Magdrive Kick-Stage Feasibility Study: Elevating UK Launch Competitiveness

August 2023

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Study Completion
Commercial Space Technologies (CST) is proud to announce the successful completion of the “Magdrive propelled Kick-Stage Enabling Competitiveness for UK Launch” market feasibility study for Magdrive. This project marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to support innovative companies such as Magdrive by leveraging our expertise in market analysis, utilization of data science, and harnessing our wide network in the space industry. Our collaboration with Magdrive enabled us to conduct a comprehensive study that includes data analysis, interviews with industry experts and stakeholders, and a thorough examination of the competition environment.

Empowering Launch Demands
Through our research, we identified a growing demand for kick-stages to enhance the capabilities of domestic and foreign launch providers and meet a wide range of present and future small satellite requirements and use cases. We also discovered that Magdrive’s unique propulsion technology allows it to target numerous sub-sectors of the small satellite launch market simultaneously while effectively competing with providers focused on specific sub-sectors.

Market Insights
Our study identified five orbits and/or capabilities that a kick-stage propelled by Magdrive thrusters could potentially enable for vehicles launching vertically from the UK. Despite the fact that these markets are still in their infancy due to a lack of launch possibilities, they exhibit promising indicators of potential growth. The report’s conclusions demonstrate that a Kick-Stage propelled by Magdrive thrusters offers considerable potential in the UK launch business and has the potential to increase the attractiveness of UK launches to both domestic and international customers. In addition, we identified potential European competitors and studied successful kick-stage operators. Overall, our report provides Magdrive with valuable insights to explore new use cases of the Magdrive thruster. Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to Magdrive for the opportunity to contribute to their project and for considering us the experts to bring elucidation to this emerging market.

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July 2019

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DoT-1 became the 82nd satellite for which Commercial Space Technologies (CST) has successfully arranged and managed the launch. The DoT-1 microsatellite was designed by Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL) to test new avionics components for future satellites.

On July 5th 2019 at 08:41 Moscow time (05:41 UTC) the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with Fregat upper stage successfully delivered Demonstration of Technology 1 (DoT-1) with 31 other small satellites and its primary payload, Meteor-M (meteorological satellite number 2.2), into a Sun-synchronous low Earth orbit.

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CST Raise the Bar to 81 Spacecraft Successfully Launched

July 2017

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Another milestone for the space industry and a personal record for Commercial Space Technologies Ltd. (CST) as 73 spacecraft launch onboard a Soyuz 2.1A rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 14th at 06:36 GMT. Boasting a truly multinational payload manifest and the second largest number of spacecraft ever deployed from a single launch, Russia has demonstrated once again that it is able to compete on the international stage of rideshare launch solutions.

Through careful contract negotiations and managerial support, the CST team brokered the lion’s share of spacecraft manifested, constituting 48 nanosatellites for U.S customer Planet Labs Inc. This more than doubles CST’s previous total of 33 small-satellites launched over 22 years (although the majority of the previous spacecraft were in larger mass categories).

The launch was, of course, a team effort and CST thanks Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS) for their hard work and professionalism on integration and deployment systems and for the dedication of teams from Glavkosmos and Lavotchkin.

CST would also like to congratulate its partners at ‘VNIIEM Corporation’ JC and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) for the successful separation of their joint manufactured Kanopus-V-IR spacecraft, the primary payload onboard, for which CST supplied project management and in orbit commissioning services between the Russian and UK development teams.

The Memorandum of Understanding

July 2010

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UK has concluded a historic agreement with Russia.The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the UK Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Bureau was concluded at the Farnborough Airshow on July 21st. Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) has had a long and successful collaboration with a variety of Russian organisations spanning 20 years, working with the UK and Moscow offices of Commercial Space Technologies (CST Ltd.) as a representative and local partner. CST Moscow Office has been actively involved in the preparation of this MOU