars and SSC, is a 10-week, non-equity program for ambitious early-stage founders working in space and related fields. They are now taking applications for the 20 slots available in Cohort 1.


Here’s what to expect:

11 Masterclasses by Techstars’ most brilliant speakers 💡

1:1 mentorship from world-class space and startup experts 💬

1:1 venture-building with our Entrepreneur in Residence Jonathan Fentzke 🔧

$16K in equity-free grant funding to develop your startup 🚀

Direct access to Techstars’ worldwide network 🔗

If you or someone in your network might be interested, please apply and/or share this opportunity before December 12.

Curious to learn more?
Visit the website or email ssc-foundercatalyst@techstars.com.



Past flights

Last month, 🇸🇪SSC launched its SubOrbital Express 3 mission from 🇸🇪Esrange Space Center, carrying the following smallsat payloads onboard: [SatelliteEvolution]

  1. Neurobeta by 🇸🇪Uppsala University (to investigate different ways to stimulate the production of insulin by interacting living stem cells and insulin-producing beta cells in space)
  2. Arles by 🇧🇪Belgian University ULB (to investigate how drops of different liquids behave during evaporation)
  3. Chip by 🇩🇪University of Duisburg-Essen (to investigate how electrically charged particles behave in space, in order to learn more about the origin of planets)
  4. Mini-Irene by a research team of CIRA, ALI Consortium, and the 🇮🇹University of Naples (to test the durability of an aero-breaker capsule which could be used for spacecraft atmospheric re-entry)
  5. Fortis by🇨🇭Fortis (to test the behavior of clock mechanics in wristwatches during extreme speed, G-force, weightlessness, and temperature changes)
  6. Musa by 🇨🇷Orbital Space Technologies (to investigate Panama disease caused by a fungus affecting banana plantations) 
  7. ADI-Alpha by 🇦🇺ResearchSat [LinkedIn] (Two experiments: one is biomedical experiment on cell cultures of yeast and Bacillus subtilis, and the other is to test the performance of a microfluidic chip)
  8. Arore-1 by 🇸🇪The Swedish Astronomical Youth Association (to measure cosmic radiation using a self-constructed scintillation counter)
  9. Lab-On-Paper (studying the determination of glucose and tetracycline using paper-based analytical devices)
  10. Newton (to grow fruit trees from parts sent to space on the SubOrbital Express mission; after successful grafting, the trees could grow at science centers in Sweden)



🇺🇸Astra’s chief engineer Benjamin Lyon resigns following leadership changes made within the company to accelerate its rocket development. [CNBC]


🇺🇸Rocket Lab creates a new subsidiary, Rocket Lab National Security, to send U.S. defense and intelligence agency missions and payloads on Electron and Neutron rockets, which will debut in 2024. [SpaceNews]


🇺🇸SpaceX introduces its new business segment, Starshield, which focuses on Earth observation, communications, and hosted payloads for government agencies. [SpaceNews]


🇮🇳Agnikul Cosmos inaugurates a launchpad and mission control center at the 🇮🇳Satish Dhawan Space Center. They aim to launch their Dhanush rocket from the new site. [ParabolicArc]


🇫🇷Onera joined hands with 🇺🇸NanoAvionics to obtain FlyLab-1 and FlyLab-2 nanosat platforms for the former’s FlyLab mission set for launch in 2025. Onera will also be provided with the hardware and software from NanoAvionics to test, certify, and operate the satellites. [SatelliteEvolution]



🇩🇪OroraTech raised $15.8M in funding to launch its second satellite for thermal mapping onboard 🇺🇸SpaceX’s Transporter rideshare in May 2023. [ViaSatellite]


🇺🇸Kayhan Space received $500K from the 🇺🇸Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to enhance its Pathfinder platform developing satellite collision-avoidance capabilities. [SpaceWatchGlobal]



Check out Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News: November 21–27, 2022