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Precious Payload helps teams ship satellites to space.

RocketLab carries NASA’s mission to the Moon, and Relativity will launch OneWeb aboard Terran R

Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News: June 27 – July 3


We provide a weekly roundup of the small satellite industry’s news, from exciting deals to new payloads.


Launch Updates

🇺🇸Virgin Orbit’s first night-time launch successfully carried seven small payloads aboard its LauncherOne rocket [Source]: 


  1. Adler-1 by 🇺🇸Spire Global
  2. 🇵🇱SatRevolution’s Stork-3 
  3. SteamSat-2 by 🇬🇧SteamJet. Read our case study about another Steamjet project here.
  4. Two cubesats under 🇺🇸NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites program
  5. Two payloads sponsored by the 🇺🇸Department of Defense


A PSLV-C53 carrying three Singaporean satellites (DS-EO and NeuSAR both by 🇰🇷Starec Initiative, and Scoob-1 by Nanyang Technological University) along with six research payloads ( including 🇮🇳Digantara’s ‘ROBI’ and 🇮🇳Dhruva Space’s ‘DSOD 1U’ [Source]) was launched as a part of the second dedicated commercial mission of ISRO’s commercial arm NewSpace India Limited. [Source]




A new era of space exploration began with a successful launch of 🇺🇸NASA’s CAPSTONE mission aboard a private launch vehicle — RocketLab’s Electron booster on 28th June. The mission will enter lunar orbit on the 13th of November. [Source]

Congratulations to Stephen of 🇺🇸Virgin Orbit for the partnership with the 🇧🇷Brazilian Space Agency. The company formed a Brazilian subsidiary, Virgin Orbit Brasil Ltda. (VOBRA), to enable LauncherOne operations from the 🇧🇷Alcântara Launch Center. [Source]

🇺🇸OneWeb signed a multi-year, multi-launch agreement with 🇺🇸Relativity for the launch of OneWeb Gen 2 satellites on Terran R reusable launch vehicle starting 2025 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. [Source] You can track manifested launches of Relativity in Precious Payload’s comprehensive launch schedule for small satellites.

Glad to highlight that our partner 🇺🇸Turion Space will launch its first DROID spacecraft with Exolaunch aboard Falcon 9 rideshare in early 2023 using Exolaunch’s CarboNIX separation system. [Source] You can book a launch with Turion here.



🇨🇳Expace raised $237M funds for R&D, improving its Kuaizhou solid launch vehicle series, and developing its liquid propellant launchers. [Source]

🇮🇹Avio acquired $358M in funding to support a small, two-stage demonstration rocket launch by 2026 with new liquid oxygen and methane engine. [Source]

🇫🇷Venture Orbital Systems (soon to rebrand as ‘Latitude’) received €10M in funding to accelerate the development of its Navier rocket engine for its launch vehicle, Zephyr, which will be launched in 2024. [Source]



🇺🇸Plasmos is developing and building a reusable space tug using 🇺🇸Velo3D’s propulsion system that will cut manufacturing and development costs by 65%. [Source

🇨🇦Kepler plans to use 🇮🇹D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier for its Kepler-20 and Kepler-21 satellites launch in Q1 of 2023. [Source

🇺🇸Agile Space Industries, which delivers additive manufactured chemical thrusters and engines, plans to consolidate its design, manufacturing, and production processes in the new facility in 🇺🇸Colorado. [Source

🇺🇸NanoAvionics released videos and photos from space in 4K resolution taken by the company’s MP42 microsatellite, which was launched in April 2022, flying Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. [Source]

🇺🇸Sierra Space, 🇹🇷Turkish Space Agency, and 🇹🇷ESEN Sistem Entegrasyon signed a five-year contract for potential partnerships in space projects, including the use of the Dream Chaser spacecraft and inflatable modules for the Orbital Reef space station. [Source]



Check out Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News: June 20 – 26