AST SpaceMobile Announces Agreement to Sell Its Investment in NanoAvionics

MIDLAND, Texas, July 5, 2022 (AST SpaceMobile PR) — AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its majority ownership stake in NanoAvionics, a leading smallsat mission integrator and bus manufacturer based in Lithuania.

The transaction values NanoAvionics at an enterprise valuation of approximately $68 million and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions including any required regulatory reviews, and generate approximately $28 million in net proceeds to AST SpaceMobile at closing. AST SpaceMobile will sell its majority stake NanoAvionics to Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, the Nordic region’s largest industrial space company and global leader in maritime surveillance.

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Kongsberg Enters into Agreement to Acquire Smallsat Manufacturer NanoAvionics

Norway/Lithuania, 5 July 2022 (Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace PR) – Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Kongsberg) has entered into an agreement to acquire Lithuanian smallsat mission integrator and bus manufacturer NanoAvionics. The planned acquisition expands Kongsberg’s space offering to also have products and technology for manufacturing small satellites.  

NanoAvionics is a leading smallsat mission integrator and bus manufacturer with significant global growth in recent years, including expansions into the United Kingdom and the United States. With more than 150 employees the company has contributed to 120 missions and commercial satellite projects, with customers ranging from national space agencies to universities such as UNSW Sydney and companies such as Thales Alenia Space, Aurora Insight, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, SEN and others.

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For the First Time NanoAvionics has Sold One of its Orbital Satellites

Purchased nanosatellite provides data on climate change, hidden resources, agricultural improvement and other valuable processes on Earth

COLUMBIA, Ill., June 23, 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – Mission integrator and smallsat bus manufacturer NanoAvionics has sold, for the first time, one of its operational satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) including ongoing mission operations. Launched last year, NanoAvionics’s shared 6U satellite mission “D2 / Atlacom-1” includes one of the world’s first 1U-sized hyperspectral imager for remote sensing, which will be used by a yet unnamed Earth observation company to provide orbital imagery services. Prior to selling the satellite, all indented missions, none of which included the buyer, had been accomplished and fulfilled.

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Omnispace Spark-2™ Satellite Successfully Launches into Orbit

This Launch Completes Deployment of the ‘Omnispace Spark Program,’ Bringing the Delivery of World’s First Global Hybrid Mobile Network One Step Closer

TYSONS, Va. and TOULOUSE, France (Omnispace, LLC PR) — Omnispace and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), today announced the successful launch and delivery of “Omnispace Spark-2™” satellite into orbit. This marks the completion of the deployment phase of the “Omnispace Spark™” program, the initial phase in the company’s development and delivery of the world’s first 5G capable satellite network.

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NanoAvionics and Gama to Set Sail in Space

Mission contract is NanoAvionics second solar sail mission following NASA ACS3  

VILNIUS, Lithuania, 24 May 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – Gama, a French space startup, has contracted mission integrator NanoAvionics for a demonstration of Gama’s solar sails propulsion system in low Earth orbit (LEO). Under the mission agreement, NanoAvionics will provide its 6U nanosatellite bus, payload integration services, a satellite testing campaign, launch services and satellite operations. The launch of the “Alpha” nanosatellite is scheduled for the second half of this year.

Gama’s range of solar sails are aimed at commercial companies and research organisations looking for a cost-effective and less complex setup and propulsion system to explore deep space through small satellites. Using nano- or microsatellites propelled through space by solar sails would allow them to travel greater distances without requiring large amount of stored fuel. They can also be launched with smaller and cheaper rockets, making shuttle trips between planets less expensive and more practical than conventional chemical rockets.

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Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace Orders Three Surveillance Satellites From NanoAvionics

VILNIUS, Lithuania, 18 May 2022 (Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace PR) – Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Kongsberg) has placed an order for three microsatellites with Lithuanian mission integrator NanoAvionics for a space-based maritime surveillance mission covering the North Sea area. All three satellites will be based on NanoAvionics’s largest satellite bus so far, the MP42 microsatellite bus.

The surveillance payload will consist of instrumentation developed by KONGSBERG to include ‘”Automatic Identification System” (AIS) reporting and a navigation radar detector, developed by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), that analyses vessels’ radar use. Combining these provides an overview of ship traffic in the area, to include detection of vessels not reporting correct AIS data.

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NASA’s New Solar Sail System to be Tested On-Board NanoAvionics Satellite Bus

COLUMBIA, Ill. (NanoAvionics PR) — NanoAvionics has been selected to build a 12U nanosatellite bus for an in-orbit demonstration of NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3). This a result of a contract between NASA Ames Research Center and AST for a 12U bus to carry NASA’s payload into low Earth orbit (LEO) including an approximately 800 square foot (74 square meter) composite boom and solar sail system.  

The aim of the ACS3 mission is to replace conventional rocket propellants by developing and testing solar sails using sunlight beams to thrust the nanosatellite. These solar sail propulsion systems are designed for future small interplanetary spacecrafts destined for low-cost deep-space and science missions requiring long-duration, low-thrust propulsion.  

