With Moon in mind, ESA looks to private sector for developing ISRU

The European Space Agency is calling for proposals for sending humans to the Moon, as well as for technology that will sustain crews while there. The agency is looking for proposals to leverage in-situ resources utilization technologies to help create a sustainable off-Earth colony, like the “Moon Village” concept ESA’s director general Johann-Dietrich Woerner has proposed. “We are looking to invest in the development and pay for the use of

Off Earth Mining Forum: Space mining could arrive in next decade

Space mining transactions could appear within the next decade, according to experts at the third annual Off Earth Mining Forum, held in Sydney, Australia, this week. Andrew Dempster, director of the Australian Center for Space Engineering Research, made the bold prediction this week to Xinhua media at the forum. The near-term opportunity for space mining will center on extracting water from sources like the Moon or Mars in order to

BlackSky deal underscores growing importance of small sats & big data in space

The Space Alliance has entered into a new partnership with Spaceflight Industries to accelerate the development of BlackSky, the geospatial imagery and multi-media intelligence platform. The announcement, which Spaceflight Industries CEO has dubbed a “major breakthrough,” is the latest development in the burgeoning analytics-driven Earth observation sector that’s increasingly relying on small satellites, higher resolution imagery, short revisit rates and data analytics to power the emergence of the so-called “insights

NASA selects 5 proposals for advancing commercial participation in space development

NASA, looking to study key drivers of investment in the burgeoning commercial space economy, has selected five proposals to further its research into new and “non-traditional” economic opportunities in space development beyond satellites. The proposals were submitted to NASA through a competitive NASA Research Announcement and a comprehensive review process for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA. NASA received 23 proposals in total. It selected just five to pursue

Luxembourg secures role as hub of space mining with new legislation

Luxembourg’s government, determined to make the country the locus of future space mining operations, passed a law last week outlining the necessary legal framework to enable the commercial exploration and operations related to finding and extracting resources from near Earth objects such as asteroids. “Luxembourg is the first adopter in Europe of a legal and regulatory framework recognizing that space resources are capable of being owned by private companies,” Étienne

Can space tourism break out of decades of delay?

Today, there are a handful of private companies that are hoping to make a business out of flying tourists to space. And at least three of these companies say they’ll be able to do so in 2018. But as history demonstrates, there’s no guarantee that any of these companies will keep their timelines. Space tourism has been considered on the brink of feasibility for years, and start-ups have made similar

ISDC 2017: Experts debate government’s future role in the industrialization of space

Speakers at the National Space Society’s annual International Space Development Conference deliberated on strategies for moving forward on building a sustainable space-based economy. The annual conference, held in St. Louis, Missouri this year, attracted visionaries from nearly every generation of American space exploration. Developing market opportunities in space will help spur investment and development in space architectures and infrastructure -- the benefits of which terrestrial companies will soon be able