Ursa Space Systems recently disclosed that it is expanding its partnership with ICEYE, a radar satellite operator from Finland. Reportedly, Ursa is considering the resell of ICEYE data products. At the same time, both the firms are supposed to jointly develop novel analytic services with data collected from ICEYE’s SAR (synthetic aperture radar) satellites. This week at the 2019 GEOINT Symposium, Ursa and ICEYE made this announcement.
In 2018, ICEYE and Ursa forged their foremost agreement. That deal offered Ursa access to ICEYE’s data records as well as the ability to undertake ICEYE’s foremost satellite, ICEYE-X1. Adam Maher, Co-Founder and CEO, Ursa, proclaimed that the latest agreement is quite more wide-ranging. In December 2018, ICEYE launched ICEYE-X2, its second SAR satellite. According to the Ursa–ICEYE news release, the collaboration plans to launch approximately five additional satellites in 2019.
On a similar note, the ESA (European Space Agency) came into the news as it is planning to launch a novel space rideshare service this September. Reportedly, this service holds the capability to shuttle dozens of small satellites into space at a time. This system is named as Vega Small Spacecraft Mission Service. According to an ESA press release, the latest system will drive down the prices of sending a satellite to space by stacking numerous small satellites such as Legos in a novel modular dispenser.
Small satellites named CubeSats generally range from about one to ten kilograms. These CubeSats have become progressively more common as a relatively low-price method to take scientific instruments or other tools into space. However, generally, their launching demands to pay top dollar for a ride on a rocket that is already sending a bigger satellite into orbit. The latest Vega Small Spacecraft Mission Service turns this into a ‘ride-share’ model, with numerous small satellites being flown at a time. This would split the launch prices through economy class tickets.