Do rocket science. We’ll do the rest.

Precious Payload helps teams ship satellites to space.

Space race in the UK, satellites for car manufacturers, and VCs investing in asteroid mining

Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News:

May 30 – June 5



Our weekly newsletter gathers all the news on smallsat developments and launcher updates — from last-minute deals to new launch schedules.



​​Do you know that the cost of managing a space mission has become more than the satellite itself? During the mission design, more than half of the engineering time is spent conducting RFI/RFP cycles and figuring out the best supplier for your mission. Change requests arising from suppliers’ feedback are the main driver for the mission design.


Watch this video to learn how Precious Payload’s Launch.ctrl software makes it easy to conduct RFI/RFPs, saving dozens of engineering hours:





Is it a space race in the UK? It sure looks like it!


As of late May, Orbex has announced plans to launch from UK soil at the end of the year/beginning of next year. Is it why now we see that Lockheed Martin delays its vertical launch from the UK to Q1 2023 due to “maturing the launch vehicle (ABL Space System’s RS1 rocket) and spaceport (SaxaVord in Scotland) and approving licenses”? As a reminder, Virgin Orbit is also waiting for the final approval to make the first horizontal launch before the end of the year. HyImpulse is also planning on making a test flight at SaxaVord spaceport in the fall!


The Chinese company Geely is the first to make its satellite constellation for navigation autonomous vehicles. Who will be next in the US and Europe? Learn why traditional car manufacturing companies are considering the space segment as their next frontier in our blog post


In this article, we will look at what the space segment means for car manufacturers, how Geely’s move has changed the game, and how it might affect other companies going forward.


The private space industry is heating up, and it’s not just about rockets anymore. That’s why we’re so excited about the latest round of investment in deep space exploration by private venture capital companies reported by Jeff Foust in his article, “Startups Raise Millions for Lunar Rovers and Asteroid Mining“. It seems like every day we’re seeing new ways that humanity is pushing into new frontiers. Who knows what’s next?



🇮🇳Bellatrix gets awarded $8M by 🇩🇪BASF Venture Capital GmbH for its eco-friendly propulsion system for satellites. [Source]


🇦🇺Southern Launch gets awarded about $1M by the Australian Space Agency (Moon to Mars Grant) to develop a portable launch rail for launching suborbital rockets from the Koonibba Test Range and the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex. [Source]


🇨🇭Astrocast plans to buy 🇳🇱Hiber for increasing funds to develop and expand its 12-satellite constellation to about 40 by 2023. [Source]



🇫🇷Arianespace announces the first week of July and Q4 of 2022 to be the possible launch windows for the maiden flight of Vega C and Ariane 6 rockets. [Source]


🇮🇹D-Orbit acquired 11 ports for its ION Satellite Carrier, which will be launched by SpaceX rideshare missions in 2023. [Source]


🇺🇸Lockheed Martin delays the first vertical launch from the UK to Q1 2023 due to “maturing the launch vehicle (🇺🇸ABL Space System’s RS1 rocket) and spaceport (SaxaVord in Scotland) and approving licenses”. [Source]


🇺🇸Ursa Major introduced reusable Arroway engines as a replacement for unavailable Russian-made engines, and is slated for initial hot-fire testing in 2023, and delivery in 2025. [Source]


Suborbital demonstration of 🇩🇪HyImpulse’s SR75 suborbital sounding rocket carrying a payload for 🇩🇪Yuri to take place in Q3 of 2022 from Saxa Vord Spaceport. [Source]


USSF’s Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) mission to be supported by 🇺🇸Virgin Orbit’s launch of its rocket, ‘Straight Up’, on 29th June with payloads provided by the DoD Space Test Program. [Source]


🇺🇸Sierra Space aims to partner with 🇺🇸Spirit AeroSystems for the production of the cargo module, Shooting Star, for its Dream Chaser vehicle which is scheduled for launch in Q1 of 2023 with a payload capacity of 4500kg to ISS and other applications. [Source


🇨🇳Geespace launched the first nine GeeSAT-1 satellites aboard a Long March 2C from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center for its autonomous navigation Geely-01 constellation. [Source]


🇵🇱SatRev to build a nanosatellite-manufacturing factory in Poland by 2025, following its agreement signed with the Legnica Special Economic Zone to increase production capabilities. [Source]  


🇯🇵Sony Group announced the formation of a new company, Sony Space Communications Corporation, that will focus on optical and laser connections between microsats in LEO. [Source


🇺🇸Blue Canyon aims to show smallsat capabilities in mid-June through its recently launched ‘agile microsat’ to VLEO. [Source]



Check out Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News: May 23 – 29

  • Trade Vision April 20, 2023

    Really informative article, I had the opportunity to learn a lot, thank you.