CONTINUUM FLUX [Space] 2020.04.01

Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals

SoftBank is letting internet satellite company OneWeb file for bankruptcy, a sign Masayoshi Son has learned lessons from WeWork (CNBC) – SoftBank decided it couldn’t afford to spend billions more dollars as it looks to shore up its balance sheet and position itself to weather a global downturn due to Coronavirus. Forward


Blue Origin pressing on with rocket and engine development as industry copes with coronavirus (Space News) – The company is continuing with the development of its space vehicles and engines. They plan to start flying people to the edge of space as early as 2020. Forward

SpaceX encounters first launch delay due to coronavirus (Tech Crunch) – SpaceX’s SAOCOM launch, set to take off March 30 from Cape Canaveral in Florida using a Falcon 9 rocket, has been put on indefinite hold due to the coronavirus crisis. Forward

Bigelow Aerospace lays off entire workforce (Space News) – The company is halting operations due to a “perfect storm of problems”, including being labeled a non-essential business and ordered to close due to the coronavirus. Forward

SpaceX and Tesla are 'working on' ventilators, Elon Musk says (Tech Crunch) – A direct plea from Bill de Blasio sparked this response from Musk. Few details are known, and, unfortunately, ventilator hardware needs to be FDA approved, which could delay production. Forward

Space Exploration

Coronavirus Outbreak Suspends Work on The New Moon Mission Rocket (Science Alert) and James Webb Space Telescope (Space News) – NASA will complete a shutdown that puts all hardware in a safe condition until work can resume. The coronavirus crisis could hinder plans to return to the Moon by 2024. Forward

How NASA is preparing to launch humans to space as coronavirus pandemic worsens (The Verge) – NASA has a long-held strategy for preventing astronauts from carrying any bugs with them to space. All astronauts going to orbit must go through a two-week period of quarantine. Forward

Should Earthlings Chase ‘Oumuamua Into Interstellar Space? (Wired) – Oumuamua was the first interstellar object ever detected in our solar system. Any interstellar mission to intercept it before it reaches deep space is a longshot. Forward

NASA fixes Mars lander by telling it to hit itself with a shovel (New York Post) – The InSight lander got its 15-inch digging probe stuck in the soil on Mars. The lander was freed when NASA encouraged it to ‘hit itself’ with the jackhammer-like shovel. Forward

Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology

Research team discovers path to razor-sharp black hole images ( – By combining the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) with a space-based radio telescope, scientists can photograph a black hole’s photon ring to discover a black hole’s mass, size, and spin. Forward

SpaceX claims some success in darkening Starlink satellites (Space News) – SpaceX says that an experimental Starlink satellite has demonstrated a "notable reduction" in its brightness, but astronomers are still concerned the constellation could adversely affect their observations. Forward

Astronomers use slime mould to map the universe's largest structures (EurekAlert!) – The research team was inspired by how the slime mould builds complex filaments to capture new food. This mapping could be applied to how gravity shapes the Universe. Forward

Scientists Discover 139 New “Minor Planets” in Our Solar System (Futurism) – The trans-Neptunian Objects orbit celestial bodies in the Kuiper belt. The discoveries could uncover new ways to search for Planet Nine, a hypothetical ninth planet in our Solar System. Forward

Interesting Finds

Here's Something You CAN Do Outside: Stargazing. Our Easy Guide to the Night Sky (KQED) – A beginner’s guide to stargazing, including celestial objects visible in early spring and resources for further exploration. Forward


Coronavirus updates: The latest COVID-19 news for the global space industry (Space News) – Space News provides ongoing coverage and daily updates of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the global space industry, including a list of all delayed or canceled space events. Forward

[CANCELED] International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2020: Continuing the Journey (National Space Society) – Originally scheduled to be held in Dallas on May 28–31. Forward

[PROCEEDING AS PLANNED as of 4/1/2020] 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