9 September 2017

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

Here’s our round-up for August:

Smallsats Space Debris and Self Regulation

For anyone with their eye on the entrepreneurial space landscape, the nano- and microsatellite sector likely represents something of a mainstay of today’s commercial space industry. There has never before been greater interest or investment in the development of small satellites, dedicated small launch systems, and associated infrastructure. All of this activity is manifested in the great volume of artificial satellites which now orbit the Earth. As plans for new, larger, commercial satellite constellations come online, this number will only continue to grow. Read the article by Space Angels here.

Image credit: European Space Agency / Artist’s concept

The Billionaire Moguls in a Race to Outer Space

Think billionaires and outer space and three names quickly come to mind: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. There are 13 others among the world’s 500 richest people who have an investment in a space enterprise, according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and consulting firm Bryce Space & Technology. Bloomberg’s Tom Metcalf has more on “What’d You Miss?” (Source: Bloomberg)

Peter Diamandis: How to Find the Mindset and Energy to Go Big

In a recent interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Peter Diamandis said he’s at his best whenever he taps into his passion and lets it shine through.

“Anything I do has got to be truly from the heart and the soul,” Diamandis said. “Otherwise, I’m not going to care. If the love isn’t there, it’s never going to thrive.”

Read more here.

Iceye raises $13 million for radar microsatellites

Finnish company Iceye announced Aug. 23 that it has raised $13 million to further development of a constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) cubesats. Iceye said in a statement that $8.5 million of the new funding came in a financing round led by Draper Nexus, an early-stage venture capital company with offices in California and Japan. Others participating in the round include True Ventures, Lifeline Ventures, Space Angels and Draper Associates. Read more at SpaceNews.

Featured image: Iceye plans to launch three SAR microsatellites in the next year as precursors to a larger constellation. Credit: Iceye

Small rockets, new and renewed

A perennial topic of discussion, and complaints, at the annual Conference on Small Satellites at Utah State University is launch. For many years, there’s never seemed to be enough launch capacity, going to the right orbits at the right time at the right price, to satisfy the industry. Developers traded horror stories of satellites sitting on the shelf for years waiting for a launch—in the case of student-built satellites, long after their student builders graduated. – via The Space Review.

Firefly Aerospace, the reincarnated version of Firefly Space Systems, plans to develop a new version of its Alpha rocket capable of carrying more payload and compete better against India’s PSLV. (credit: Firefly Aerospace)