This was the fourth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched GPS III-4, GPS III-5 and Inspiration4.
Archives for 2022
A smallsat is a satellite of low mass and size, usually weighing under 500 kg. (1,100 lb). While all such satellites can be referred to as ‘small,’ different classifications are used to categorize them based on mass.
Motivated by visions of hundreds, if not thousands, of smallsats launching yearly, buoyed by venture capitals markets that become responsive to space endeavors and encouraged by the highly visible success of entrepreneurs across the globe have embarked on what was once considered the incredibly risky and financially non-rewarding venture of designing and fielding a new rocket. The global smallsat market is dominated by companies based in the United States, China and the European Union (EU).
The publisher’s latest report Small Satellites – Market and Technology Forecast to 2029 examines, analyzes, and predicts the evolution of smallsat technologies and markets and their expenditures over the next eight years – 2021 -2029 — in the space industry. The report also examines smallsat geographic markets, focusing on the top 95% of the global markets in the United States, Europe and Asia.
This report provides the most thorough and realistic forecast and offers a twin-scenario analysis of this industry.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space has announced that Kristin Robertson is joining the RI&S team as president of the Space & C2 strategic business unit. Robertson will serve on the RI&S senior leadership team and report directly to Roy Azevedo, president, RI&S.
Most recently, Robertson served as vice president and general manager of autonomous systems at Boeing, leading autonomous technologies, intelligence capabilities and networking solutions from seabed to space. During Robertson’s tenure, she led and grew several multi-billion-dollar product lines.
Robertson received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California in San Diego and her master’s degree in international business from Saint Louis University. She serves on the board of directors for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. She is also a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society and the Society of Women Engineers.
Additionally, RI&S announced that Brad Tousley will serve as president of Blue Canyon Technologies, reporting to Robertson as part of the Space &C2 strategic business unit. Tousley previously served as lead for RI&S’ Advanced Concepts & Technology, and as president of Raytheon BBN Technologies. He joined Raytheon Company in 2019 with deep experience spanning government agencies, the private sector and the U.S. Military.
These leadership announcements further position RI&S to deliver excellence to customers in 2022 and beyond.
“Kristin brings a wealth of experience to RI&S as well as a proven track record of leading and growing complex product lines,” said Azevedo. “She and the S&C2 team will help us meet growing space market demand and support our customer’s evolving missions.”
The launch, subject to the usual weather considerations, is scheduled for 16:49 EST (21.49 GMT), with a backup time available at 18:47 EST (23.47 GMT) on January 6th.
The SpaceX mission, officially dubbed Starlink 4-5, is looking to place this batch in an orbital plane of 53.2 degrees to the Equator. In order to achieve this orbital position, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch from the Kennedy Space Center but will be aimed southeast and to the North of the Bahama islands.
It is not known how many Starlink satellites will be on board but usually a SpaceX flight carries between 48-53 craft on each mission. The rocket’s booster is planned to land on the drone vessel, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’, waiting in the Atlantic.
Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s VP/Starlink commercial sales, said last month that the Starlink network is already providing internet service to consumers in more than 20 countries.
On January 13th, another SpaceX launch is planned. This mission will carry dozens of paying satellite customers on the rocket’s Transporter 3 flight with smaller satellites. This flight will see the rocket return to Earth and land at an onshore pad at Cape Canaveral.
The much-delayed legal action from SES against Intelsat over the division of FCC C-band incentive payments is scheduled to begin on February 7th. Two weeks have been allocated for the action.
While subject to last-minute delays and Court rules over the Covid anxieties, the lawyers in the action have agreed that witnesses might appear in person, or virtually, or both.
The pre-trial deadlines have been set and are that counsel for the litigants can file supplementary depositions on or before January 10th, with counter-depositions being filed by January 18th. The litigants have jointly agreed to provide their lists of incontrovertible facts by January 12th in an attempt to narrow the issues in the actual trial. An agreed position on admissible exhibits will be filed by the parties on January 28th. A final pre-trial conference is scheduled for February 1st subject to the Court’s availability.
