The new year is nigh. It is a perfect time to summarize all Dragonfly Aerospace achieved in 2021. And to shine a spotlight on our advancements, of course.
2021 was a truly pivotal year for our company. We have strengthened our business position thanks to the integration into the space ecosystem fomented by businessman, space enthusiast Max Polyakov.
Thanks to this fruitful fusion we have expanded our production base as well as significantly expanding our product portfolio.
In addition, we participated in important missions and collaborations and concluded a number of agreements.
Read more about Dragonfly Aerospace`s milestone 2021 below.
Dragonfly Aerospace emerges in the Noosphere Ventures ecosystem
In April 2021, Dr. Max Polyakov acquired a controlling stake in Dragonfly Aerospace. So our company subsequently entered the community of space firms, supported by Dr. Polyakov, joining EOS Data Analytics (EOSDA), a satellite data and analytics company, SETS, a space electric thruster systems developer and space launch provider Firefly Aerospace.
This event set in motion a series of fundamental transformations and improvements in the structure and organization of Dragonfly Aerospace production.
Read more about it here.
Augmenting the production base
In 2021, Dragonfly Aerospace started implementing improvements to its production and development facilities with a total area of approximately 3,000 m2 at its headquarters in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
In the summer of this year, the company opened its own Clean Room for assembling space objects in the necessary sterile conditions. The New High Bay Clean Room consists of two zones: the smaller ones are suitable for scientific missions on Earth, and the larger zone is ideal for deep space launches. All Clean Room surfaces are maintained at ISO 8 (ISO 14644-1 standard), which is less than 100,000 particles over 0.5 µm per cubic meter.
New portfolio products
In October 2021, Dragonfly Aerospace launched two new products: the 200 kg Dragonfly satellite bus for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and the 100 kg µDragonfly satellite bus designed for electro-optical payloads.
Learn more about the new satellite buses here.
The professional team of Dragonfly Aerospace has a strong heritage of work on microsatellite space missions from the times of the first satellite Earth observation programmes in the 1980’s to nowadays.
So producing our own satellite buses was the expected next stage of portfolio development.
We are proud that we were able to add such an important update to our product line exactly in this very challenging year.
Dragonfly grows, emerges to join the Association
In February 2021, Dragonfly Aerospace signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Addvalue Technologies Ltd (A31), a leading satellite communications company based in Singapore, which provides state-of-the-art communications terminals for use in space.
Dragonfly Aerospace also announced that it has signed a contract to develop and deliver high-resolution electro-optical imagery for the planned Pixxel satellite constellation, which provides imaging solutions useful for climate monitoring, yield forecasting, urban planning and disaster response, among other applications.
In the spring of 2021, Dragonfly announced the delivery of a Gecko electro-optical imager to Loft Orbital to fly on its YAM-3 satellite.
In Dubai on Oct. 28, we announced the delivery of the first satellite by Dragonfly Aerospace for the EOS AgriSat constellation. By coordinating with EOS Data Analytics (EOSDA), the launch of the satellite into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is planned for 2022.
Also in late October, an important event and a source of pride for Dragonfly Aerospace was its membership in the International Astronautical Federation, which brings together leading space companies, research centers, educational institutions, space agencies and associations in 71 countries.
Dragonfly plays a role in key space missions
On June 29, Dragonfly’s hyperspectral imager Mantis was launched onboard a SpaceX flight as a payload part of NanoAvionics’ D2/AtlaCom-1 mission.
The mission goal is to demonstrate how new satellite technology can be used.
On Nov. 24 the DART – Double Asteroid Redirection Test – was launched from the Vandenberg Space Force base in California.
DART is NASA’s mission to test the method of protecting our planet from an asteroid hazard by direct collision. The launch of the spacecraft and its satellite was accomplished with the help of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The satellite counterpart of the DART spacecraft, the LICIACube satellite, is equipped with the Dragonfly Aerospace imager – Gecko. It bears the mission codename of Luke.
Our future is bright
In the coming year, we plan to further our cooperation with current partners. We also will continue exploring new partnerships, missions and collaborations.
We plan to further develop our production facilities in order to release four new satellites in 2022. This will bring us closer to our main objective- to increase production to 10 units per year. Ultimately, we plan to deliver up to 48 satellites equipped with our Earth-monitoring payloads each year.