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Transporter 6 carries 114 payloads to LEO, 🇨🇦NorthStar raises $35M, and more smallsat updates you may have missed while out of the office

Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News:

December 19, 2022–January 8, 2023


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

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Launch Updates

Jan 2 – Jan 8

🇬🇧UK’s first orbital launch to be conducted on January 9 by 🇺🇸Virgin Orbit through their Start Me Up mission with its LauncherOne, carrying seven payloads: [SmallsatNews]

  1. 🇬🇧IOD-3 AMBER by Satellite Applications Catapult, 🇬🇧Horizon Technologies, and 🇬🇧AAC Clyde Space
  2. 🇬🇧Prometheus-2 by the U.K. Ministry of Defence, Airbus Defence, and Space and In-Space Missions, Ltd
  3. CIRCE by 🇬🇧Defense Science and Technology Laboratory and the 🇺🇸Naval Research Laboratory
  4. DOVER by 🇬🇧RHEA Group, 🇪🇺ESA, and 🇬🇧Open Cosmos
  5. ForgeStar-0 by 🇬🇧Space Forge
  6. AMAN by the 🇴🇲Sultanate of Oman and 🇵🇱SatRev
  7. STORK-6 by 🇵🇱SatRev 


🇬🇧Oneweb to launch 40 satellites for its Oneweb Launch 16 mission today from Cape Canaveral, aboard 🇺🇸SpaceX’s Falcon 9. [Satnews]


Past flights 

Jan 2 – Jan 10

🇺🇸SpaceX launched the Transporter 6 mission from 🇺🇸Cape Canaveral, carrying about 114 payloads. Onboard are OTVs by Launcher and Momentus; deployers by ISIlaunch and Exolaunch; and new tugs by Skycraft and Epic Aerospace. Full list of payloads: [NASASpaceflightForum]


Dec 19 – Dec 25

🇺🇸Rocket Lab’s first U.S. Electron launch from 🇺🇸Virginia gets called off due to high winds. The next launch window is in early 2023. [ParabolicArc]

🇰🇷Innospace’s Hanbit-TLV rocket launch from 🇧🇷Alcantara Launch Center gets scrubbed indefinitely due to a glitch in the external safety-management system. [KoreaEconomicDaily]


Jan 2 – Jan 8

🇺🇸Impulse Space to launch its first OTV, Mira, through its LEO Express-1 mission aboard a Transporter 9 rideshare in Q4 2023. [BusinessWire]


Dec 26 – Jan 1

🇫🇷Thales plans to build a reusable, uncrewed vehicle for in-orbit manufacturing by 2025. REV1 could carry up to 1,000 kilograms of payload for several months in LEO, and dock with a Reusable Orbiting Service Module equipped with solar panels and electric thrusters that would allow it to remain in orbit for about 10 years (roughly 20 REV-1 missions). [SpaceNews]

🇨🇳GalaxySpace to launch flat-panel stackable satellites by early 2023 to shorten the development time of its IoT constellation. [SpaceDaily]


Dec 20 – Dec 25

The 🇸🇪Esrange Space Center will be inaugurated on January 13, 2023, with the first orbital launch to take place later in the year. The company conducting the flight has not identified, though 🇩🇪Isar Aerospace and 🇩🇪Rocket Factory have been performing engine and stage tests at Esrange. [Satnews]

🇺🇸Saturn Satellite Networks selected 🇺🇸CesiumAstro’s RF payload for its SBN-1 constellation of six smallsats—to be launched in the second half of 2025—to provide satellite-based internet services. [ViaSatellite]

🇺🇸Momentus to fly 🇦🇺CUAVA’s Waratah Seed WS-1 6U cubesat aboard Vigoride-5 on a Transporter-9 rideshare mission in October 2023. Earlier last year, the company signed another launch agreement for the CUAVA-2 satellite. [SatelliteEvolution]

🇺🇸Terran Orbital delivered the final ten satellite buses to 🇺🇸Lockheed Martin for its Tranche 0 Transport Layer, for launch in June 2023. [SpaceNews]



Jan 2 – Jan 8

🇺🇸SpaceX raises $750M in funds from investors including Andreessen-Horowitz, increasing the company’s value to $137B. [CNBC]

🇨🇦NorthStar secures $35M in funding for the launch of SSA satellites, with its first planned launch slated for mid-2023 with 🇺🇸Virgin Orbit. [SpaceWatchGlobal]


Dec 20 – Dec 25

🇫🇮Aurora Propulsion receives an EIC grant for its deorbiting and collision-avoidance plasma brake. The funding could total up to €17.5M. [Aurora]



Check out Precious Payload’s Weekly Smallsat News: December 12–18, 2022