The essence of the action is a dispute over how the FCC’s C-band incentive payments are allocated. SES is arguing that under the terms and agreements within the C-Band Alliance (“the Consortium Agreement”), and where Intelsat and SES were lead participants, it was agreed that the FCC’s payments would be made on a 50/50 basis between SES and Intelsat.
SES had also been arguing for punitive damages against Intelsat but that action has been dropped.
Elon Musk is preparing his giant Starship at its Boca Chica, south Texas launch site, but an expected approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is not now expected before the end of February.
There have been more than 18,000 comments filed into the FAA in regard to its draft comments on the launch of Musk’s Starship on environmental grounds. Musk had hoped to have the approval in place by December 31st 2021. The FAA announced its delay on December 28th.
SpaceX has to respond to each of the comments.
Musk is on record saying that his team would have a bunch of tests of both the Starship and ‘Super Heavy’ booster in terms of engine firings ahead of an actual trial launch. However, there is no guarantee that the FAA will not further extend its work, and thus further delay any launches.
Musk needs the rocket to eventually work as part of his plan to load the vehicle with up to about 400 Starlink satellites for bulk-launches.
LizzieSats (LS) are 3D manufactured, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) smallsats that are focused on the rapid, cost-effective development and testing of upcoming innovative spacecraft technologies for multiple customers. LS is a 100 kg. (220 pound) satellite with space to efficiently integrate customer sensors and technologies.
In addition to preparing for production on LizzieSat, Sidus Space is ramping up for work on recently awarded contracts that includes a multi-million dollar agreement supporting one of America’s largest, private companies. Other facility enhancements include improved network connectivity with fiber optic internet, an industrial grade epoxy shop floor, new LED light fixtures throughout the facility, additional workstations and office spaces for the growing employee team and a state-of-the-art cleanroom. Sidus anticipates that the new workspace will be completed in the next month.
The Sidus Space ISO 100,000 cleanroom, with more than 800 square feet of continuous space, was designed with high-end, precision engineering. The self-contained space will allow for the simultaneous cleanroom processing of as many as six LizzieSats as they progress through the integration, assembly and test phases of development.
The HEPA Fan Filter Units (FFUs) to be installed in the cleanroom will provide up to 808 CFM (at high speed) and will remove 99.99% of particles >/= 0.3 microns in diameter. The modular system allows for expansion and reconfiguration as needed to accommodate custom applications.
The manufacturer of the cleanroom, Terra Universal, is the leading manufacturer of critical environment applications, with over 40 years of design and fabrication experience in cleanroom- and laboratory-based industries.
"Cleanrooms safely protect satellites or spacecraft components from particles, residues, or bio-films that corrode electrical systems, hinder performance, or reduce satellite lifetime. Our top priority is to ensure each satellite and all of their related components meet the highest level of quality required to launch into space before they reach orbit so that they will perform successfully in the space environment. I am very proud of our team and their tremendous skillset as they continually support our customers," said Carol Craig, CEO of Sidus Space.
Sidus Space (NASDAQ:SIDU) located in Cape Canaveral, Florida, operates from a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing facility. Sidus Space focuses on commercial satellite design, manufacture, launch, and data collection, with a mission of Bringing Space Down to Earth and a vision of enabling space flight heritage status for new technologies while delivering data and predictive analytics to domestic and global customers. Sidus Space makes it easy for any corporation, industry, or vertical to start their journey off-planet with our rapidly scalable, low-cost satellite services, space-based solutions, and testing alternatives. More than just a “Satellite-as-a-Service” provider, we become your trusted Mission Partner from concept to Low Earth Orbit and beyond.
Start 2022 committed to fresh perspectives and with resolve to grow your business and contacts.
|Space is hard… Success in space business is harder.
Prosperity requires a commitment to preparation, hard work and the ability learn from changes and setbacks. Resolve today to build your SmallSat organization and Register for the SmallSat Symposium.
Kleos Space S.A. (ASX:KSS, Frankfurt:KS1) has confirmed their Patrol Mission (KSF2) satellites are on track to launch onboard the SpaceX Transporter-3 mission that is targeted for January 13th and have successfully passed the final technical milestone with satellite builder Innovative Solutions In Space (ISISPACE).
