CONTINUUM FLUX [Space] 2020.03.15

Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals

Startup financing flourished in 2019 with no sign of slowing (SpaceNews) – Space industry startups attracted $5.7 billion of financing in 2019, compared to $3.5 billion in 2018. Studies show 2019 brought no clear evidence of lost momentum. Forward

Axiom Space pitches its first 10-day, all-inclusive trip to the ISS for just $55 million (TechCrunch) – A Crew Dragon flight will transport a commander trained by Axiom along with three private astronauts to and from the International Space Station in the second half of 2021. Forward

PredaSAR raises $25 million for radar satellite constellation (SpaceNews) – The constellation includes 44 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites. PredaSAR says there’s a need for space-based radar solutions and a SAR moving-target indicator in both government and commercial markets. Forward

Momentus buys six slots on SpaceX's SmallSat Rideshare missions (TechCrunch) – Momentus is a last-mile shuttle service in space. They can boost the range of drop-off orbits for SpaceX rideshare customers, ferrying payloads to multiple orbits from a single launch. Forward

This Space TV Startup Plans To Stream Live Videos Of Earth's Surface From Space In 2021 (Forbes) – Five nano-satellites called Earth TV equipped with ultra-high definition cameras will watch events on Earth unfold in real-time, enabling a wide range of services for companies and consumers. Forward

Space Exploration

Organic Molecules Found on Mars Could Have a Biological Origin, Study Shows (ScienceAlert) – Experiments on molecules collected by the Curiosity rover revealed aromatic compounds called thiophenes. It’s possible that the thiophenes developed 3 billion years ago, when Mars was a warmer, wetter place. Forward

NASA investigation finds 61 corrective actions for Boeing after failed Starliner spacecraft mission (CNBC) – NASA associate administrator Doug Loverro says they could have lost the spacecraft twice during the mission. Regardless, Boeing already has funds set aside to do another test flight. Forward

SpaceX planning major increase in Florida launch activity (SpaceNews) – SpaceX is planning missions to polar orbits and missions requiring a vertical payload integration tower. They’re planning 38 launches from Florida in 2020, 30 from SLC-40, and eight from LC-39A. Forward

SETI@Home Is Over. But the Search for Alien Life Continues (Wired) – Researchers at Berkeley paused the public-facing part of the experiment to analyze the 20 years of radio astronomy data they’ve collected. Breakthrough Listen will continue public-facing SETI projects. Forward

New projects broaden the search for alien signals from space (Astronomy) – The probability of being able to detect alien signals is increasing. The search now includes Earth-like planets, laser light shows, and more advanced eavesdropping on radio waves. Forward

Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology

Betelgeuse Isn't Exploding: Mysterious Dimming Turns Out to Be Giant Dust Sneeze (ScienceAlert) – Red supergiants shed material from their surfaces, which condenses around the star as dust, obscuring their light. Betelgeuse is still tens of thousands of years from erupting into a supernova. Forward

Astronomers report most distant blazar ever observed ( – Blazar PSO J0309+27’s light originated almost 13 billion years ago. It reveals details about ancient black holes and places tight constraints on theories of the evolution of the universe. Forward

For The First Time, Astronomers Have Detected an Exoplanet Using Radio Waves (ScienceAlert) – Astronomers are using radio emissions to determine what impact a star's magnetic activity has on an exoplanet's habitability. Exoplanets like Earth can be detected by analyzing a star's radio signals. Forward

Interesting Finds

Elon Musk at the SATELLITE 2020 conference. Also see Inside Elon Musk’s plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars for more coverage, despite a recent setback, the loss of SN1, SpaceX’s prototype Starship rocket. Forward



SpaceX First Astronaut Mission “Demo-2” Could Take Off in May (TechCrunch) – The mission will fly two astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, to the ISS. The tentative date for the Cape Canaveral launch is May 7. Forward

Mars 2020 (Perseverance) ULA Atlas V Launch (Kennedy Space Center) – Perseverance, NASA's newest Mars rover mission, will explore surface geology and investigate the potential of ancient life on Mars. Scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral on July 17. Forward


International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2020: Continuing the Journey (National Space Society) – ISDC 2020 to be held at the Embassy Suites in Dallas on May 28–31. The focus is on getting humans back to the Moon, then Mars. Forward

Camp Kennedy Space Center (Kennedy Space Center) – Weeklong NASA-based day camp for students aged 7 through 16. Kids are exposed to hands-on STEM challenges, labs and astronaut-training simulations. ($350; Monday-Friday sessions from June 1 to August 7) Forward

TC Sessions: Space 2020 (Tech Crunch) – Join TechCrunch's editors in Los Angeles on June 25 for a day of fireside chats and panel discussion with the top investors, founders, and technologists forging the future of space. Forward