31 January 2018

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

Here’s our round-up for January:

Spire Global is expanding cubesat constellation to offer persistent global view

Spire Global, which operates 48 GPS radio occultation cubesats, could provide a persistent view of about 97 percent of Earth with a constellation of 150 satellites, said Alexander “Sandy” MacDonald, Spire’s global validation model director. Read more in SpaceNews.

Spire engineer Shaina Johl runs tests on a Spire cubesat, the NanoRacks-LEMUR-2 qualification model, prior to its June 2017 launch from Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft. Credit: Spire Global

France, Germany studying reusability with a subscale flyback booster

Reusable rocketry in Europe took a step forward last year with a funding boost for Prometheus, a program meant to develop a reusable engine manufacturable at one-tenth the cost of the Ariane 5’s first-stage liquid engine. A parallel effort dubbed Callisto could test a European ability to launch, return and refly a rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in South America.

Read more in SpaceNews.

Lead image: “We are lacking an experience by operation of recovering a vehicle and reflying it. This is exactly what we would like to do with Callisto,” — Jean-Marc Astorg, head of Launch Vehicles Directorate, CNES. Credit: CNES

Jeff Bezos just launched a dummy called ‘Mannequin Skywalker’ into space and safely returned it to Earth

Astronauts on a space station have started to 3D-print tools, creating a new frontier and new techniques for industry. They are exploring on-site manufacturing of space equipment, telecommunications and even medical uses, says FT industry reporter Michael Pooler.

Read more here.

The next (Chinese) SpaceX?

Chinese company Linkspace Aerospace Technology Inc. demonstrates its first vertical take-off and landing.


Bulgarian start-ups make CubeSats and bee detectors

The Financial times looks at Bulgarian startups EnduroSat, Bee Smart Technologies and BulPros

Read the full article at the FT.

SpaceX has test fired its Falcon Heavy rocket

The crucial test clears the way for a launch in early February.

How To Launch A Space Startup

Funding for space startups reached record highs last year. Check out this great read from Fast Company on “How to Launch a Space Startup,” featuring interviews with entrepreneurial space pioneers including Space Angels.