TOP STORIES: February 2019

1 March 2019

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

Here’s our round-up for February:

The 2019 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies by Sector: Space


Fast Company published the world’s most innovative companies by sector. Here are their top 10 for space.

  1. RocketLab – for carrying small satellites into orbit
  2. Virgin Galactic – for flying the first human space mission on American soil since the space shuttle retired
  3. Spire Global – for developing maritime, aviation and weather pattern analytics for NOAA and NASA
  4. ICEYE – for launching low-orbit satellites to monitor the Earth
  5. Analytical Space – for firing into orbit a satellite capable of collecting data from
  6. Relativity Space – for creating a 3D printer for rockets.
  7. Audacy – for deploying the first FCC-approved inter-satellite data-relay network
  8. Accion Systems – for making affordable satellite thrusters
  9. Space Pharma – for experimenting with drug discovery
  10. For All Moonkind – for putting historic Moon artefacts and sites on the blockchain.


SpaceIL’s Beresheet robot successfully set its sights on the Moon with a launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket this month, in a rideshare with Nusantara Satu, operated by Indonesian satellite company Pasifik Satelit Nusantara. Read more in The Verge.

£18m for OneWeb satellite constellation to deliver global communications


Affordable worldwide internet coverage is one step closer today, after £18 million of UK Space Agency funding was awarded to OneWeb through the European Space Agency, to aid the development of its next generation satellite constellation. Read the announcement here.


Exotrail has just won the prestigious “Concours d’Innovation”/”Innovation Contest” award. This 1.55M€ grant will accelerate the development & qualification of the start-up’s miniaturised electric propulsion systems. Read their announcement here.

Our interview with Exotrail from November 2018 can be accessed here.

Exotrail team. Credit: Exotrail

Space Venture Europe 2018

Space Venture Europe 2018, the latest European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) Report, is now out. Access it here.

Bezos emphasiSes altitude advantage of New Shepard over SpaceShipTwo

As Blue Origin prepares to start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle, the company’s founder says the altitude the vehicle can reach will put it at an advantage over Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. Read more at SpaceNews.

Jeff Bezos, seen here at the Space Symposium in 2017, says the higher altitude Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle can fly will put it at an advantage over Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, which has yet to reach the Karman Line. Credit: Chuck Bigger for SpaceNews

SpaceShipTwo flies to the edge of space again

SpaceShipTwo successfully flew to the edge of space for the second time on 22nd February, carrying three people for the first time as the company moved closer to beginning commercial operations of the suborbital spaceplane. Read more in SpaceNews.

SpaceShipTwo, with its tail booms raised in the feathered position, near the peak altitude of its Feb. 25 suborbital spaceflight. Credit: Virgin Galactic