Welcome to the first issue of the AmbaSat Launch newsletter. In this issue, we’ll be bringing you up-to-date with progress towards the rocket launch, explaining where we are with YOUR satellite and also: What we’ve been doing recently, how AmbaSat is evolving (education), and what we have planned for the future.
As many of you will already know, AmbaSat began as a Kickstarter project back in 2019. Shortly after that, the pandemic hit and like most of the world, the UK shut down for two lengthy periods of time. After the restart, much of the electronics world experienced component shortages and supply chain issues. In 2022 we are still experiencing component supply issues but slowly overcoming these and pushing forward with the business. Today we have six full and part-time employees and a strong focus on delivering AmbaSat satellite courses in education and STEAM.
Back in 2019 we knew very little about satellites, rockets and launching into space. The AmbaSat-1 project was loosely based upon Zac Manchester’s really cool ‘Kicksat’ satellite idea, something which took Zac about eight years from concept to launch into space. We anticipate our launch to be much quicker but as they say, “space isn’t easy” and there are many challenges to overcome. Not least of which involves engineering, licensing and government legislation. However, we are making progress so please read on for more details.
Two Rocket Launch Providers
We are working with two rocket launch providers. For those of you who are part of the Kickstarter project and chose the rocket launch option, we have partnered with Interorbital Systems (IOS) for your rocket launch.
For those who have chosen a rocket launch option and not part of Kickstarter, we are in discussions with several UK-based launch providers for your AmbaSat-1 to be onboard these UK launches.
Launch Provider A – Interorbital Systems (USA)
From the IOS website: “Interorbital Systems (IOS) is a rocket, satellite, and spacecraft manufacturing company and launch-service provider founded in 1996 by Roderick and Randa Milliron. Our facilities at the Mojave Spaceport include a 6,000-sq ft manufacturing and engineering building and two rocket engine test sites. The company is developing three different orbital launch vehicles, the NEPTUNE, the TRITON, and the TRITON Heavy. These rockets will give Interorbital Systems the ability to launch payloads from 80-kg to 6,100-kg into a 500-km polar orbit. IOS is committed to providing reliable and affordable space-launch solutions for Earth orbit and Solar System.”
We have semi-regular meetings with Randa at IOS to discuss their launch progress. As of our most recent meeting earlier this year, IOS is looking to perform first engine testing within the next six months.
Launch Provider B – UK-based
Since we started the AmbaSat business, the UK space sector has undergone considerable change, with a strong ambition to become a major player in the global space industry. This year will see the first ever rocket launches from UK soil and we are aiming for your AmbaSat-1 to be onboard one of those first UK launches. There is a tremendous amount of work for us still to do but we have strong government and industry support.
Why is the launch taking so long?
There are a lot of hurdles to overcome: product testing, radio spectrum licensing, launch licensing, insurance, the unique format and size of AmbaSat-1, the deployment vehicle mechanism, debris concerns, mission parameters such as altitude and duration. The list goes on. However, we are working through these, step by step.
Many of you have been asking what the process is for getting your AmbaSat-1 back to us in readiness for the launch. For the moment, please hold on to your satellite. Once we’ve reached the stage in the license process where we know what hardware/software testing criteria must be met, we will create a test, rework and pre-delivery document outlining what you must do in preparation for getting your AmbaSat-1 back to us and onto the rocket. Watch this space!
Delivery Issues and Communications
Over the past couple of years, we’ve received a number of returned packages as undelivered, for whatever reason. If you have not received your kit, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have contacted us through Kickstarter, LinkedIn or Facebook and did not receive a reply, these channels are not monitored regularly and we don’t always receive notifications. The fastest way to get a response is to contact us at: email@example.com
What have we been doing?
We’ve been busily building the business, recruiting new staff, upgrading our internal systems to improve our workflow and efficiency, developing our educational satellite courses, working with schools and universities in the UK and overseas, exhibiting, and much more! If you’ve been following us on our blog or Twitter, you’ll see that we’ve been very busy attending a wide range of events related to space and education. Here are links to some of the recent highlights:
Trade Mission to Malaysia
AmbaSat High Altitude Launch (HAB) reaches 35km
AmbaSat at Space Tech Expo in Bremen, Germany
Global Space & Technology Convention – Singapore
AmbaSat at BETT London
In addition, we’ve also:
Recruited an Operations Manager to support the continued growth and expansion of the business
Represented AmbaSat at the North East Space Conference – Skills and Education Panel
Worked on a proposal to help develop the licensing model for UK satellite operators
Been named in the 50 most exciting companies list in Yorkshire Business Insider Magazine
AmbaSat in Education
Our new AmbaSat educational courses are designed to inspire students to study and enjoy STEM subjects in preparation for a career in space and other high-technology industries such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
What is the AmbaSat Satellite Course?
In ten sessions, the AmbaSat course introduces students to the world of space engineering and exploration. Students will become familiar with the history of satellites, understand the basic principles of rockets, learn about engineering and electronic components, gain hands-on experience in soldering and assembling their own satellite, learn about sensors, software coding and cover the fundamentals of environmental research, collaboration and teamwork. With study topics reaching right across the curriculum, the AmbaSat course brings the STEM learning journey to life in a practical and enjoyable space journey.
What is included in the Course?
The AmbaSat course comes with everything needed to deliver the 10-lesson course, including:
AmbaSat – Next Steps
We’re continuing to develop the range of educational STEAM packages and new AmbaSat courses. Product plans are underway for AmbaSat-2. This will be a new satellite that exists alongside AmbaSat-1. We’re also close to completing a new version of the website which will reflect our educational focus as well as providing full and regular updates of the product range, launch progress and other highlights.
Thank you for your continued support and patience.
The AmbaSat Team