Orbex has announced that Swiss-based Astrocast SA, has selected Orbex to launch as many as 10 nanosatellites by 2023 in support of its global Internet of Things (IoT) network.

Astrocast is building a 64 CubeSat IoT network to deliver affordable data communication services to the world’s most remote areas. Designed specifically for IoT, Astrocast’s two-way system allows companies to monitor and control their remote assets, including over-the-air upgrades at lower latency and cost than existing satellite communications networks.

This capability has a multitude of applications across many industry sectors including environmental monitoring, security, maritime, mining, oil & gas and back-up. Astrocast’s system employs multilevel AES 256 encryption making bringing a new level of security to IoT.

According to the firm:

“This partnership underscores that attractiveness of the UK’s satellite launch capability. Orbex’s orbital launch vehicle, called Prime, will deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit from the proposed Sutherland spaceport in Scotland, as part of the main consortium. It is built upon a unique architecture that’s 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in the small launcher category.”

“We are excited about the prospect of launching our nanosatellites from a European launch site” said Fabien Jordan, Astrocast CEO.

“To deploy and maintain our constellation, we need regular access to launch services. Launching from Europe will be beneficial to us in terms of our production schedule and launch campaign logistics. Orbex is making good progress toward its first launch in 2021 from Scotland and we look forward to working with them over the coming years.”

“What Astrocast is planning is nothing short of revolutionary, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” said Chris Larmour, CEO of Orbex.

“It is not just a great idea. They are already executing well, having designed and manufactured their first satellite, which is already operational in the Earth’s orbit. We are encouraged to see this satellite innovation here in Europe, and we look forward to playing our part in the deployment of their satellite constellation.”

Orbex, which has won £30 million ($40 million) in public and private funding so far, is backed by two of Europe’s largest venture capital funds, Sunstone Technology Ventures and the High-Tech Gründerfonds. It also has backing from the European Space Agency (ESA), the UK Space Agency (UKSA) and the European Commission Horizon 2020 project.

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keithdwat
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keithdwat

So when are we launching people to the moon??

keithdwat
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keithdwat

you know I would genuinely love to! What an experience that would be!

Cam Hunter
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Cam Hunter

That would be amazing, mars would be even better, and it’s not long before people go to mars…. we almost have all the technology to do it.

MattW
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MattW

Except as far as I’m aware its a one way journey to Mars, we don’t currently have the facility to get the vessel back off the ground and away again once landed.

dan
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dan

But can the first stage come back to earth and land to be used over again and again? lol

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

Bit pointless if your still losing money on the flights like SpaceX are. They aren’t receiving enough money for flights to pay off development costs and are having to live off military contracts and asking shareholders for more while axing R&D projects and further development of Falcon 9 (including their program to make the upper stage reusable).

Also not helped by the fact US Inspector Generals Office have just opened an investigation into whether SpaceX improperly received certification to carry military payloads in exchange for dropping a lawsuit.

Sean
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Sean

Complete rubbish.
Space X are making a profit on all their Falcon flights, both commercial, military, and NASA flights.
They’ve stopped further development of the Falcon 9 because
(a) they have enough of the latest, most reuseable version to meet all their current orders
(b) they plan to use BFR/Starship as a replacement for the Falcon 9, it being fully resuseable unlike Falcon 9 and Heavy.