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NanoAvionics builds first nanosatellite for Prométhée’s Earth observation constellation

VILNIUS, Lithuania, 28 April 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – Satellite operator Prométhée has contracted mission integrator NanoAvionics to build the first nanosatellite for the French company’s planned constellation of Earth observation nanosatellites and image analysis platform.  “ProtoMéthée-1” will be based on NanoAvionics’ flight-proven 16U nanosatellite bus M16P.

In addition to the satellite with onboard camera and propulsion, NanoAvionics will also provide Prométhée with full mission services – testing, integration, launch, licensing, and initial satellite operations. The “ProtoMéthée-1” satellite is intended to be launched towards the end of 2023 in low Earth orbit (LEO). The company’s service demonstrator will be based on a high revisit rate constellation (20 times more passes per day) and offering hyper-reactivity through inter-constellation connectivity.

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SpaceX Launches 40 Satellites into Space

Falcon9 Transporter-4 launch. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

by David Bullock
Staff Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., April 1, 2022 — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 40 payloads as part of the company’s Transporter-4 dedicated smallsat rideshare mission.

The rocket launched into a sun-synchronous orbit at 12:24 p.m. EDT. The mission manifest included the first satellite orbited by Pixxel of India, Kleos Space’s Patrol Mission, and 12 Spacebee communications satellites. A list of payloads is below.

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Pixxel Announces $25M Investment Led By Radical Ventures To Advance The World’s Most Detailed Imaging Satellites for Earth Health Monitoring

PALO ALTO, Calif. & BANGALORE, India (Pixxel PR) — Pixxel, a leader in cutting-edge earth-imaging technology, announced a $25 million Series A led by Radical Ventures, a Toronto-based firm known for investing in entrepreneurs that use artificial intelligence to transform massive industries. Additional participation in Pixxel’s Series A comes from Jordan Noone, Seraphim Space Investment Trust Plc, Lightspeed Partners, Blume Ventures, and Sparta LLC. The new funding enables Pixxel to expedite production of the world’s highest resolution hyperspectral satellite constellation and to offer industry AI-powered insights that discover, solve, and predict climate issues at a fraction of traditional satellite costs.

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DEWA Improves Management of Power Grid, Water Transmission and Distribution Networks Worldwide Through its Leadership in Launching Nanosatellites

DUBAI, UAE (DEWA PR) — Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has achieved a new world record through its launching of the 3U nanosatellite DEWA-SAT1 in collaboration with NanoAvionics. It has proved once again that it is one of the most prominent global utilities and the most distinguished in all its operations. After the success of the pilot project, DEWA has become the world’s first utility to use nanosatellites to improve the maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks.

The launching of the satellite is part of DEWA’s Space-D programme launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in January 2021 to consolidate Dubai’s leadership in developing and using the latest global technologies. Through Space-D, DEWA researches the use of space technology to support utilities to improve their operations and planning. This will support sustainable development and a green economy in the UAE and worldwide.

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UNSW Sydney Buys Nanosatellite Bus From NanoAvionics for its Satellite Innovation Laboratory

SYDNEY, Australia, 17 February 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, has contracted mission integrator NanoAvionics to build a nanosatellite bus for UNSW’s satellite innovation laboratory. As part of the collaboration, NanoAvionics will deliver a 6U nanosatellite bus fully assembled and tested on a functional level, ready for its research and educational purposes. Payload integration for laboratory testing, modifications, and mission operations validation will be carried out by UNSW Sydney.

The intended GNSS (global navigational satellite systems) payload named “Harry v2” will consist of two “KEA” GPS receivers, developed by the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research at UNSW, to perform remote Earth sensing operations using GPS reflectometry. Able to host multiple experiments, it will take measurements from reflections coming from the Earth while using navigation signals from other GPS satellites. The receivers, designed for both aircraft and CubeSat operations, are capable of recording intermediate frequency (IF) data and delay Doppler maps (DDM) with its associated metadata. The experiment data can be used to infer sea-state, wind speed, water-land boundaries and many other unexplored applications.

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Leaf Space Successfully Enables 13 Satellites on SpaceX Transporter-3 Rideshare Mission

Leading Ground Segment as-a-Service Provider Establishes Communications Within Hours of Deployment

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2022 —  Leaf Space, a leading provider of ground segment as-a-service (GSaaS) solutions, announced today that it has established successful communications with all 13 satellites from five different customers including D-OrbitNanoAvionicsKepler CommunicationsSen and Fossa Systems, that the company supported on SpaceX’s latest Transporter-3 rideshare mission. Customers were able to interact and communicate with their assets in just a few hours from deployment, following the launch on Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral on Jan. 13.

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Turion Space and NanoAvionics to Build a Satellite for Orbital Reconnaissance Mission

COLUMBIA, Ill., February 2, 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – US company Turion Space, aiming to build spacecraft to remove orbital-debris, satellite servicing, and domain awareness, has selected NanoAvionics small satellite bus, the MP42, as the basis for its ‘Droid-1’ spacecraft designed for a reconnaissance mission in low Earth orbit (LEO). The launch of the Droid-1 satellite is planned for the first quarter of 2023.

Using its onboard sensors, Turion Space’s satellite will be able to take extremely accurate measurements of spacecraft and objects in orbit. The data will give operators and users the exact location of their satellites and in relation to others, especially at crucial times when two spacecraft are critically close.

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