Blue Origin’s passengers will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a ticket on New Shepard

After committing to having a first crewed launch of its rocket ship in 2019, Blue Origin, the rocket manufacturer and launch services company backed by Jeff Bezos, is likely going to have to push that timeline back to 2020. Speaking onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, Blue Origin chief executive Bob Smith said that the […]

Rocket Lab moves closer to opening US launch facility with landing pad completion

Rocket Lab is nearing completion of its second launch facility — its first in the U.S., located on Wallops Island in Virginia. The company announced that it has finished installing the launchpad at Launch Complex 2, which is set to finish construction as early as the end of this year, with the first launches taking […]

Orbion raises $9.2M to mass-produce plasma thrusters for small satellites

Michigan-based startup Orbion has secured $9.2 million in Series A funding, which it will use as it undertakes the mass-produced manufacturing of its plasma thrusters for use in small satellites. Orbion’s thrusters are Hall-effect thrusters, which use an electric field to accelerate their propellant and create thrust. Hall-effect thrusters are nothing new, but Orbion’s approach, […]

Japan’s ispace now aims for a lunar landing in 2021, and a Moon rover deployment in 2023

One of the private companies aiming to deliver a commercial lunar lander to the Moon has adjusted the timing for its planned mission, which isn’t all that surprising given the enormity of the task. Japanese startup ispace is now targeting 2021 for their first lunar landing, and 2023 for a second lunar mission that will […]

Rocket Lab successfully launches rideshare rocket with two experimental USAF satellites on board

Rocket Lab has successfully launched its eight mission, an Electron rocket rideshare flight carrying four satellites to orbit for various clients. The Electron launched from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, at 12:12 AM NZST (8:12 AM ET). This was its second attempt, after a scrub last week due to adverse weather conditions […]

Scottish spaceport closer to launch after land lease signed

Plans to open a new spaceport in Sutherland in Scotland have moved closer to final approval: The real estate companies working on the deal have signed a 75-year lease for the land to be used for Space Hub Sutherland, which will look to launch small satellites via private launch services from companies including startup Orbex, […]

NASA calls for more companies to join its commercial lunar lander program

NASA has opened up a call for companies to join the ranks of its nine existing Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) providers, a group it chose in November after a similar solicitation for proposals. With the CLPS program, NASA is buying space aboard future commercial lunar landers to deliver to the surface of the Moon […]

NASA taps SpaceX, Blue Origin and 11 more companies for Moon and Mars space tech

NASA has selected 13 companies to partner with on 19 new specific technology projects it’s undertaking to help reach the Moon and Mars. These include SpaceX, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin, among others, with projects ranging from improving spacecraft operation in high temperatures to landing rockets vertically on the Moon. Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin will […]

Is space truly within reach for startups and VC?

Elon Musk’s SpaceX managed to pull off something very few people thought it could — by disrupting one of the most fixed markets in the world with some of the most entrenched and protected players ever to benefit from government contract arrangements: rocket launches. The success of SpaceX, and promising progress from other new launch […]

ispace Europe tapped by the European Space Agency for mission to extract water from the Moon

Space startup ispace, which is headquartered in Japan but has a European subsidiary based in Luxembourg, will take part in PROSPECT, a program run by the European Space Agency (ESA) that intends to extract water from the Moon’s southern pole, with a target mission date of 2024 or 2025. PROSPECT isn’t just a cool reference […]