[Space] 2023.12.01

Challenges | Solicitations | Resources

NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge | NASA

Student teams from accredited and Space Grant Consortium affiliated US-based colleges and universities are welcome to participate, supporting NASA’s efforts to rapidly mature innovative and high-impact capabilities and technologies for future missions. Entry Deadline: February 1, 2024. 

NASA Seeks Development of Universal Payload Interface | NASA

For NASA's third TechLeap Prize, join NASA’s Flight Opportunities program to create a seamlessly adaptable payload interface system for diverse technology payloads and various host commercial flight vehicles. Entry Deadline: February 1, 2024. 

A space vehicle venting gas from its tanks.

A space vehicle venting gas from its tanks. Credit: NASA

Who Let the Gas Out? NASA Tank Venting Challenge | NASA Tournament Lab (NTL)

Register to submit your novel solution to NASA’s spacecraft ullage venting challenges in microgravity for extended space travel. Chosen concept designs will win a share of the $80,000 prize. Deadline: February 22, 2024. 

Mars Technology Institute (MTI) Crowdfunding Campaign | The Mars Society

Help fund the Mars Technology Institute to develop the biotech, agtech, artificial intelligence and advanced energy solutions needed to facilitate Mars settlements. Accredited investors who contribute $5,000 or more will be given opportunities to invest in MTI spinoff companies.

The solar system's biggest space jobs site | Space Crew

Accelerate your space career with email alerts for key space industry insights and over 4000 space company jobs.

Jobs in the Space Field & Tech Industry | Space Talent

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.

Upcoming Events

Inaugural Spacepower Conference | The Space Force Association

The inaugural Spacepower Conference will feature talks on safeguarding US space assets. Speakers to include USSF Chief of Space Operations General B. Chance Saltzman, Space Systems Command Lt General Michael A. Guetlein, and more. $449-$1099. Orlando, FL. December 12-13, 2023.

DoD Commercial SATCOM Workshop

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.

Defence Space Conference 2023 | UK Space Command and The Air & Space Power Association

Conference to discuss UK space domain strategic thinking and space sector innovation. Keynote session with Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey, Commander of UK Space Command. £249 + VAT. London and online. December 12, 2023.

ESA Annual Conference on Commercialisation in Space Exploration | ESA Business in Space Growth Network

Commercial space entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors will convene at Space for Inspiration 2024 to learn about discoveries and groundbreaking ventures in the LEO and lunar economies. January 18-19, 2024.

GSA Spaceport Summit | Global Spaceport Alliance (GSA)

The GSA summit focuses on the future needs of spaceports and the initiatives to enable commerce. Free - $625. Orlando, FL. January 29, 2024.

Commercial Space Week

Three conference programs including Global Spaceport Alliance's Spaceport Summit, 50th Space Congress, and Space Mobility Congress. Orlando, FL. January 29 - February 1, 2024.

SmallSat Symposium 2024

Three-day conference focusing on the business and technical aspects of the smallsat ecosystem. $595 - $1695. Mountain View, CA and virtual. February 6-8, 2024.

Small Satellites & Services International Forum (SSSIF)

SSSIF 2024 is an international workshop for small satellite designers, technicians, developers, and launchers. €100 - €400. Málaga (Spain). February 20-22, 2024. 

Add your event or campaign. Contact us for details.

Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals

Astra secures $2.7 million in additional financing

Astra Space raised $2.7 million, including loans and the sale of stock warrants, from JMCM Holdings LLC and Sherpa Ventures Fund II, as well as company co-founders Chris Kemp and Adam London.

SpaceX acquires parachute company for $2.2M, because it turns out space-rated parachutes are very hard

SpaceX acquired parachute vendor Pioneer Aerospace earlier in November after its parent company Aviation Safety Resources went bankrupt. Pioneer supplies the drogue parachutes for SpaceX’s Dragon capsules. Satellite IoT connectivity startup Swarm was SpaceX's only other disclosed acquisition.

Defense and intelligence contractor Arcfield acquires Orion Space Solutions  

Veritas Capital portfolio company Arcfield acquired small satellite and sensor payload developer Orion Space Solutions for an undisclosed amount to enhance Arcfield’s space exploration and hypersonic detection and tracking capabilities for DoD and intelligence agencies.

Databourg Completes Seed Round Financing with Investment from Asian Development Bank (ADB) Ventures

Environmental data analytic startup Databourg announced a successful $1M seed financing round led by Asian Development Bank (ADB) Ventures with a R&D grant to develop more scalable and cost-effective real-time weather monitoring.

A rendering if Astrolab's FLEX lunar rover.

Astrolab's FLEX lunar rover. Credit: Astrolab

Astrolab announces first customers for commercial lunar rover mission  

Astrolab announced eight signed contracts worth over $160 million to fly payloads to the moon in 2026 on Mission 1, their Flexible Logistics and Exploration (FLEX) rover, slated to launch on a Starship commercial lander.

Space Exploration | Development

SpaceX Starship IFT (Integrated Flight Test) 2. Credit: Osunpokeh

Elon Musk Aims to Launch SpaceX Starship Again as Early as December

Starship successfully completed a primary goal of its second flight test, a hot-stage separation, before exploding after reaching space. SpaceX hopes to conduct a third test, pending regulatory approval.

Amazon says its first Project Kuiper internet satellites were fully successful in testing

Amazon announced all systems and use-cases on its pair of prototype internet satellites work as designed. The company will build the first of its planned 3,236 Kuiper satellites in December and target launch in mid-2024.

With budget cuts and an aging station, can NASA learn to love a gap in orbit?

Avoiding a gap in capabilities for having humans living in low-Earth orbit would be ideal, but private stations may not be ready to replace the International Space Station when it retires in 2030.

Astronomy | Astrophysics | Astrobiology | Cosmology

NASA’s Webb Identifies Methane In an Exoplanet’s Atmosphere

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope observed spectra indicative of methane in the atmosphere of exoplanet WASP-80 b. The announcement comes after spectra for methane and carbon dioxide were observed in the atmosphere of exoplanet K2-18 b