[Space] 2023.12.15

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

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.

The Breakthrough Listen Initiative | Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society

The meeting will feature Breakthrough Listen's Principal Investigator, Berkeley SETI Research Center Director Andrew Siemion. Breakthrough Listen is funded with $100 million from Yuri Milner and searches for radio signals and laser transmissions from extraterrestrial civilizations. £2.88. Online. Friday, January 25, 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. 

75th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2024 | International Astronautical Federation

IAC 2024 will highlight efforts to keep the space environment secure and open to exploration through international cooperation. Over 8,000 are expected to attend the event, which will feature the theme “Responsible Space for Sustainability.” Milan, Italy. October 14-18, 2024.

Add your event or campaign. Contact us for details.

Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals

Ursa Major closes $138 million Series D and D-1 financings

Colorado rocket propulsion startup Ursa Major raised $138 million in Series D and D-1 funding rounds to expand into solid rocket motors. Investors include Explorer 1 Fund and Eclipse, RTX Ventures and other institutional shareholders.

Armada modular data center for Starlink's satellite network. Credit: Armada

Startup raises $55 million for portable Starlink-dedicated data centers 

Founders Fund led a $55 million round in data networking startup Armada to develop computing tools to empower SpaceX Starlink-connected remote devices. Its portable Galleon data centers will provide off-the-grid sites with real-time data processing capabilities, including generative AI.

NorthStar raises $15 million for debris-tracking satellites waiting on Rocket Lab

NorthStar Earth and Space raised $15 million for its first four tracking satellites that will launch on a future Rocket Lab mission. NorthStar has raised $105 million in total for their space situational awareness (SSA) business.

LiveEO Announces Successful Funding Raise

LiveEO secured $10 million from greentech VC Greencode Ventures and existing investors. The startup plans to enter the market for European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) compliance and use AI with satellite data for deforestation monitoring.

OurSky lands $9.5M seed to build out developer platform for space data

OurSky closed $9.5 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures alongside Oceans Ventures, Venrex Investment Management, Marlinspike Partners and Embedded Ventures, to develop its software platform and global telescope network with the aim of making space observational data more accessible.

Artist's rendering of the Helicity Spacecraft. Credit: Helicity Space

Helicity Space raises $5 million for fusion engine development

Fusion engine startup Helicity Space raised $5 million in seed funding from investors including Airbus Ventures, TRE Ventures, Voyager Space Holdings and E2MC Space. Helicity co-founder Stephane Lintner is a former Goldman Sachs managing director with a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Caltech.

Salesforce Ventures and Female Founders Fund back Kenyan climate-tech Amini in $4M seed round

Kenya-based climate-tech startup Amini raised $4 million to create real-time environmental monitoring tools and ML models. The seed round was led by Salesforce Ventures and Female Founders Fund with participation from Climate-tech VC Satgana and others.

Space Exploration | Development

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

SpaceX plans key NASA demonstration for next Starship launch

SpaceX may attempt a key propellant transfer demonstration for NASA during the next integrated flight test of Starship, assuming orbit is achieved. The demo will involve transferring 10 metric tons of liquid oxygen between tanks within Starship.

Amazon buys SpaceX rocket launches for Kuiper satellite internet project

Amazon purchased three rocket launches, despite being in competition with SpaceX’s Starlink, in a push to get Kuiper to orbit in time to meet federal requirements. FCC rules require that Amazon deploy half of its planned 3,236 satellites by July 2026, while Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance, Arianespace and ABL have experienced rocket development delays.

The Hubble Space Telescope viewed from Space Shuttle Atlantis during a servicing mission in 2009. Credit: NASA

Hubble back in service after gyro scare—NASA still studying reboost options

The Hubble Space Telescope resumed science observations after ground teams spent most of the last three weeks assessing performance of a troublesome gyroscope, which measures spacecraft attitude. Three of the six gyros installed on Hubble in 2009 have failed, while three others remain operational.

DARPA picks 14 companies for lunar architecture study

DARPA selected 14 companies to collaborate on its 10-Year Lunar Architecture study, or LunA-10, with the aim of developing an integrated architecture to support a commercial lunar economy by the mid-2030s.

Astronomy | Astrophysics | Astrobiology | Cosmology

Astronomers Discover 562 New Candidate Strong Lenses with Machine Learning

The five-layered convolutional neural network model found candidates for strong gravitational lensing phenomenon in 50,000 of 11 million images captured by the 4-meter Blanco Telescope in Chile. Astronomers narrowed this to 562 candidates, which represents an over 50% increase to the number of known lensed galaxies.  Gravitational lensing magnifies galaxies that are otherwise too far to be imaged.