SpaceX’s Transporter-8 Rideshare Mission, Hubble Network’s Constellation, and Pixxel’s Impressive $36M [+18 more updates]
Welcome to our latest newsletter issue! This time we’re diving into some of the most exciting happenings in the space industry. On the docket: SpaceX’s upcoming Transporter-8 rideshare mission, set to ferry a range of innovative payloads to orbit. We also take a closer look at the Hubble Network’s growing satellite constellation, transforming how we interact with space. And finally, we spotlight Pixxel’s substantial recent funding win of $36 million, a testament to the vibrant future of space tech. There’s a lot to explore, so let’s launch right in!
Precious Weekly: May 29 — June 4, 2023
🇺🇸SpaceX’s Transporter 8 rideshare, scheduled for June 12, 2023, features more than 42 diverse payloads, including OTVs, smallsats, and picosats from multiple global companies and institutions. As usual, you can find the ultimate list of payloads on the NasaSpaceflight forum.
🇪🇸PLD Space scrubbed The MIURA 1 SN1 Test Flight (a suborbital launch) at the INTA facilities in El Arenosillo (Huelva) due to weather conditions. New launch date TBA. [PLD Space]
- 🇺🇸Momentus partners with 🇮🇹Apogeo Space to launch the second batch of nine picosatellites for their 100-satellite IoT constellation in January 2024. Full constellation deployment is targeted by 2027. [Momentus]
- 🇮🇳Azista BST Aerospace will launch its first satellite, 80 kg ABA First Runner (AFR), aboard Transporter-8. The company’s factory in Ahmedabad, India can produce two satellites per week and plan to manufacture 10 satellites in 2024. Azista’s new satellites’ tech demos are scheduled within the next 12-24 months. [Azista BST]
- Autonomous docking system CLINGERS, developed by 🇺🇸University of Southern California engineering students led by David Barnhart, will be tested on the ISS using Astrobee robots. It will fly with SpaceX’s CRS-28 mission on June 7. [The Journal of Space Commerce]
- 🇺🇸LeoStella delivered its third satellite to 🇺🇸Loft Orbital. The spacecraft is the 20th satellite manufactured by the company since its formation in 2019. [BusinessWire]
- Seattle-based startup 🇺🇸Hubble Network plans a constellation of 300 satellites (the first batch of four satellites to be launched in January 2024 aboard Transporter-10) to provide global connectivity for Bluetooth-enabled devices. [TechCrunch]
- 🇨🇦Telesat has contracted 🇨🇦Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to manufacture the LEO 3 demo satellite. The compact 30 kg microsatellite will support customer testing campaigns for high bandwidth operations in LEO. [SmallsatNews]
- 🇺🇸Planet partners with the 🇦🇪 UAE Space Agency to build a satellite-powered climate change damage atlas. [BusinessWire]
- 🇺🇸BlackSky and 🇺🇸SynMax partner to monitor coal inventory at US power plants, aiding the transition from coal power. [Axios]
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The “Progress” section provides updates on recent advancements and milestones achieved in the global space industry. It includes information about tests, milestones in technological developments, and future plans of different space organizations, fostering awareness about the pace and direction of progress in this exciting field:
- 🇩🇪Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) achieves a successful hot-fire test of its staged-combustion upper stage. [RFA]
- In July, 🇨🇦NordSpace Corp readies Hadfield rocket engine for hotfiring in Markham, Ontario. The engine is designed to launch Canada’s first orbital rocket. [LinkedIn]
- 🇺🇸Sierra Space powers up Dream Chaser spaceplane ahead of its maiden flight to the ISS, expected later this year. [Payload]
- 🇺🇸BeetleSat announces successful two-way data communication using its lightweight, high data rate expandable antenna. The company launched a 6U NSLSAT-2 satellite in January 2023 and plans to build a new LEO constellation comprising approximately 264 satellites, with service expected to commence in 2027. [SmallsatNews]
Funding and Contracts
- 🇮🇳Pixxel secures $36M in Series B funding led by Google to advance the highest-resolution hyperspectral satellite constellation and data platform. [Pixxel]
- Former SpaceX VP Bulent Altan’s Alpine Space Ventures fund secures €60m from European Investment Fund to boost space tech investment in EU. [Sifted]
- ESA contracts 🇫🇷ArianeGroup, 🇮🇹Avio, 🇩🇪The Exploration Company, and 🇪🇸SENER to study future European launch systems for micro/mini, medium, heavy, and human-rated applications. [ESA]
- NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator (DIANA) partners with Starburst Aerospace, MIT MIx, and MassChallenge to expand its program. Participants can raise funds from the NATO Innovation Fund, which plans to invest $1.1B into dual-use tech startups. [Payload]
- UNOOSA invites space projects to participate in the new rounds of DropTES microgravity experiments at ZARM, supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and HyperGES hypergravity experiments at ESA Technology. [Announcement]
- The IAF-CSA Space Universities CubeSat Challenge 2.0 offers universities the chance to win a free launch for a cubesat. Applications must be submitted by June 15, 2023. [IAF]
Discover our updates from last week – read now!