The Patrol Mission satellites traveled from the Netherlands to the launch integration facility at Cape Canaveral and integrated into the launch vehicle by Spaceflight Inc. Prior to transport, the satellites successfully completed System Assembly Integration Testing (SAIT) with ISISPACE over a six-week period, including a system checkout and mechanical inspection, battery charging and fueling.
The transport of the Patrol Mission satellites confirms the satellites are mission ready. The launch will increase Kleos’ reconnaissance capability to three clusters of four satellites each, making a total of 12 satellites patrolling against illegal activities, such as piracy, drug smuggling and border security challenges.
Launching into a 500-600 km Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO), the four Patrol Mission satellites expand Kleos’ data collection capability by up to an additional 119 million km² per day. They also enable Kleos to increase its average daily revisit rate over a 15-degree latitude area of interest to around five times a day.
Kleos successfully launched its Scouting Mission satellites into a 37-degree inclination in November of 2020 and their Vigilance Mission cluster into a 525 km SSO in June 2021. The firm’s fourth cluster, the Observer Mission, is scheduled to launch in mid-2022. Flown in a formation of four, Kleos’ smallsats detect and geolocate radio frequency transmissions to within 300 meters, enhancing the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for governments and commercial entities.
Kleos Space CEO, Andy Bowyer, said, “We are rapidly building our constellation to raise the volume of data available to our customers. Each new mission features enhanced hardware and software capability, leveraging the learnings of earlier launches. The improved collection capability of the Patrol Mission is key for our government and commercial data subscribers. The value of our independent geolocation data grows in line with revisit rates, as it enables subscribers to use the data to establish pattern of life behavior or tip and cue with existing datasets to improve the identification of illegal maritime and land-based activity.”
On Monday, December 27, at precisely 06:10 p.m. local time at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome (01:10 p.m. UTC), Soyuz flight ST37 lifted-off with 36 OneWeb satellites. This flight was the 63rd Soyuz mission carried out by Arianespace, the 37th with the Starsem affiliate and the 12th mission for OneWeb.
The mission lasted three hours and 45 minutes. The 36 satellites were deployed during nine separation sequences, at an altitude of 450 km. This was also the 15th successful launch operated by Arianespace’s teams during 2021, bringing to 1,101 the total number of spacecraft orbited since the start of the company’s operations.
This launch also was the first time Soyuz delivered 36 satellites — instead of the usual 34 – from the Baikonour Cosmodrome.
The OneWeb constellation will deliver high-speed, low-latency connectivity to a wide range of customer sectors, including aviation, maritime, enterprise and government. Central to its purpose, OneWeb seeks to bring connectivity to the hardest to reach places, where fiber cannot reach, and thereby bridge the digital divide.
The satellite prime contractor is OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space. The satellites were produced in Florida, USA, in the company’s leading-edge satellite manufacturing facilities that can build up to two satellites per day on a series production line dedicated to spacecraft assembly, integration, and testing.
The launch of the satellites was operated by Arianespace and its Euro-Russian affiliate Starsem under contract with Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. Arianespace is responsible for the overall mission and flight-worthiness, with the support of Starsem for launch campaign activities including management of its own launch facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. RKTs-Progress (the Samara Space Center) is responsible for the design, development, manufacture and integration of the Soyuz launch vehicle as well as for the 3-stage Soyuz flight. NPO Lavotchkin is responsible for the launch preparation operations and flight of the Fregat orbital vehicle.
“It is a very special time of the year, right between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I would like to warmly thank all the Arianespace and Starsem teams involved in this mission and the incredible work they did alongside our Russian partners in order to allow us to launch, from Baikonour Cosmodrome, our 15th and last launch of 2021. This year has been marked by key milestones, the latest one being that, with today’s flight, we will officially have deployed more than 60% of OneWeb’s constellation,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “2021 has been a really busy year for us with 15 launches operated from three different spaceports, which represents a 50% increase in launches over 2020. With 2022 headed in the same direction, we are sure to demonstrate that our services and solutions answer our clients’ needs: any time, any mass, any orbit.”