There is little doubt that we are in a time of change in the satellite industry, and many of those changes are coming from start-up companies that are influencing the entire industry. I always find the term “NewSpace” a bit of misnomer, as I am not sure there is such a thing as “new” space and “old” space. So we have deiced to dedicate this edition to “NextSpace” instead to highlight the excitement coming from Silicon Valley, as new companies, whether operators of small satellite constellations or new launch providers bringing quick, cost-effective access to space, are turning traditional thinking on its head. So, this is Via Satellite’s first dedicated “NextSpace” edition where we look at a number of different aspects of the market.
Our Assistant Editor, Caleb Henry, takes a look at the financing side of things, as while there are a number of great business ideas around space and satellite technology, there is a limited amount of funding that can be committed to these new ventures. Caleb talks to some of the key finance firms on their criteria for investing and how they look to invest in new space-based ventures going forward.
The launch market is also exciting in the “NextSpace” arena, as companies look to launch these small satellites faster and more inexpensively than ever before. Access to space remains key for business plans throughout the industry, but in this market it is more important than ever, as companies simply cannot wait years to get their assets up in space. We look at the dynamics of the launch market for NewSpace companies.
We also look at the start-up culture and how universities, such as the University of Michigan, for example, have worked on highly successful space programs. The technology means that institutions can actually build their own constellation of small satellites, which can be used for imaging and other applications. It is quite incredible what these new small satellites can do.
All of this is great news for the overall satellite industry as a whole, as not only is the industry going to attract more young talent than ever before, which will of course, benefit all the companies involved, but also ideas from “new” space ventures will filter into the mainstream. This is really a golden era for our industry. VS