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Big rocket builders are skeptical small launchers will find customers

Skeptics argue there’s financial logic to small sats tagging along on bigger vehicles: small sat operators can reach significant cost savings when they can share the costs of the launch among one another, as they currently do on bigger vehicles. Speaking at the recent Space Tech Expo, SpaceX’s senior director of government and business… This […]

Operators see software-defined satellite future approaching

Flexible, re-configurable satellites have been seen as an elusive holy grail in the industry for years now, but the technology seems to be gaining traction finally among satellite manufacturers and operators for commercial use cases. “If you look at the world today, what’s making the word go round is software,” said Jean-Luc Froeliger, Intelsat VP […]

Stofiel Aerospace aims to unleash mobile, on-demand access to space

Stofiel Aerospace is a little company hoping to bring big innovations to the small launch market. The company, which was founded in 2015 by Air Force veteran and aerospace engineer Brian Stofiel, is building a small launch “rockoon” system, called the Boreas Launch System, which the company says will offer flexible, low-cost, and on-demand access […]

Asteroid Institute taps York Space for low-cost asteroid tracking

The B612 Foundation’s Asteroid Institute has partnered with York Space Systems for the possible development of a low-cost, space-based asteroid tracking system. B612 hopes to track smaller, fast-moving asteroids in the range of 140 m to 1 km wide. The proposed constellation will rely on a new method of object tracking… This content is available […]

Success of commercial platforms unlikely without government help

It will be very unlikely that a commercial space station will succeed without some level of on-going government support, according to a 2017 report commissioned by NASA. It found the lack of revenue opportunity for a commercial space platform may prove to be a non-starter for investors… This content is available to subscribers only. Sign […]

US space policy landscape is about to change dramatically

the Trump administration continues to reorganize aspects of space governance away from the centralized regime that dominated the last century, and in favor of private enterprise and the burgeoning commercial space sector. The recent commotion around NASA’s Resource Prospector mission is case in point: Months after president Trump directed NASA to return to the Moon, […]

Is there a business model for orbital debris?

Orbital debris capture and removal systems will prove crucial to the future of commercial LEO development, but the question remains as to whether there’s money to be made from it. The problem is growing to epic proportions, as launch increases has placed thousands of new satellites into LEO over the past few years. The increasing […]

NanoRacks courting Asian, European customers with business development partnership

NanoRacks is pursuing more international commercial and government customers for its space station offerings, amid a global explosion in new commercial space ventures and activities. The company is opening up its first office outside the U.S. with the hopes that an expanded presence in Europe will help it tap into a growing customer base across […]

Astrobotic’s lunar delivery service set to launch in 2020

Lunar logistics startup Astrobotic is hoping to become the world’s first delivery service to the Moon. The company, spun out of a project at Carnegie Mellon University, was launched about a decade ago in order to participate in the Google Lunar XPrize. “What we are doing is taking cutting-edge robotics and layering it on top […]

LEO HTS operators will struggle with ‘feasible business models’

A new report out from Northern Sky Research (NSR) predicts a “mixed outcome” for large high-throughput satellite (HTS) constellations. As we have previously reported, there are five companies now planning to launch LEO satellite mega-constellations, with the hopes of providing high speed, low latency broadband around the globe. These providers have drawn a “compelling level […]