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Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News: October 3 — 9


Everything you need to know about recent smallsat headlines around the globe. 

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Launch Updates


🇺🇸 SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket is set to launch for the USSF-44 Mission after a three-year gap as soon as October 28. The onboard payloads have not yet been fully revealed, except for the TETRA 1 microsatellite by 🇺🇸 Millennium Space. [Spaceflightnow]


🇨🇳 China launched two navigation satellites, Centispace-1 S5 and S6, aboard Long March 11 from a mobile sea platform. [Space.com]




🇺🇸 Rocket Lab aims to fly its Neutron rocket in 2024 after conducting engine tests in 2023. [Reuters

🇺🇸 Orbital Sidekick partners with the 🇺🇸 Pipeline Integrity Program (iPIPE) to deploy its hyperspectral imaging constellation of six smallsats via 🇺🇸 SpaceX’s Transporter program in 2023. [ParabolicArc]


🇧🇷 Concert Technologies plans to launch the three smallsats of its constellation with 🇨🇦 C6 Launch Systems from the 🇧🇷 Alcantara Space Center in 2025 and 2026. [SpaceQ]


🇬🇧 Exobotics and 🇿🇦 Simera Sense will manufacture and integrate a hyperspectral imager into one of their smallsat platforms for launch into LEO later this year. [Press Release]


🇺🇸 Sierra Space and the 🇺🇸 University of California (UC) signed an MoU to participate in its Orbital Reef space station to develop the first stem cell research institute in space. [Press Release]


🇺🇸 Redwire Corporation to acquire 🇧🇪 Space NV, a subsidiary of 🇬🇧 QinetiQ Group, for €32M through an agreement with QinetiQ. [TalkSatellite]


🇺🇸 SpinLaunch successfully launched and recovered payloads from NASA, Airbus, Cornell University, and Outpost during the 10th test flight of their suborbital accelerator from
🇲🇽 Spaceport America. [SmallsatNews]


🇩🇪OroraTech completed its ESA InCubed Programme review for delivering the first cubesat of its multipurpose nanosatellite constellation, Forest-3, by 2024. [Press Release]


🇰🇪 Kenya Space Agency will launch its Taifa-1 nanosatellite with 🇩🇪 Exolaunch aboard 🇺🇸 SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket via the Transporter-7 mission in February 2023. [LinkedIn]


🇫🇷 Interstellar Lab reveals its first biodome, BioPod, which supports plant growth in controlled environments on Earth and in space. The French company plans to present a space version of the BioPod at 🇺🇸 NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida by the end of the year. [Arover]




🇬🇧 The UK Space Agency announced a new Enabling Technology Programme to encourage space R&D of innovative ideas and technologies with funds up to £15M with ideas on the theme ‘In Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing (IOSM) and Optics’. [gov.uk]


Satellite manufacturer 🇺🇸 York Space Systems sells a majority stake in the company to private equity firm 🇺🇸 AE Industrial Partners at an enterprise valuation of $1.125B, with
🇺🇸 BlackRock Private Equity Partners joining the investment. [CNBC]


🇯🇵 Astroscale landed a $35M loan from 🇯🇵 MUFG bank to accelerate its on-orbit services technology development. [ViaSatellite]


Check out Precious Payload Weekly Smallsat News: September 25 — October 2