NewSpace Systems was created through a joint venture between South African company SCS Aerospace Group and the Dutch SSBV Group in 2013. Over recent years, the company has grown organically by capitalizing on its internal capabilities and externally, by investor engagement. Today, NSS designs and manufactures a range of components and sub-systems in altitude control from its facilities in South Africa and the United Kingdom. The company boasts over 30 years of collective industry experience in Space applications.
NSS aims to be a supplier to the next generation of operational SmallSat constellations. The product range includes flight-proven off-the-shelf ADCS products such as reaction wheels, sun sensors, GPS receivers & antennas, magnetometers, magnetorquer rods, stellar gyros, star mappers, and CubeSat Attitude Control solutions. In some cases, NSS develops customized solutions in collaboration with its customers. In addition to these, the manufacturer also offers extended services in technology commercialization and contract manufacturing.
NSS is one of the fastest-growing start-ups in the NewSpace sector. In early 2020, Schauenburg Ventures SA, bought into NewSpace Systems, becoming the first corporate round raised by NSS. According to the company’s latest newsletter, the manufacturer recorded a 72 per cent annual revenue growth. The key drivers to the topline were led by the growth of its customer base to over 60 Primes, and the expansion of its geographical reach to 6 continents. NSS reports that it has increased the supply of its key components, to over 30 recurrent satellite platforms. And beyond the commercial presence, the company reports it has also developed partnerships with national agencies, and currently supports 14 Space Agencies globally. In August 2019, the Asian national space Agency chose NSS to supply 5 out of 6 of its major satellite components for the country’s national programme.
The company has also greatly leveraged on global partnerships as a key strategic means to its growth. Currently, NSS is in partnership with 9 global re-sellers across the 6 continents it serves. Among them is US-based Oakman Aerospace Inc., which assists in the components import process, and works in various integration, assembly, and testing efforts to support customers in North America.
NSS’s other global strategic collaborations include:
- ISIS Partnership: Through its partnership with Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS), NSS assembled hardware was used in the launch of the Vega VV16 flight. The Vega rocket successfully launched 7 microsatellites and 46 CubeSats into Orbit, in early September 2020
- Leostella Partnership: Over the last 3 years, NSS has been supplying ADCS parts to Leostella, a Seattle based small satellite and design manufacturing company. The company was founded as a joint venture between Spaceflight Industries and Thales Alenia to meet the growing demand for satellite design and manufacturing. In 2020, LeoStella began the manufacture of 20 satellites for the BlackSky constellation. As of June, the company had delivered 6 satellites for the ongoing EO constellation program for BlackSky. The satellites are designed to operate in LEO altitudes and inclinations and weigh approximately 50 kg.
- Kineis Partnership: NSS is at the Quality Management (QM) phase of the Kineis Constellation program, having completed the Equipment Qualification Status Review (EQSR) back in April. NSS will provide several ADCS products for the 100 Million Euro-funded Kineis Constellation, whose Nanosatellites will be dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT satellite connectivity player, Kineis, is set to launch the 25 Nanosatellites in 2022.
- Airbus OneWeb Partnership: NSS has delivered over 1000 magnetorquer rods to OneWeb Satellites since the beginning of the companies’ collaboration in 2016. NSS, which supports the IoT constellation, reports that it is maintaining a high-volume production.
- Bartington Instruments Partnership: The manufacturer’s most recent partnership is the collaboration with Bartington Instruments, announced in May. Bartington is focused on the development of a new generation of radiation hard fluxgate magnetometers for the space environment. While the specifics of the collaboration are undisclosed, the partnership is reportedly fostered by NewSpace’s longstanding reputation in the development and manufacture of high-reliability spacecraft products, which support national space agencies, and commercial constellations.
With strong growth in product demand, the 29 member team is growing. Currently, NSS is looking for new additions for its South African base.
Open Vacancies include:
- Chief Technology Officer – The CTO will manage the organization’s technological needs as well as its research and development (R&D)
- Design Engineer – The Design Engineer will take responsibility for new electro-mechanical product design, development and verification on various projects working within a multidisciplinary team.
- Product Engineer – The Product Engineer will take responsibility for new electro-mechanical product design, development and verification on various projects working within a multidisciplinary team
- Assembly Technician – The Assembly Technician will support the manufacture of electronic equipment for use in satellite-based systems
Njeri graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance, from the University of Nairobi and is a CFA Level II Candidate. Currently an analyst at Space in Africa, her experience spans across Project Finance, and the analysis of Venture Capital & Private Equity Ecosystems in sub-Sahara Africa, with a particular interest in Sustainable Sciences.