Space is becoming a major area of startup and commercial investment, so I decided to start a weekly round of major news in space, space and space technology. Let me know if you rate this or have any suggestions and I will make sure it evolves as needed to be a useful resource.
There was plenty of news this week about spacesuits and signs from multiple operators that will be an orbital boom in traffic in the near future. Also, we are heading to the annual International Cosmonautics Congress (IAC) this coming week, so expect much more news starting tomorrow.
NASA showed a brand new generation of spacesuits, including one who is the first American and the next American to step on the moon will bring this historic moment. The new Artemis costumes are designed to scale substantially from the smallest to the largest adult human frame possible, which NASA has touted as a way to make astronauts' programs more accessible to a wider audience than Americans. The agency must go out of its way to rectify this because of what happened, which led to position # 2 this week.
NASA for the first time seeks to outsource the full production of these generations of Artemis suits (including the Orion survival suit, which was also revealed today and will only be worn on board an Orion capsule) . To this end, it sent a request for input from the industry on their design and development before creating an appropriate RFP.
As I said above, there was a very good reason that NASA really emphasized how much Artemis costume designs were included: canceled the first space expedition of all women earlier this year, as there was not the right amount of space-sized suitcases aboard the International Space Station. He sent one in June, but that historic moment happened last week, with Koch and Meir making about seven hours of space travel to repair the power controller.
That's over 12,000 already cleared, making a total potential constellation size of 42,000. That's about 8 times the number of satellites currently in orbit in all orbital zones. This is a move that definitely raises the fury of both industry and space explorers, because it will make it much more difficult to ensure that orbiting spacecraft avoid collisions and could obscure the view of stars from Earth. SpaceX says that it has taken steps to ensure that it can avoid both problems, but not everyone is convinced.
Meanwhile, the startup Swarm has received approval from the FCC to deploy its own, much smaller constellation of 150 satellites, Swarm does not compete directly with SpaceX's Starlink – it wants to provide low bandwidth IoT connectivity. And while he doesn't want to put in a huge volume of spacecraft, there was some concern that the toast-sized satellites might be too small to track and pose a risk this way.
New Zealand – The state-of-the-art US Rocket Laboratory has been successful in launching its fifth Electron rocket this year. The launch's success was more a testament to its business model than to its technology, since the payload flying that mission was in fact one that wasn't planned to rise much later in the queue. The original Rocket Lab client for this had to give up due to unfortunate circumstances and Rocket Lab managed to get the Astro Digital client to ride earlier. This type of payload replacement at a later stage is not usually the strength of an established commercial space launch industry.
Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic will begin to carry rich tourists paying until the very end of space next year if everything goes according to plan, and now we know what they will wear when they do: Under the armor. The sportswear company and the Branson space company have unveiled the new costumes at a great special event featuring the first tourists to book $ 250,000 on board a Virgin Galactic spacecraft .
Lockheed Martin has been in the commercial business space since it had a commercial space business, and about a decade ago created a corporate venture fund to make strategic bets on startups. I sat down with the General Manager of the Fund and J. Christopher Moran to talk about what the fund is looking for in startup companies – and the industrial giant is much more interested in early stage companies you may have thought of. Additional crash subscription required.