Space Contracts, Raises & Deals: Raytheon, Millennium Space, SES, Capella Space and More

Lots of raises, contracts, grants and more as we powered through the second week of 2023. Let’s take a look.

Partnership

Voyager Space and Airbus Defence and Space are partnering to develop and operate Starlab, a free-flying space station set for launch in 2028 that will serve NASA and a global customer base of space agencies and researchers. Airbus will provide technical design support and expertise for the Starlab station.

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Capella Space Unveils Next Generation Satellite with Enhanced Imagery Capabilities and Communication Features

Artist rendering of the Capella Space third generation satellite, Acadia. (Credit: Capella Space)

Capellas third-generation synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites offer highest quality imagery, best resolution, and fastest order-to-delivery speeds

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 10, 2022 (Capella Space PR) –– Capella Space, a leading Earth observation company, today unveiled several new capabilities planned for its next generation satellites, further expanding the company’s cutting-edge, premium data offerings. This new generation of Capella satellites, referred to as “Acadia” technology, will expand the existing Capella constellation to provide highest quality imagery, best ground-range resolution, and the fastest order-to-delivery speeds available from any commercial SAR provider.

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Satellite Imagery from Capella Space Now Openly Accessible on the Amazon Web Services Cloud

High Quality SAR imagery can now be accessed by anyone via the Registry of Open Data on AWS

This nighttime SAR image shows the Rajpath, the large ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi, leading to the India Gate. Traditional EO satellites cannot capture images at night, but Capella’s SAR technology depicts the Rajpath clearly, even in the dark. (Credit: Capella Space)

SAN FRANCISCO (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space, a leading Earth observation company, today announced the expansion of its Open Data Program, making a selection of its SAR (synthetic aperture radar) imagery freely and openly accessible through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Open Data Sponsorship Program

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Space Industry Launches Humanitarian Initiative to Support Ukraine

HERNDON, Va. (Space Industry for Ukraine PR) — Leaders of the space community today announced the Space Industry for Ukraine (SIFU), an initiative designed to fund and execute efforts that provide immediate humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. The initiative will be run by a steering committee, which includes HawkEye 360, National Security Space Association (NSSA), ABL Space Systems, ARKA, BlackSky, Capella Space, ICEYE, Insight Partners, Leidos, LeoLabs, Maxar, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Rebellion Defense, Relativity Space, Riverside Research, Rocket Lab, Velos and Viasat. The steering committee will fundraise, select and monitor the execution of critical humanitarian projects throughout Ukraine and its neighboring countries. Additional participating donor companies include The Aerospace Corporation, Cognitive Space and Shield Capital.

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Capella Space Closes $97M Series C Financing Round to Meet Exponential Customer Demand for Its Radar-Powered, High-Quality Satellite Imagery and Intelligence

Capella will use the funding, led by NightDragon, to expand its AI-enabled geospatial analytics and imaging offerings for its satellite sensors that penetrate all weather conditions – clouds, fog, smoke, rain – and capture clear imagery 24-7, day and night, across the globe

SAN FRANCISCO (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space, the leading earth observation company, today announced a $97M Series C financing round led by NightDragon, with significant participation from existing investors DCVC and Cota Capital. Capella plans to use the funding to expand its offerings and continue its mission to provide 24-7 access to frequent, timely and high-quality satellite analytics and imagery products to customers with demanding geospatial intelligence needs worldwide.

Capella’s SAR (synthetic aperture radar) sensors are deployed across its seven satellites in orbit today, with more satellites ready to launch across 2022 and 2023. This constellation can penetrate all weather conditions – clouds, fog, smoke, rain – and capture clear imagery 24-7, day and night, providing unparalleled insight into what is happening anywhere on the globe at any given moment. Recent global events in Ukraine and Russia have shown that access to accurate and timely earth observation data has never been more critical.

