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BAE plans Asia-Pacific satellite rideshare mission

The Faraday Dragon spacecraft (concept pictured above in orbit) offers small satellite performance, carrying up to 60 kg of payload and a payload power of up to 200 W, along with 1 TB of data storage, a high-rate downlink, and a mission lifetime of five years. (In-Space Missions)

BAE Systems subsidiary In-Space Missions is building an Asia-Pacific regional first satellite rideshare mission known as Faraday Dragon targeted for launch in 2026, a spokesperson for In-Space told Janes at the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition 2023 (TADTE 2023) held in Taipei from 14 to 16 September.

According to In-Space, Faraday Dragon is the first of a series of rideshare small satellites that will fly multiple payloads for regional space players including government, commercial, financial, research, and educational organisations.

The spokesperson said that the company is in discussions with seven countries including Taiwan for this mission.

β€œIn terms of the countries with which we are engaged in discussions about Faraday Dragon at the moment, [they] include Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan,” the spokesperson said.

β€œWe have held a series of workshops, with each of these nations attended by their space agencies and local organisations to identify potential payloads for the satellites, and we expect to be signing memorandums of understanding (MOUs) shortly so we can move to finalise the mission architecture,” the spokesperson added.

The discussions with organisations from Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Taiwan have already identified mutual areas of interest for the first mission including agricultural monitoring, low-cost and accessible connectivity, radio frequency observation and processing, and disaster monitoring, according to company specifications.

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