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Precious Payload helps teams ship satellites to space.

SpaceX ups its rideshare prices, Rivada Space books a dozen Falcon 9 launches, and ULA may be sold

Precious Weekly: February 27–March 5, 2023


The world’s first and only no-BS, high signal-to-noise ratio newsletter covering the small satellite market. 

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Launch Updates

🇺🇸SpaceX increases rideshare prices by 18%, from $5.5k per kg to $6.5k per kg. [PayloadSpace][Twitter]




“The Beat Goes On” mission, with two Earth-imaging 🇺🇸BlackSky satellites via 🇺🇸Spaceflight, will be launched from New Zealand’s Launch-1 complex in March. [SmallsatNews


🇺🇸Rocket Lab’s “Stronger Together” mission, with two SAR Capella Space satellites onboard, will be launched from 🇺🇸Wallops Island in March. 🇺🇸Capella has also signed an MLA for four Electron missions—each carrying one Acadia satellite—starting in H2 2023. [SatelliteEvolution]


🇸🇪AAC Clyde Space shipped the first of three ‘Epic View’ satellites for 🇨🇦Wyvern, to be launched aboard the Transporter 7 mission. [SmallsatNews] [LaunchSchedule]


UPD: Failure 🙁 A second chance for an H3 rocket to get to orbit: The launch is scheduled to March 6 from 🇯🇵Tanegashima Space Center with JAXA’s 3-ton Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS-3). [Space.com] [LaunchSchedule]


🇰🇷Innospace’s Hanbit-TLV opens a launch window from March 7 to March 21 for its test flight from 🇧🇷Alcântara Launch Center. Previously scheduled for December 2022, INNOSPACE called off the launch due to a software error. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


🇺🇸Relativity Space’s Terran 1 rocket is set for launch on March 8 from 🇺🇸Florida through its ‘Good Luck, Have Fun’ mission. [LaunchSchedule] Last week, when we asked our readers to vote, most of them answered “GG”, while only one expressed their faith in good with “WP”.



🇺🇸Apple will loan $252M to 🇺🇸Globalstar to help cover upfront costs of its LEO constellation, which is due to launch by the end of 2025. The satellites are to be supplied by 🇨🇦MDA and 🇺🇸Rocket Lab in a contract worth $327M. [SpaceQ] Who’ll be the next big player to directly fund a space company?


🇯🇵Astroscale raises $76M (including $25M from 🇯🇵Mitsubishi Electric) to add docking plates to its ELSA-d satellite for better compatibility with the debris-removal venture’s servicers. [SpaceNews]


🇪🇸Ienai Space gets contracted by 🇫🇷ESA under the General Support Technology Program for two contracts worth €1.2M to further develop its ATHENA propulsion system. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


🇫🇷ArianeGroup invested a total of €10.9M into 🇫🇷MaiaSpace, including the latest installment of €6M, as a means of accelerating the development of the subsidiary. [EuropeanSpaceflight]


🇺🇸New Frontier Aerospace gets a $1.5M boost (on top of the previous $750K contract in August 2021) from 🇺🇸National Security Innovation Capital to complete the development of its 3D-printed Mjölnir hypersonic rocket engine by May 2024. [PRNewsWire


🇺🇸Momentus signed a securities purchase agreement with a certain institutional investor that will result in $10M in gross proceeds to the company through a registered direct offering to the investor. [BusinessWire]


🇺🇸Rocket Lab establishes a new wholly owned subsidiary in 🇦🇺Australia to explore opportunities to support the country’s expansion of its national space capabilities. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


🇰🇷South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT plans to establish a space agency, the Korea Space and Aeronautics Administration (KSAA), before the end of this year. [SpaceRadar]


🇩🇪ConstelIR and 🇩🇪Exolaunch have signed a multi-launch agreement for the former’s HiVE smallsat constellation. Designed to provide information on plant stress from temperature-induced evapotranspiration, the first two satellites of the constellation are to be launched in 2024. [SmallsatNews]


🇩🇪Rivada Space signed a multi-launch contract with 🇺🇸SpaceX to launch its first 300 Terran Orbital-made smallsats to LEO aboard 12 Falcon 9 rockets between April 2025 and June 2026. All in all, the company is planning for a constellation of 600 satellites. [SpaceIntelReport]


Last December’s failure of the 🇫🇷Vega-C VV22 mission carrying two Airbus satellites has been tracked back to a gradual deterioration of the rocket’s nozzle. [SpaceWatchGlobal


🇦🇺Gilmour Space and 🇺🇸Atomos Space signed an MoU to use the Eris vehicle’s launch services, in addition to providing 🇺🇸Atomos’ OTV services to its customers. [PRNewsWire] 🇺🇸Atomos had previously raised $5M for the development of its OTV. [PayloadSpace]


🇺🇸Virgin Galactic is making a comeback in Q2 with the suborbital flight of its SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity, after many delays. [SpaceNews



🇨🇳Chinese subsidiaries of 🇺🇸American capital firms are investing money from U.S.-based assets into 🇨🇳Chinese space startups. [TechCrunch]


Three sources confirmed to ArsTechnica that the 🇺🇸United Launch Alliance is up for sale, and a deal is expected to be closed by the end of this year. [ArsTechnica]



Check out Precious Weekly: February 20–26, 2023


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