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Capella Space Announces New Data Products to Automate SAR Imagery Analysis Via Its Image-Tasking Console

With new offerings for Vessel Detection, Change Detection, and Global Change Monitoring, Capella Space offers first-in-class image analytics for its customers around the globe 

Port of Gibraltar. (Credit: Capella Space)

SAN FRANCISCO (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space, an information services company that provides high-quality Earth observation data on demand, today announced three new integrated analytics capabilities into its image-tasking web application, the Capella Console. Vessel Detection, Change Detection, and Global Change Monitoring support Capella’s vision to offer a fully automated image tasking system that provides customers with timely, reliable, and accurate imagery capture and data analysis.

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Capella Space Awarded Commercial Radar Contract By National Reconnaissance Office

Capella will demonstrate high-resolution SAR imagery capabilities as part of the National Reconnaissance Office’s Broad Agency Announcement Framework for Strategic Commercial Enhancements

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20, 2022 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space, an information services company providing high-quality, high-speed Earth observation data on demand, today announced a new contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to demonstrate the company’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery capabilities. Through this contract, Capella will work with the NRO to provide SAR data modeling and simulation, end-to-end regional imagery responsiveness demonstrations, theater downlink demonstrations and sample imagery delivery.

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NRO Awards Five Contracts for Commercial Radar Capabilities on a Rapid Procurement Timeline

WASHINGTON (NRO PR) — The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) announced the award of five contracts for commercial radar capabilities under the agency’s new Strategic Commercial Enhancements Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Framework. Companies receiving contracts are Airbus, U.S.; Capella Space; ICEYE, U.S.; PredaSAR; and Umbra.

“We are very pleased with the response to the first focus area under our new BAA,” said Dr. Chris Scolese, NRO director, who announced the release of the BAA acquisition just three months ago. “We know that users across the National System for Geospatial Intelligence are eager to explore commercial radar, and these contracts will allow us to rapidly validate capabilities and the benefits to the national mission.”

The Strategic Commercial Enhancements BAA Framework is designed to reach across disciplines and the global commercial remote sensing market to drive innovation, explore new phenomenologies, and ultimately, to ensure that the U.S. government has access to the best available commercial remote sensing capabilities.

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Fleet Space Technologies Raises $26.4 Million in Series B Round to Fund IoT Nanosat Development

Internet of Things satellite (Credit: Fleet Space Technologies)
  • Fleet Space Technologies attracts $26.4m (USD) investment valuing company at $126m (USD)
  • Series B Round oversubscribed
  • Investment confirms confidence in Fleet Space advanced satellite technology 
  • Tech drives radical Internet of Things (IoT) efficiencies 
  • Investment is firm commitment to Australia’s rapidly emerging space industry  
  • Investment creates 70 new jobs, including many desirable STEM positions 

ADELAIDE, Australia (Fleet Space Technologies PR) — Fleet Space Technologies announces that it has secured $26.4m (USD) in investment, valuing the company at $126 million (USD). This represents a major step forward for Fleet Space Technologies, which is committed to creating the world’s most advanced low-power satellite network, securing planet-wide coverage for millions of compatible Internet of Things (IoT) devices by using its in-house Nanosatellite technology. This funding will underpin significant expansion in Fleet Space’s manufacturing footprint and will expand the company’s highly skilled workforce. 

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Capella Space To Become First Commercial SAR Company to Demonstrate Compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency’s National Defense Space Architecture

Capella satellites will use laser communications from Mynaric to  rapidly send and receive data

SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2021 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space today announced the company will become the first commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) supplier to demonstrate Optical Inter-Satellite Link (OISL) compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA)’s new NDSA. SAR data is a highly valuable asset for the SDA and the U.S. Department of Defense. The next generation of Capella’s persistent SAR monitoring capabilities will leverage new technology that enables high delivery speeds and direct access to its 24/7 all-weather data for U.S. Government customers.

Capella Space will install optical communications terminals (OCTs) on its commercial SAR satellites, starting in late 2022. This will enable the company to utilize highly efficient laser communications technology to send and receive data to and from its satellites in low Earth orbit, relaying data to compatibly equipped government satellites and military operations on the ground. The integration of OCTs onto Capella’s SAR constellation will drastically reduce latency from image collect to download and ensure spaceborne data is quickly available to inform critical decision-making for terrestrial missions.

