Germany space mining

Germany joins growing list of countries interested in setting space mining laws

In August 2018, the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) released a position paper outlining the need for Germany to establish a legal framework now for future space mining missions. BDI has called for Germany to create national space laws similar to those established in Luxembourg to promote private investment and innovation among Germany’s commercial space sector for space mining technologies. Germany has a variety of commercial space companies developing

LeoSat secures $1B worth of commercial contracts

NOTE: This story originally appeared in the Low Down, our free weekly ebrief. Subscribe to receive our take on the latest news, enabling tech and emerging markets in the commercial space sector. Low Earth orbit broadband operator LeoSat Enterprises has secured over $1 billion in pre-launch commercial contracts. In a news release, the company said the contracts are for services spanning data and mobility sectors, with customers in finance, telecommunications,

China’s big important commercial space milestone

i-Space launched its first commercial payloads into space on September 5, in what marks a new important milestone in China's space race. News about the launch in the US was sandwiched between two other China-based announcements – one from LandSpace and another from OneSpace. But the i-Space launch was different. i-Space is one of the few commercial space companies in China that have emerged over the past few years. The

Scotland’s first commercial rocket launch a success

This story originally appeared in the Low Down, our free weekly ebrief, delivered Wednesday mornings. Subscribe to receive our take on the latest news, enabling tech and emerging markets in the commercial space sector. The piece of news barely made a blip here in the US, but Scotland-based Skyrora held its first successful suborbital rocket launch. The Skylark Nano, a 9 ft tall test launch vehicle, reached a peak altitude

Waypoint 2 Space opens Series A for end-to-end commercial astronaut training services

Commercial space start-up Waypoint 2 Space is opening its Series A round of investment this month. The company, which launched in 2011, hopes to attract investors to support its commercial astronaut training facilities. Waypoint 2 Space CEO, Kevin Heath, was serving as business development manager at SpaceDev – now part of Sierra Nevada Corp – when he saw a market opportunity for training services to prepare non-NASA astronauts to go to space
Empower Space Alliance

Empower Space Alliance plans to redefine data transport with volume-based pricing

Three companies offering optical communications solutions for space platforms have teamed up to form the Empower Space Alliance. Xenesis, Atlas Space Operations, and Laser Light Communications will together provide standardized, interoperable space-to-ground direct optical data distribution services to customer locations worldwide, serving LEO, MEO, GEO and future cislunar and deep space markets. The Alliance will offer Xenesis-built licensable optical units ranging from 10-100 Gbps, depending on the customer needs, for

Spacety courts international customers after closing Series B

After closing a $22 million Series B funding round, China-based startup Spacety is now ranked as the top private space company China. The company is now courting international customers for its microsatellite and nanosatellite platforms. Spacety CEO Justin Feng Yang described Spacety as a one-stop shop for firms looking to access space on smaller satellite platforms. Spacety, which was formed in 2016, offers standardized satellite platforms that are low cost

Two satellite manufacturers vie for Telesat LEO contract

Satellite operator Telesat has contracted two satellite manufacturing teams to develop competing system designs for Telesat’s proposed LEO constellation. Telesat struck an agreement with Thales Alenia Space and Maxar’s SSL late July to develop one system design and signed a similar deal just a week later with Airbus Defence and Space to develop another system. Both teams will submit proposals for final designs and manufacturing of the LEO satellite constellation

Proposed spaceport gives Italy’s commercial space sector a boost

Italy’s proposed Grottaglie spaceport is attracting new deals with private space firms that could spur more activity in the country’s budding commercial space sector. Sitael, a small satellite manufacturer and Italy’s largest private space company, recently announced an agreement with Virgin Orbit for “extensive collaboration” on future launches and “investment into future launch system evolution.” “The demand for small satellites grows higher every day and the ability to launch on

LEO broadband gains telecom backers amid fears of disruption

Incumbent telecom satellite operators are warming to the idea of low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations delivering broadband to terrestrial customers. Two of the world’s largest satellite telecom operators have now backed LeoSat’s LEO satellite broadband initiative. On 10 July, LeoSat gained a key second investor in the midst of its Series A funding round for its proposed high throughput satellite constellation. Hispasat has joined Sky Perfect’s JSAT – representing two