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Yes to private space stations, SpaceBD joins the family of SpaceX resellers, and more SmallSat updates

Precious Payload Market Update: November 29, 2021 — December 5, 2021

It’s always time for the weekly small satellite industry overview. Precious Payload’s market update is for those of you who want to keep up with the latest developments and market trends:

  • The news about NASA’s Commercial LEO Destinations project award has shaped the entire LEO and SmallSat economy for the next decade. This should allow thousands more microgravity experiments and satellite deployments for private companies. 
  • Space BD, a space services company based in Japan, will be the latest addition to the SpaceX family of resellers, including Spaceflight, Tyvak, Momentus, Isilaunch, Nanoracks, and Exolaunch, and will cover Asian, Oceania, and Southeast Asian regions.
  • And one more insight we want to feature in our recent market update — the fact that Astranis is building microGEO satellites for other companies is a big move for the company.

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Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Space BD raises $9M in funding led by existing shareholders and Singapore government-affiliated Pavilion Capital. Last month, Space BD also secured rights to use SpaceX‘s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. (Source)

Spire Global acquires satellite-AIS company exactEarth. It’s their first acquisition since going public. (Source)

NASA backs Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman, and Nanoracks a total of nearly $416M under the Commercial LEO Destinations project to build private space stations. (Source)

Rocket Lab will equip the Neutron rocket with seven new reusable main engines called Archimedes. It aims to make ‘return to launch site’ propulsive landing, use Carbon composite structure instead of stainless steel, and enable captive ‘Hungry Hippo’ fairing design to enable first stage and fairing reuse. The rocket’s second stage will also be propelled with an Archimedes engine and will be protected during launch because it will stay inside of the rocket. (Source)

SpaceX launches a batch of 48 Starlink satellites and two BlackSky optical earth imaging satellites managed by Spaceflight, making it a record 27th flight of 2021. (Source)

SpaceX plans to launch three more Falcon 9 rockets before the end of 2021, including SpaceX cargo mission to the ISS on December 21. (Source)

Australia’s Skykraft announces its second launch aboard SpaceX Transporter 6 mission in October 2022. The June Transporter 5 mission will feature a 300 kg Skykraft hosted payload platform, carrying an unspecified number of its own small satellites, plus planned demonstration payloads for Australian National University (ANU), CSIRO, Valiant, University of Melbourne, and Swinbourne. The company plans to build a constellation of 210 small satellites by 2023. (Source)

As a part of the Skyride program, Skykraft will host demonstration payloads for Australian National University (ANU), CSIRO, Valiant, University of Melbourne, and Swinbourne aboard the Transporter 5 mission. (Source)

SWISSto12 partners with ESA to develop and launch an agile micro-geostationary satellite to stream data or broadcast television in 2025. (Source)

China’s ADA Space raises $55.8M in Series B funding and will use these funds to develop the Xingshidai AI satellite constellation of 192 satellites with its fourth-generation AI satellite expected to be launched aboard the second Long March 8 rocket in 2022. (Source)

Vietnamese satellite, Nanodragon, intended to monitor shipping movements, fails to emit signals back home since launch. (Source)

Japanese Rakuten Mobile partners with Tokyo University to jointly research and develop IoT connectivity technologies to LEO satellites. The company plans to launch its second next-gen LEO satellite, BlueWalker 3, in March of 2022. (Source)

Anuvu secures a $50M investment for its Astranis-built MicroGEO broadband satellite constellation that it plans to launch and operate in 2023 for its aviation and maritime customers. (Source)


Check out Precious Payload Market Update: November 22, 2021 — November 28, 2021.