Each month we round up some of the top stories in space, entrepreneurship, innovation, finance and technology.

Here’s our round-up for June:

HIGH-TECH GRÜNDERFONDS INVESTS IN ORBEX ORBITAL SPACE LAUNCH VEHICLE

Germany’s High-Tech Gründerfonds has made its first investment in the space sector with UK-based Orbex. Founded in 2015, Orbex is building an orbital micro-launch vehicle to insert small satellites into low Earth orbit from Europe. Read the press release here.

Orbex logo. Credit: Orbex

Orbex logo. Credit: Orbex

RUSSIA STUDYING DEDICATED SPACE TOURISM MISSIONS USING ITS SOYUZ SPACECRAFT

Russia is studying dedicated space tourism missions using its Soyuz spacecraft.

Glavkosmos Director General Denis Lyskov said at the Paris Air Show that future missions could fly two tourists and one professional cosmonaut, possibly visiting the ISS. Read more here.

Sunrise as viewed from the International Space Station in November. Framing the edge of sun is the Soyuz TMA-17M (front) which brought NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko to the station and a Russian Progress 60 (back) cargo craft which arrived back in July. Credit: NASA JSC

KFC LAUNCHED A CHICKEN SANDWICH INTO SPACE (…NO KIDDING!)

A chicken sandwich boldly went where no chicken sandwich has gone before: space. Read about it here.

Watch the launch video below.

ROCKET SCIENTIST SAYS SPACE THE PLACE FOR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS

The man behind one of the world’s first rocket launches from a private site has called on Irish spacetech firms to focus on small satellites if they want to get ahead.

Peter Beck, chief executive and founder of Rocket Lab, said money is no longer an obstacle for companies who want to build their own satellites.

Read the article here in The Irish Times.

Peter Beck, chief executive RocketLab: “The biggest thing to be done in space has yet to be thought of”

JAPAN HAS PLANS TO LAND ASTRONAUTS ON THE MOON BY 2030 — WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THE UNITED STATES.

Japan has plans to land astronauts on the Moon by 2030 — with a little help from the United States. The Japanese space agency JAXA said it envisions human missions to the Moon, potentially to study and make use of water ice deposits at the lunar poles. The JAXA plan, though, would involve making use of NASA’s proposed Deep Space Gateway in cislunar space, which would serve as the jumping-off point for expeditions to the lunar surface. [Asahi Shimbun]

Via SpaceNews

An illustration of NASA’s proposed “deep-space gateway” in orbit around the moon. Japan plans to make use of gateway as a jumping-off point for future lunar expeditions. Credit: NASA

FRENCH STARTUP RAISES $1.9 MILLION FOR SMALLSAT ELECTRIC PROPULSION

A pair of French entrepreneurs have raised 1.7 million euros ($1.9 million) for a new electric propulsion system to address the small satellite market.

Read the article on SpaceNews here.

ThrustMe, a French electric propulsion startup, raised $1.9 million to conduct a first mission in 18 months. Credit: ThrustMe.

20 OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD COMPANIES WORKING ON SPACE TRAVEL TECHNOLOGIES

Read how 20 companies are currently working on their technology that may soon make it possible for more humans to experience space travel and to send unmanned spacecraft for innovative cosmic explorations.

Featured image (above): Boeing’s Phantom Express spaceplane. Image Source: The Boeing Company

RocketLab launch. Source: RocketLab
RocketLab launch. Source: RocketLab
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