Top stories: June 2016

30 June 2016

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

Here’s our round-up for June:

Space And Tech Converge As Seattle Hosts Major Space Conference

The NewSpace conference has been held in Silicon Valley for about a decade, but starting this year it will alternate between the Bay Area and Seattle. That’s in recognition of the growing cluster of companies in Seattle working on space technologies. Hannah Kerner, executive director of conference organiser, Space Frontier Foundation, says the presence of Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon has helped nourish space entrepreneurship.

Read more here. Watch the highlights from the conference here.

First Private Moon Landing Slated for 2017

SpaceIL, an Israeli space tech start-up will attempt to ride a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the Moon next year. If it succeeds in landing a rover on the Moon, travelling at least 500 meteres across the surface, and beaming back high-definition video to prove its accomplishment, SpaceIL will win Alphabet’s Google Lunar XPRIZE competition — along with the $20 million prize that comes with a first-place finish. Read more here.

Artist's concept of SpaceIL's lunar lander, one competitor for Alphabet's Google Lunar XPRIZE. Image credit: SpaceIL.
Artist’s concept of SpaceIL’s lunar lander, one competitor for Alphabet’s Google Lunar XPRIZE. Image credit: SpaceIL.

Sierra Nevada Corp. is working with U.N. on global space program for Dream Chaser

Sierra Nevada Corp. says it’s working with the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs on an arrangement that would give countries around the world the opportunity to fly payloads into orbit and back on the company’s Dream Chaser space plane. Read more here.

An artist’s conception shows Sierra Nevada Corp.’s uncrewed version of the Dream Chaser space glider in orbit with a cargo module attached at the back. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)
An artist’s conception shows Sierra Nevada Corp.’s uncrewed version of the Dream Chaser space glider in orbit with a cargo module attached at the back. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Russia’s Plan To Spin Off a New Space Station From the ISS

Russia’s main contractor in human space flight just detailed its plans to separate the newest modules from the International Space Station (ISS) once the long-lived project comes to an end in the 2020s. It plans to build a new habitable base in Earth orbit called the Russian Orbital Station, or ROS. The outpost will include three modules initially, possibly joined by two more in the future. Read more here.

Image credit: Anatoly Zak/
Image credit: Anatoly Zak/

Meet The Entrepreneurs Building The World’s Startups

Over 700 entrepreneurs from 170 countries and territories were invited to the U.S. State Department’s annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held this year at Stanford University from June 22-24. The summits work to increase the level of entrepreneurial initiatives overseas, as a way of promoting democracy, increasing prosperity, solving tough problems, and countering violent extremism. Read more here.

Image credit: Fast Company
Image credit: Fast Company

Is Silicon Valley Expanding?

Why won’t there be a SpaceX in India, unless…

Many of us dream of becoming astronauts who reach out for the stars when we are young despite India not having a human space programme. As we grow up, we start to live up to the expectations of our society and make our ends meet by not chasing such wild dreams rather shaping our talent to contribute to the upcoming opportunities by taking jobs in the government or the private sector or by being academics.

Read more here.

Image credit: SpaceX
Image credit: SpaceX

Blue Origin flies reusable suborbital rocket for fourth time

Blue Origin’s suborbital space transport system made another test flight Sunday, launching and landing at the company’s West Texas test facility to prove out the crew capsule’s resiliency to a parachute failure.

The test flight also marked a change in public relations for the once-secretive company. It was the first time Blue Origin has webcast once of its launches live. Read more about it here and watch the webcast below.