Fossa Systems is a privately held leading aerospace company that develops Pico-satellites for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) services. The company also offers low-cost PocketQube launch opportunities and PocketQube design, in-house manufacturing and testing. While the bulk of development comes from academia, several companies build PocketQubes, such as Fossa and UK-based Alba Orbital. PocketQube projects have even been the subject of Kickstarter campaigns. The PocketQube format is also popular with amateur radio satellite builders.
Fossa’s first satellite FOSSASat-1 (1P, 5cm Qube weighing under 250g) was launched on December 6th, 2019, on an Electron KS launcher operated by Rocket Lab with their ‘Running Out of Fingers’ mission.
FOSSASat-1b (1P), an updated version of FOSSASat-1, and FOSSASat-2 (2P) were launched on the maiden flight of FireFly’s Alpha launcher on September 3rd, 2021 from Space Launch Complex 2 West at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California USA, but failed to reach orbit blowing up during first stage flight.
The company, founded in July 2020 and based in Madrid, Spain, plans to deploy a constellation of 80 SmallSats in successive launches prior to 2024.
The 16-year-old radio amateur Julián Fernández was interviewed by the newspaper El Mundo Chronicle about his FOSSASat-1 PocketQube satellite. At the age of seven someone told Fernández about the International Space Station and, since then, he has not stopped fantasizing about the idea of a voyage safe from gravity. To meet its objective, and in order to reduce launch costs, the last two years have been devoted to miniaturizing the size of the FOSSASat-1 satellite.
In June 2019 Fernández launched a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe with which he intends to finance a mini-satellite (the smallest in Spain and the third in the world) that will allow the Internet access throughout the world.
Fossa Systems S.L. was founded in Spain on July 13th, 2020 by Fernández (CEO) and Vicente González (CTO).
On July 8th, 2021 the company signed an agreement with Berlin-based Exolaunch for the launch launch two PocketPOD deployers, carrying a total of eight PocketQube satellites onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Several PocketQube customer satellites, WISeKey, a cybersecurity, AI, and IoT company from Switzerland and the CShark Pilot-1 2P Earth Observation and IoT Satellite, will be flying on this mission. Five of which will be using the FOSSASat-2E high performance picosatellite platform. The satellites were launched on January 13th, 2022 with the Transporter-3 mission from SpaceX.
On May 25th 2022 the company launched another eight satellites, FOSSASat-2E6, -E7, -E8, -E9, -E10, -E11, -E12 and -E13. The satellites were orbited with the Vigoride VR03 space tug, operated by space logistics company Momentus, with a Falcon 9 rocket operated by SpaceX on its fifth SmallSat Rideshare Program mission, Transporter-5, orbiting 59 small spacecraft for various customers such as LEO satellite operators GHGSat, ICEYE, FOSSASat and satellite manufacturer Tyvak. The Vigoride VR-03 space tug m failed to release seven of its nine satellite payloads. Two of its passenger spacecrafts, FOSSAT-2E–11 and FOSSAT-2E-12, were released and the other seven satellites (FOSSAT-2E-7, -8, -9, -10, -13, Veery-Hatchling and Selfiesat) remain stuck on the Vigoride-3 (VR 3). The satellites had to be counted as total losses.
|Satellite||Customer||Mission||Launch Date||Launcher||Launch Operator|
|FOSSASat-1||Fossa Systems||‘Running Out of Fingers’||Dec 6th, 2019||Electron||Rocket Lab NZ|
|FOSSASat-1b||Fossa Systems||launch failure||Sept 3rd, 2021||FireFly Alpha||FireFly USA|
|FOSSASat-2||Fossa Systems||launch failure||Sept 3rd, 2021||FireFly Alpha||FireFly USA|
|FOSSASat-2E1/WISeSAT-1||WISeKey CH||Transporter-3||Jan 13th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E2/WISeSAT-2||WISeKey CH||Transporter-3||Jan 13th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E3/PILOT-1||CShark Italy||Transporter-3||Jan 13th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|PorkShop Sw||Transporter-3||Jan 13th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E5||Fossa Systems||Transporter-3||Jan 13th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E6||Fossa Systems||Transporter-3||Jan 13th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E7||Fossa Systems||Transporter-5||May 25th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E8||Fossa Systems||Transporter-5||May 25th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E9||Fossa Systems||Transporter-5||May 25th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E10||Fossa Systems||Transporter-5||May 25th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E11||Fossa Systems||Transporter-5||May 25th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E12||Fossa Systems||Transporter-5||May 25th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
|FOSSASat-2E13||Fossa Systems||Transporter-5||May 25th, 2022||Falcon 9||SpaceX USA|
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www.nasaspaceflight.com edition September 2nd, 2021
www.news.satnews.com edition January 20th, 2022
www.tesmanian.com edition May 25th, 2022
Satellites manufactured by Fossa Systems
FOSSASat-1 LEO PocketQube satellite