Starlink-bound SpaceX’s financial statements reveal moonshot gambles with large investments

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That was also the year SpaceX launched its first 60 Starlink satellites. The company was spending plenty of cash on research and development, too — $559 million in 2018 and $661 million the following year. The Starlink program completed a milestone in 2019, when SpaceX launched the first batch of operational Starlink satellites in May of that year. The company ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of $868 million for 2018 and $990 million for 2019. The company launches its Starlink satellites with its own rocket, its Falcon 9 workhorse, which means it can launch the space-based internet satellites at unprecedented rates.

“Astranis Reveals Groundbreaking Omega Satellites for Delivering Dedicated Broadband from High Orbit Using ‘MicroGEO’ Technology”

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Astranis has taken the wraps off a new generation of communications satellites that will serve broadband to customers on Earth from geostationary orbit, but faster and smaller than any comsat up there. Astranis builds and operates relatively small broadband satellites in high orbits, and sells that capacity on to telecom and internet service providers. The startup takes prize in the comparatively diminutive size of its GEO satellites, which are normally huge and, as a result, are easy to track and potentially attack. Like the company’s current satellites, Omega will have the ability to maneuver in GEO using on-board all-electric propulsion. The company aims to complete the first Omega satellite in 2025 and launch to orbit in 2026.

“Discovering the Bright Side: True Anomaly’s CEO Overcomes Challenges on Company’s Debut Mission”

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True Anomaly‘s first mission didn’t go as planned by any stretch of the imagination, but the space and defense startup’s CEO, Even Rogers, said he doesn’t consider it a failure. The aim of this first mission, Mission X, was to demonstrate these capabilities on orbit for the first time. True Anomaly closed a $100 million Series B round last year to accelerate those plans. By all accounts, the outcome of Mission X has not slowed the company down whatsoever: True Anomaly is planning on flying at least twice more in the next twelve months. “The success story of Jackal Mission X is twofold,” Rogers said.

“Revolutionizing Space Technology: Reusable Rockets and Satellites by TechCrunch”

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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. “SpaceX has made rockets reusable, Orbit Fab makes satellites reusable,” he said. “In this world today, if you’re running a rocket company, and you’re not working towards reusable rockets, you’re working to a dead end. The same is true of satellites: If you’re not making your satellites reusable, you’re just putting preordained junk into orbit.”I learned a lot from this deep dive into China’s struggles to bring on international partners to its International Lunar Research Station initiative. On April 1, 1960, THE VERY FIRST weather satellite was launched by NASA.

Orbit Fab reveals revolutionary $30K spaceport for satellite refueling

An Orbit Fab Fuel Shuttle Is Docking With An On Orbit Satellite Equipped With A Rafti Refueling Port
On its website, Orbit Fab says its hydrazine delivery service in geostationary orbit will cost $20 million for up to 100 kilograms. Given the simplicity of the architecture, nailing each part of the hardware is critical; hence why it’s taken years for Orbit Fab to debut the refueling port. Orbit Fab is aiming to sell 100 fueling ports this year, which will put the RAFTI “on a decent percentage of satellites going to orbit,” Faber said. “SpaceX has made rockets reusable, Orbit Fab makes satellites reusable,” Faber said. The same is true of satellites: if you’re not making your satellites reusable, you’re just putting preordained junk into orbit.”

Efficient and Capable: How’s Radar Satellites Leverage Machine Learning for Maximum Impact

Total Coverage just released the results from its first two radar satellites, which, thanks to machine learning, turn out to be competitive with larger, more old-school forecasting tech on Earth and in orbit. Weather prediction is complex for a lot of reasons, but the interplay between high-powered but legacy hardware (like radar networks and older satellites) and modern software is a big one. Space is, of course, the obvious place to invest, but weather infrastructure is prohibitively big and heavy.’s plan is to create a new space-based radar infrastructure with a modern twist. “We are working on providing real time precipitation data anywhere in the world, which we believe is a game changer in the field of weather forecasting,” Chowla said.

Albedo Secures $35 Million in Funding for Groundbreaking Satellite Orbiting Technology

In 2019, then-President Trump tweeted a detailed image of a heavily damaged Iranian launch pad captured by a classified military satellite. The image, which was declassified in 2022, revealed what many in the commercial Earth observation industry suspected: that U.S. defense had the ability to capture images at a staggeringly sharp 10-centimeter resolution. In comparison, the biggest optical imagery providers today collect images at a 30-centimeter resolution, which is algorithmically improved to 15 centimeters.) Now, the company says it has closed $35 million in Series A-1 financing, at an up round valuation. Right now, Albedo is working toward launch of its first commercial satellite in the first half of 2025.

Astroscale Unveils Revolutionary $25 Million Orbital Refueling Craft for the Space Force

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Orbital operations company Astroscale has revealed new details about its approach to refueling satellites in space, as part of a $25.5 million project exploring the concept with the Space Force. The concept of on-orbit servicing and repair is attractive to anyone who doesn’t want to see a $100 million investment literally burn up. Astroscale won a Space Force contract last Summer to explore the possibility in orbit, and the company just published how it plans to do so. After refueling it, the APS-R will back off and perform an inspection of the client satellite, looking for any fuel leaks or other issues its operators might want to check. No doubt we’ll hear more about this and other space sustainability projects well before then.

“D-Orbit Secures $110M Investment to Propel Superior Space Logistics Capabilities”

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D-Orbit, an Italian startup that provides an array of logistics services for companies operating satellites and other services in space, has raised €100 million ($110 million) in a Series C round of equity funding. The Milan-based company said another $50 million will be added to the Series C in the first half of this year. D-Orbit today provides last-mile satellite delivery and related logistics services, mission control as a service to manage already-launched spacecraft and hardware, and space waste management services, all aimed at launches that are orbiting the Earth. Others in the area of space services include Planet Labs, Privateer, Zenno Astronautics, Astroscale, and a variety of others just getting started. “D-Orbit represents an excellence that in these years has positioned itself as a category leader in the in-orbit transportation segment globally, becoming the first B-Corp certified space company in the world.”

Rocket Lab employs vertical integration strategy to secure $515M government satellite deal

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The Space Development Agency is the mystery customer behind Rocket Lab’s up-to $515 million, 18-satellite order announced in late December, the two firms announced today. In a regulatory filing from December 21, Rocket Lab said it would “design, manufacture, deliver and operate 18 space vehicles” for an unnamed U.S. government customer. Under the contract, Rocket Lab will deliver and operate a prototype constellation in two orbital planes of nine satellites each. Rocket Lab will not be providing the communications payload, and company executives declined to name that provider during a press release Monday. “We welcome Rocket Lab as the newest member of Team SDA and our third performer on the T2TL- Beta program,” said Derek Tournear, SDA director.