TOP STORIES: January 2020

31 January 2020

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

Here’s our round-up for January:

Four Big Things to Watch in the Space Industry in 2020

At the beginning of 2019, Avascent identified some big things to watch in the space industry. So, what happened in 2019? And what should we keep an eye on in the space industry in 2020? Read the article by Avascent here.

Space companies raised a record $5.8 billion in private investments last year

Private funds are pouring money into space companies, with 2019 marking a record year of investment in extraterrestrial ventures. Space companies received $5.8 billion across 198 investment rounds last year, topping $5.1 billion of investment in 2017, according to a report Tuesday by New York investment firm Space Angels.

Read more at CNBC.

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX is now the world’s largest satellite operator

This month, SpaceX became the company in the world with the most satellites. And with perhaps 20 more Starlink launches planned for this year, they’re only getting started. Read more at ArsTechnica.

This Falcon 9 rocket has launched three times, including on the Telstar VANTAGE 18 mission in 2018. Credit: SpaceX

Spacebit Mission One: UK’s 1st Moon Rover to Launch in 2021

The United Kingdom is set to make its own giant leap soon, with a very small rover. A 2.2-lb., four-legged robot Asagumo built by Spacebit will launch aboard Astrobotic’s Peregrine moon lander in July of 2021. The special feature of Asagumo rover is its tiny size — the basis of a rover is a single-unit CubeSat frame usually used in tiny satellites. Spacebit aims to launch a fleet of these little robots to explore the lunar subsurface and near subsurface — especially lava tubes that would be a good place for a future human settlement.

Private sector navigates outer space ahead of international law

Because space belongs to no one, problems are emerging. Two issues stand out in particular as needing legal clarification: space mining and space pollution. Read more at the Financial Times.

Big Ideas for the Space Industry in 2020

Inspired by the LinkedIn editorial team’s recent post on 20 big ideas for 2020, Satsearch shared its own list of thoughts on where we see the space industry going in the next year. Read more here.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

Virgin Galactic continues work on fleet of SpaceShipTwo vehicles

Virgin Galactic is making progress in the development of its next SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane, although the company is saying little about when its existing SpaceShipTwo will be ready to resume test flights. Read more at SpaceNews.

Virgin Galactic’s latest, unnamed SpaceShipTwo (right) stands on its landing gear for the first time as VSS Unity (left) continues preparations to resume test flights and enter commercial service. Credit: Virgin Galactic