28 May 2020

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

Here’s our round-up for May:

SpaceX to make history launching NASA astronauts on a private rocket

On 27 May, astronauts were due to blast off to space from the US for the first time since the end of the space shuttle programme in 2011. Two NASA astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley – were slated to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Read more on New Scientist.

The Crew Dragon capsule is ready for launch. Credit: SpaceX/Flickr

Join the second attempt of the Crew Dragon launch

On Saturday 30 May, NASA and SpaceX will attempt for a second time to launch astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station.

State(less) surveillance: how satellite tech is used for journalism

Satellite imagery is a powerful technology that is becoming democratized, and is now being used in the interests of press freedoms and transparency. One firm in particular, Planet, has made access to information part of their mission. Read more at Byline.

Photo: high-resolution satellite images reviewed by Reuters show that a religious school run by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in northeastern Pakistan appears to be still standing days after India claimed its warplanes had hit the Islamist group’s training camp on the site and killed a large number of militants. Sources: Planet, Reuters

American satellite start-up founded by SpaceX veteran expands to the UK

An American start-up developing low-earth orbit satellites in a bid to improve the accuracy of GPS signals has expanded to the UK. Xona Space Systems has hired a European head in London and set up a UK subsidiary as it plans to hire more staff in the country. The business was co-founded by Brian Manning, who worked on the Falcon 9 rocket thrust structure at Elon Musk’s rocket business SpaceX. Read more in the Daily Telegraph.

Iceye to offer interferometry with small radar satellites

Finland’s Iceye is demonstrating for customers its ability to detect millimetre-scale vertical differences by comparing data in multiple Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite images of the same location.

Read more at SpaceNews.

This image compares data from two Iceye Synthetic Aperture Radar images. Changes in the vertical height of the surface appear black. Areas without changes are depicted in white. Credit: Iceye

30 Voices on 2030: The Future of Space

What will the space industry look like in 2030? KPMG Australia asked 30 global leaders within the sector to predict what will happen in the next 10 years.

Read more at KPMG Australia.

Cover of ’30 Voices on 2030 – The future of space’ report by KPMG Australia

Galileo Masters and Copernicus Masters international kick-off

Every year the International Kick-off of the Galileo Masters and Copernicus Masters gathers prominent representatives from key institutional and industrial players that actively shape the biggest innovation eco-system of the European Space Programme.


The Farming by Satellite Prize rewards young innovators exploring the use of satellite technologies to improve agriculture and reduce environmental impact. Applications for the 2020 Prize are now open. Read more.