TOP STORIES: January 2019

31 January 2019

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

Here’s our round-up for January:

PTScientists to examine future ESA mission on in-situ resource utilisation on the Moon

The European Space Agency ESA and ArianeGroup, as prime contractor of a consortium of Arianegroup, Space Application Services and PTScientists, have signed a contract to study and prepare ESA’s planned ISRU mission. Read more in their press release here.

PTScientists is a new space startup that aims to be the first privately funded company to land on the Moon and to explore the Apollo 17 landing site. Credit: PT Scientists

New Location For Blue Abyss Facility Announced


Plans for the UK getting a new, really, really deep pool called the Blue Abyss, making it the largest facility of its kind in the world, appear to be moving forward, with a location now slated for Liverpool. Read more in their news release here.

Check out a concept video below released in 2016 — produced by Cityscape Digital — of what the pool would look like, complete with divers and astronauts training for a space mission, as well as a more recent promotional video.

Competition for Young Space Entrepreneurs launched

The UK Space Agency is offering young people expert advice for their ideas of how satellites could improve life on Earth and a share of a £50,000 prize. See more in the UK Space Agency announcement.

The Space Tech VC View: What Does 2019 Hold For European Startups?

What does 2019 hold for the space tech field? This was the question posed to the Managing Director of Seraphim Capital. Seraphim Capital introduced the first venture fund dedicated to space tech in September 2017, and since then the company has been not only an active financier in the space startup ecosystem, but has provided key trends across the world through their thorough global investment analysis. Read more in Forbes.

ICEYE sent the first ever under-100kg SAR satellite into orbit in January 2018, and is one of the European leaders in space tech. Credit: ICEYE

SpaceX test firing sets path for Crew Dragon flight in February

The rocket engines under SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle briefly fired up during a test fire, and after a few delays the company said on Twitter that it’s planning for a test flight in February. Read more at Endgadget.


The world is still celebrating the historic landing of China’s Chang’e-4 on the dark side of the moon on January 3. This month, China announced its plans to follow up with three more lunar missions, laying the groundwork for a lunar base. Read more in Newsweek.

NASA’s Habitat Challenge—team Gamma showing their habitat design. Credit: NASA

Blue Origin launch their New Shepard rocket (NS-10)

On 23 January, Blue Origin launched their next New Shepard test flight. Watch it here!