Do rocket science. We’ll do the rest.

Precious Payload helps teams ship satellites to space.

Jim Cantrell of Phantom Space is back in town, and more SmallSat news in Precious Payload market update

Precious Payload Market Update: September 27, 2021 — October 3, 2021

We like to watch what’s going on in the small satellite market, and we want to tell you about it. Last week, we were following the progress of various companies, including some of our favorites like Starfish, which announced their new funding round. Acquired-related PSL Ventures have participated in the round. One more exciting news — glad to see that Jim Cantrell of Phantom Space is back in town designing rockets and satellites.

Want to receive the weekly news directly to your email? Sign up for our newsletter.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier from Pexels

Hancom InSpace will launch South Korea’s first private EO satellite Sejong-1, weighing less than 100 kg, to LEO in partnership with Spire Global in the first half of 2022. (Refer)

New Space India Limited (NSIL) wants to launch its first communication satellite, GSAT-24, aboard Ariane-5 by Q1 2022. This satellite will be owned and operated by NSIL and leased to its customer TataSky, to meet their DTH application needs. (Refer)

United Launch Alliance launched the newest EO satellite Landsat-9 to SSO on behalf of NASA and the United States Geological Survey aboard its Atlas V rocket on September 27. There also were four science and US national security rideshare payloads: (Refer)

  • CesiumAstro’s: Cesium 1 and Cesium 2
  • CuPID (Cusp Plasma Imaging Detector) satellite (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and other universities), and
  • CUTE (Colorado Ultraviolet Transit Experiment), a 6U CubeSat mission by the University of Colorado, Boulder. (Refer)

Space Development Agency revises the previous RFP for 144 satellites to 126 for the Transport Layer Tranche 1 constellation. It will procure the other 18 later. It appeared that launch vehicle constraints are capable of accommodating 21 satellites in one launch. The agency used to plan to launch six stacks of 24 satellites aboard the SpaceX rocket. (Refer)

Tomorrow.io wins a $19.3 million contract from the US Air Force to support its planned constellation of 32 radar-equipped mini-fridge-size weather satellites to increase the capabilities of Department of Defense missions. (Refer)

GomSpace and OHB will implement the Inter Satellite Link system for the ESA HERA mission by June 2022. The ESA’s mission has one mother-spacecraft developed by OHB and two CubeSats. GomSpace provides one of the CubeSats, Juventas (another one, Milani, is provided by Tyvak), and the Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) system, enabling the communication between the spacecraft and the Earth. (Refer)

UK air-launch company Orbit Boy and Italspazio will develop an Air-Launch Space System to deliver microsatellites into orbit, based on the ground infrastructure of the Comiso Air Base in Italy starting 2023. (Refer)

The launch of the Epsilon rocket with JAXA’s RAISE 2 satellite and eight rideshare payloads, planned for September 30, sees a delay due to an issue with a ground station. (Refer)

China launches two back-to-back rockets within 2 hours:

  • The first launch saw a successful return-to-flight of the Kuaizhou-1A solid rocket developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC) carrying the Jilin-1 Gaofen-02D EO satellite. (Refer)
  • The second, Long March 3B/E, carried a Shiyan-10 satellite. Unfortunately, the satellite experienced abnormal operating conditions during the launch, so it failed after its deployment to GTO. The rocket was performing normally during the launch. (Refer)

Hawkeye 360 secures a $10M contract from National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to help it map radiofrequency emissions and tap unclassified RF capabilities that could benefit the agency. HawkEye 360 will launch 21 satellites by 2022 to increase its collection revisits with an additional 60 satellites by 2025. (Refer)

Thermal imaging service provider Aistech Space signs with Orbital Astronautics (OrbAstro) to fly the first payload of its Guardian constellation by hosting their multi-spectral imaging instrument on an ORB-6 satellite platform (6U-class) aboard the upcoming SpaceX rideshare mission scheduled for launch in Q4 2021. (Refer)

Adelaide space startup Myriota signs a $5.48M contract with the Australian Federal Government to expand its nano-satellite communications network for Defence and improve Internet of Things connectivity in the region. (Refer)

Satellite servicing company Starfish Space closes in $7M in funding co-led by NFX and MaC Venture Capital. The grant will accelerate the development of the ‘Otter’ space tug vehicle and come right after winning a $1.7M contract from the US Space Force last month. (Refer)

Arizona-based space transportation and rocket manufacturing startup Phantom Space contracts a $240M deal to design, build and launch a 72-satellite IIoT constellation for wireless network provider Ingenu. Under the agreement, Phantom will develop spacecraft buses for Ingenu’s AFNIO constellation planned to be launched aboard their Daytona launch vehicles starting Q4 2023. (Refer)

Chinese private automaker Geely can make 500 commercial LEO satellites a year at the factory in the eastern Chinese city of Taizhou. It is already building the satellites and plans to launch spacecraft by 2023 to meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity capabilities after receiving approval in February this year. (Refer)


Check out Precious Payload Market Update: September 20, 2021 — September 26, 2021.