Do rocket science. We’ll do the rest.

Precious Payload helps teams ship satellites to space.

ISRO builds a fleet of heavy rockets, Spaceflight releases lunar and GTO rideshare opportunities, Starlink preps to set laser communication in orbit

Precious Payload Market Update: September 13, 2021 — September 19, 2021

Satellite technology is advancing rapidly. It’s important to understand the latest trends in the space industry so you can stay up-to-date with your knowledge on where you can make money. If you want to know more about this market, but don’t have time to sort through all the noise, you should check out this synopsis and sign up for our newsletter.

Firefly Aerospace announces plans to launch its 2nd Alpha Rocket by December 2021, with further 8-24 launches of such rockets yearly going forward. (Refer)

SpaceX has launched 51 Starlink internet satellites with new inter-satellite optical laser links to improve the network’s broadband signals worldwide. (Refer)

Spaceflight Inc. announces lunar and GEO rideshare mission dubbed “GEO Pathfinder”. Sherpa-ES will ride as a secondary payload with Intuitive Machines’ IM-2 South Pole Mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 in Q4 2022. Spaceflight’s client for this rideshare is GeoJump, a company providing GEO smallsat rideshare opportunities, which will carry a payload from Orbit Fab. (Refer)

Precious Payload released a comprehensive launch schedule for commercial and government launches with an option to book a seat on a rideshare mission for a satellite or a payload and calculate the estimated price for a space ride. (Refer)

BAE Systems acquires In-Space Missions. In-Space rideshare satellite capabilities will be incorporated with BAE’s secure satellite communications expanding further into the UK market. (Refer)

Turkey selects SpaceX to launch its first domestically produced communications satellite, Turksat-6A, aboard Falcon 9 by Q1 2023 and TurkSat 5-B, developed by Airbus Defense and Space aboard another Falcon 9 by Q2 2022. (Refer) (Refer)

ABL Space Systems wins an $89.7 million contract to launch the NASA Cryogenic demonstration spacecraft developed by Lockheed Martin aboard its RS1 rocket in 2023. This mission was previously intended by Momentus’s Vigoride transfer vehicle aboard a Terran 1 rocket by Relativity Space that got dropped after a Securities and Exchange Commission filing early this year. (Refer)

The European Space Agency selects Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) to build its upcoming Lunar Pathfinder satellite, which will provide communications services around the far side of the Moon and is to be launched in 2024. (Refer)

Y Combinator kicked off the Demo Day cycle for its Summer 2021 cohort with several space companies: Turion Space, a space trash removal service; Epsilon3, building an “operating system” for spacecraft launches (Refer)HEO Robotics, leveraging unused time on existing satellites that monitor the planet to find other stuff or other satellites in space; TransAstra, developing a space tug; Inversion Space, building a return capsule to drop items from orbit back to the planet in under an hour (Refer)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awards Northrop Grumman with a Phase 2 contract for the development of an advanced, software-defined positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) payload, with options to build units destined for space flight and is expected to support DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office’s goal of achieving national security space capabilities from LEO. (Refer)

ISRO builds a fleet of medium to heavy-lift rockets with a carrying capacity ranging from 4.9 tons to 16.3 tons to launch communication satellites and propel itself as a leading communication satellite launch in the market. It is also upgrading its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV-Mk III), which would be capable of carrying up to 4 tons to the Geo Transfer Orbit (GTO). (Refer)

Ground segment as-a-service (GSaaS) solutions company Leaf Space partners with Australian in-space logistics provider Space Machines Company to support its ground network for Orbital Transfer Vehicle, Optimus-1, expected to be launched in 2022. (Refer)

Peter Thiel invests more than $20 million in Virginia-based HySpecIQ LLC, which will build and launch two satellites with cameras featuring advanced sensors to peer through solid objects by Q2 2023 for the U.S. government. (Refer)

Roscosmos will upgrade the Zenit-M rocket complex at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to launch Soyuz-5 and Soyuz-6 carrier rockets starting Q4 2023. (Refer)

MDA Ltd. will provide a Laser Rangefinder (LRF) altimeters for the JAXA’s Martian Moons eXploration Mission (MMX) exploring Phobos and Deimos and scheduled for 2024. (Refer)

China launches a new direct broadcast satellite (DBS), Zhongxing-9B, aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center (Refer)

CesiumAstro, in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Innovation Unit, will launch Nightingale 1 communication systems aboard two CubeSats as secondary payloads onboard Atlas 5 launch on September 27. The mission aims to reduce the direct latency downlink to tactical ground terminals. (Refer)

Arianespace launched the tenth batch of 34 OneWeb satellites aboard the Soyuz rocket, totaling 322 OneWeb satellites in LEO. (Refer)

South Korea seeks a $553M space budget for 2022 to finalize several projects: the first domestically developed space launch vehicle KSLV-2, another launch vehicle for the Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) to be launched on Falcon 9 in Q3 2022, and a Korean Positioning System (KPS) with a bunch of GEO satellites and other national defense systems. (Refer)

Aurora Propulsion Technologies closes a €1.7M seed round for spacecraft maneuvering and deorbiting technology led by a Lithuanian VC firm Practica Capital, with additional participation from the state-owned private equity company TESI (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd.) and The Flying Object, a fund from Kluz Ventures. (Refer)

Aurora Propulsion Technologies is also gearing to launch AuroraSat-1 CubeSat into LEO to test its six “resistojet” thrusters and Plasma Brakes technologies aboard RocketLab‘s Electron rocket rideshare mission by Q4 2021. It was initially scheduled to fly with Momentus onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission earlier this year. (Refer)

The Hungarian government adopts a space strategy and plans to spend up to € 100 million in the next five years to double its space companies by 2025. (Refer)

Australian Southern Launch partners with Taiwanese-rocket company TiSPACE to launch Hapith I rocket from Australian soil, which halted minutes before liftoff due to one system not getting online. (Refer)


Check out Precious Payload market update: September 5, 2021 — September 12, 2021.