Category Archives: Space

HyperSciences raises an untraditional $9.6M for its hypersonic drilling vision

We profiled HyperSciences in February, when the team had just successfully completed a launch milestone for a small business grant with NASA. The last time we checked in, the hypersonic drilling company had raised about $5 million as part of an untraditional Reg A offering. By the end of March, HyperSciences rounded out its first major round with $9.6 million from 3,552 individual investors on SeedInvest in the equity crowdfunding platform’s second largest raise to date. The heart of HyperSciences’ work is its hypersonic propulsion system that […]

Read more

Ubiquitilink advance means every phone is now a satellite phone

Last month I wrote about Ubiquitilink, which promised, through undisclosed means, it was on the verge of providing a sort of global satellite-based roaming service. But how, I asked? (Wait, they told me.) Turns out our phones are capable of a lot more than we think: they can reach satellites acting as cell towers in orbit just fine, and the company just proved it. Utilizing a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, Ubiquitilink claimed during a briefing at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that pretty much […]

Read more

Swarm Technologies raises $25M to deploy its own 150-satellite constellation

Swarm Technologies is one of several companies looking to populate low Earth orbit with communications satellites, setting itself apart with the sheer smallness of its devices — and of course with the notoriety of having defied the FCC and earned a fine. But investors are bullish, and the company has just raised a $25 million Series A round to put 150 of its tiny SpaceBEEs in orbit. There are many communications markets to be served from space: Starlink wants to do mobile broadband; Ubiquitilink wants to eliminate […]

Read more

To rebuild satellite communications, Ubiquitilink starts at ground level

Communications satellites are multiplying year by year as more companies vie to create an orbital network that brings high-speed internet to the globe. Ubiquitilink, a new company headed by Nanoracks co-founder Charles Miller, is taking a different tack: reinventing the Earthbound side of the technology stack. Miller’s intuition, backed by approval and funding from a number of investors and communications giants, is that people are competing to solve the wrong problem in the comsat world. Driving down the cost of satellites isn’t going to create the revolution […]

Read more

Dreaming of Mars, the startup Relativity Space gets its first launch site on Earth

3D-printing the first rocket on Mars. That’s the goal Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone set for themselves when they founded Los Angeles-based Relativity Space in 2015. At the time they were working from a WeWork in Seattle, during the darkest winter in Seattle history, where Ellis was wrapping up a stint at Blue Origin . The two had met in college at USC in their jet propulsion lab. Noone had gone on to take a job at SpaceX and Ellis at Blue Origin, but the two remained in […]

Read more

Elon Musk shows off the assembled Starship test rocket

After weeks of teasing renderings and production photos, Elon Musk finally showed off the finished Starship test rocket last night. Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the @SpaceX Texas launch site. This is an actual picture, not a rendering. pic.twitter.com/k1HkueoXaz — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 11, 2019 As you can well see, the Starship test rocket has a stainless steel skin, which had a few people scratching their heads. Steel is indeed quite durable, but weighs more than other materials used in rockets, like carbon fiber, […]

Read more

Daily Crunch: AR startups face an uneasy future in 2019

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Magic Leap and other AR startups have a rough 2019 ahead of them  2018 was supposed to be the year where the foundation of AR was set to expand, but now it looks like momentum has been sucked out of the industry’s heavy hitters. 2. Sorry I took so long to upgrade, Apple  […]

Read more

Space investors are coming to Disrupt SF 2018

In the past couple decades, Elon Musk’s efforts with SpaceX have partially kicked off a space race in the VC-funded rocket startup scene. At Disrupt SF 2018, we’re thrilled to host a panel of some of Silicon Valley’s top investors whose firms are eying the stars. Rob Coneybeer from Shasta Ventures, Tess Hatch from Bessemer Venture Partners and Matt Ocko from DCVC will all be joining us to discuss their points of view on the commercial space industry and where the major opportunities lie for startups looking […]

Read more

Propelling deep space flight with a new fuel source, Momentus prepares for liftoff

Mikhail Kokorich, the founder of Momentus, a new Y Combinator-backed propulsion technology developer for space flight, hadn’t always dreamed of going to the moon. A physicist who graduated from Russia’s top-ranked Novosibirsk University, Kokorich was a serial entrepreneur in who grew up in Siberia and made his name and his first fortunes in the years after the fall of the Soviet Union. The heart of Momentus’ technology is a new propulsion system that uses water as a propellant instead of chemicals. Image courtesy Momentus Using water has […]

Read more

Watch Rocket Lab’s first commercial launch, ‘It’s Business Time’ [Update: Postponed]

Rocket Lab, the New Zealand-based rocket company that is looking to further amplify the commercial space frenzy, is launching its first fully paid payload atop an Electron rocket tonight — technically tomorrow morning at the launch site. If successful, it will mark a significant new development in the highly competitive world of commercial launches. Update: Sorry folks but not today. The company said it will announce a new target soon, while the launch window remains July 6. Liftoff is planned for 2:10 in the morning local time […]

Read more