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Spaceflight Inc. Readies 13 Payloads and Chemical Propulsion OTV for First Multi-Destination Rideshare Mission

Rendering of Spaceflight Inc.’s Sherpa-LTC1 orbital transfer vehicle. (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE, Nov. 9, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) —Spaceflight Inc., the leading global launch services provider, announced today it will be launching 13 customer payloads, including four microsatellites and nine CubeSats to Sun Synchronous orbit (SSO) aboard the SpaceX Transporter-3 mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than January 2022 from Cape Canaveral. On this mission, which the company has dubbed ‘SXRS-6,’ Spaceflight will deploy customer spacecraft to two distinct orbits for the first time using its chemical propulsion orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), Sherpa-LTC1. Capping a momentous year for Spaceflight, this mission will be the third debut of a new class of Sherpa vehicles within 12 months. 

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Capella Space Accelerates 2021 Growth with New Chief Financial Officer and Expanded Leadership Team

Former executives from Virgin Galactic, Maxar, and Bank of America bring decades of industry and operational expertise as Capella Space rapidly delivers higher volumes of data from space.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 14, 2021 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space, an information services company that provides high-quality, high-speed Earth observation data on demand, today announced several new members of its leadership team as the company continues to grow its satellite constellation and expand service offerings. Jon Campagna joins the team as the company’s first CFO, Julie Ambory as the VP of people, and Nate Ricklin as the VP of product engineering.

Campagna, Ambory, and Ricklin join a growing team of industry veterans and experienced leaders supporting Capella’s mission to provide high-resolution, high-quality SAR imagery on demand. With decades of experience, they join the rest of the leadership team to deliver greater value to customers and will help guide Capella Space into a new chapter of growth.

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Spaceflight Inc.’s New Launch Contracts Bolster Growth of Space Infrastructure

New OTV missions seed infrastructure for situational awareness, IoT communications and fuel depots throughout LEO, GEO and cislunar

SEATTLE, Sept. 21, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, announced it has recently signed several new launch agreements with a wide range of organizations that are expanding space infrastructure. The satellite constellations provide communications networks, device connectivity, weather forecasts, Earth observation, analytics networks, spacecraft collision avoidance, propellant depots, and more. Spaceflight is actively planning several Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) missions to support these efforts in low Earth orbit (LEO), Geosynchronous Equatorial orbit (GEO) and other cislunar destinations.

Notably, Spaceflight has signed new launch deals with Astrocast, Canon Electronics, Capella Space, GeoJump, HawkEye 360, Orbit Fab, Loft Orbital, NASA, NearSpace Launch Inc. / Inter-Modal Holding LLC, Portland State Aerospace Society, Space Products and Innovation (SPiN), Spacemanic, University of Toronto Aerospace Team, Xona Space Systems, and several undisclosed U.S. government organizations.

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Capella Space Opens its SAR Data to the Public

Spotlight Image of Engels Air Force Base, Saratov Oblast, Russia. (Credit: Capella Space)

SAN FRANCISCO (Capella Space PR) — 2021 has been a momentous year for Capella Space and all-weather Earth observation with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology. Since officially starting our commercial operations in January, we have served government and commercial customers alike with very high-resolution, ultra-low latency, 24/7 all-weather data to support better decisions.  

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Launch 2020: U.S. Reclaimed Top Spot, Flew Astronauts Again from American Soil

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The United States reclaimed the top spot in launches from China last year as NASA astronauts flew into orbit from American soil for the first time in nearly nine years, SpaceX deployed the world’s first satellite mega-constellation with reused rockets, and two new launchers debuted with less than stellar results.

American companies conducted 44 launches in 2020, with 40 successes and four failures. Bryce Tech reports that U.S. companies accounted for 32 of the 41 commercial launches conducted last year. The majority of those flights were conducted by SpaceX, which launched 25 orbital missions.

China came in second with a record of 35 successful launches and four failures. The 39 launch attempts tied that nation’s previous record for flights during a calendar year.

Let’s take a closer look at what U.S. companies achieved last year.

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