[Space] 2023.10.01

Challenges | Solicitations | Resources
NASA is seeking AI-based research assistant solutions to help researchers in areas such as literature summarization, citation analysis and recommender systems. First place is $13,000. Closing date: October 2, 2023. 
Help NASA overcome challenges inherent to living far away from Earth by submitting an idea for sustaining a human presence to, from, and around the Moon. Deadline: October 2, 2023.
The NASA International Space Apps Challenge is a hackathon to create solutions to challenges we face on Earth and in space using open data from NASA and its partners. October 7-8, 2023. 
Submit groundbreaking concepts to detect, characterize, track, or remediate small debris in low-earth orbit for safer, more sustainable space operations. Prize: $20,000. Closes: November 15, 2023. 
Space Talent is a resource for careers at the intersection of space and tech. They match employers with top talent while providing insights and resources to grow your career.
NASA's Software Catalog offers hundreds of software programs, free to use in a wide variety of technical applications. Releases include a wing-design algorithm and an AR/VR toolkit for spacecraft design and mission telemetry.
Upcoming Events
Image of Mars taken by the OSIRIS instrument on the ESA Rosetta spacecraft during its February 2007 flyby of the planet.  Image Credit: ESA & MPS for OSIRIS Team
The 26th Annual International Mars Society Convention brings together leading scientists, engineers, commercial space executives and government policymakers to discuss current and future Mars exploration and planning for human missions. Tempe, Arizona. October 5-8, 2023.
Asia-Pacific satellite and space industry professionals gather for market insight and collaboration on the industry’s challenges and opportunities. $650-1,500. Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. October 10-12, 2023.
The Economist’s inaugural Space Economy Summit will offer a high-profile forum for space stakeholders worldwide to debate how to maximize commercial and environmental returns. Free-$899. Los Angeles and Online. October 11-12, 2023.
Two satellite industry events hosted back-to-back. Satellite Innovation focuses on analyzing next-generation satellite technologies and the current business environment, while MilSat Symposium will focus on space defense. $50-2,195. Mountain View, CA. October 17-20, 2023.
Hear from space industry leaders and educators across space sectors such as NASA’s George Whitesides and Blue Origin’s Liz Warren as they discuss challenges of space activity. $699-1699. Las Vegas, NV. October 23-25, 2023. 
The central region of our Milky Way galaxy. Credit: NASA
Advancing Space: From LEO to Lunar and Beyond is the theme for the 2023 von Braun Symposium. Connect with space industry leaders on future opportunities and challenges in space science and exploration. $20-$875. Alabama. October 25-27, 2023.
Insights and discussions on key military issues. Get access to senior officials from a variety of nations, with representatives from India, South Africa, Portugal and Peru added in 2023. Tickets £1198-2898. London, UK. November 6-9, 2023.
A showcase of the latest technologies, networking opportunities, and topical debates around new technologies. Free. Bremen, Germany. November 14-16, 2023.
The annual workshop, organized by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) in partnership with U.S. Space Command, brings together leaders from various DoD agencies to discuss policy and operational issues related to commercial and military satellite communications. Arlington, Virginia. December 12-14, 2023.

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Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals
Artist rendering of Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane. Credit: Sierra Space 
Sierra Space raised at a $5.3 billion valuation as the company focuses on getting its reusable Dream Chaser spaceplane flying. Dream Chaser is set to launch on ULA’s second Vulcan mission. The $290 million equity raise was led by Japanese investors MUFG, Kanematsu and Tokio Marine. 
Spaceflight safety startup Kayhan Space raised $7 million in a seed round extension. 22 satellite operators rely on Kayhan products to coordinate more than 500 satellites. Space Capital and EVE Atlas led the round. 
Cranfield University startup spinout Frontier Space Technologies is building SpaceLab, small, autonomous laboratories to host multiple simultaneous experiments in microgravity to solve the astronaut labor bottleneck. 
Space Exploration | Development
Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith is retiring December 4. Dave Limp, a former top lieutenant of Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, oversaw Alexa, Echo and Ring units, Zoox autonomous vehicles, and the Project Kuiper internet satellite business.
In-space manufacturing startup Varda Space Industries' ca is stuck in orbit with a cache of pharmaceutical specimens, awaiting a FAA reentry license. Varda said its spacecraft is designed for a full year in orbit if needed.
SpaceX was awarded its first one-year Pentagon contract valued at a maximum of $70 million for Starshield, a satellite network that will provide end-to-end service via a military-specific version of Starlink.
Stoke Space demonstrated its Hopper2 prototype upper stage in a 15-second vehicle test flight. Washington-based Stoke is working on a fully reusable launch vehicle and has raised about $75 million to date.
Astronomy | Astrophysics | Astrobiology | Cosmology
The open lid on the OSIRIS-REx sample return canister reveals a ring of dust outside the main sample collection chamber. Credit:  Dante Lauretta, University of Arizona
Researchers are working on accessing the  samples from NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu in 2020. NASA has scheduled a press conference for October 11 to discuss its findings.
Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO) is proposed as the next powerful astrophysics observatory after NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. HWO would launch in the late 2030s or early 2040s.