The opening of space to new players and growing interest in commercial missions have led to explosive growth in SpaceTech. Together with experts, we identify what technologies are developing in this industry.
What is SpaceTech SpaceTech brings together technologies and innovations used to explore space, work in space conditions and create space objects and systems. Includes the development of rockets, satellites, spacecraft and stations as well as space surveillance and information systems. This industry has great potential to solve many global problems: combating the consequences of climate change, solving energy problems, ensuring communications, etc. One of the most prominent examples of this is SpaceX, the company that created the Starlink satellite system. However, “private space” is not unique to SpaceX.
About 3,000 companies worldwide develop software, business services, spacecraft, materials and new technologies. The investment volume and intensity of technical developments in this field are accelerating every year. At the same time, businesses are also learning how to optimize raw material sources. For example, Elon Musk thought about creating a reusable rocket in the early 2000s, and 10 years later, he realized this project. This industry opens up opportunities for private entrepreneurs to create a profitable small project.
The most promising and interesting space technologies
The most understandable and accessible field is the production of new aircraft carriers, that is, rockets. For example, SpaceX has its reusable Falcon rocket and is currently attempting to launch the world’s heaviest rocket, Starship, which will be designed for manned missions to the Moon and Mars. Players around the world are also working to create their own rockets to make getting to orbit faster and cheaper. This is an important task because space research and commercial projects require putting various equipment and materials into orbit.
For example, to launch a satellite, it must be brought to the spaceport and then lifted up by a rocket. Providing the necessary resources is critical in the construction and maintenance of space stations and missions. Creating reusable rockets, as Musk has done, dramatically reduces the cost of getting a kilogram of cargo into orbit, one of the most expensive components in the industry. There are also several other high-demand areas in which private companies are involved: Space tractors. This technology involves launching a special spacecraft to put satellites into orbit. conduct space research.
Many companies create such devices. Among them are Atomos and Bradford Space. This technology is useful in many fields: communication systems, navigation tools, weather forecasting, mapping and other fields that use satellites.
Space weather monitoring.
Demonstrate analysis of changes in the space environment using various equipment and technologies such as satellites, ground stations, and others. Surveillance is an important element of space activities: it helps ensure the safety of astronauts and space objects, as well as the most efficient use of space resources.
Digantara is the first commercial company to successfully launch a space weather monitoring system. On-orbit manufacturing and services. Technology related to spacecraft maintenance and increasing the lifespan of satellites. Imagine you have an auto service center. And you launch it into orbit. This service can include different types of services, for example: satellite maintenance and repair, spacecraft movement control, Earth orbit status monitoring, etc. Services have been provided by Astroscale, Obruta and Altius. On-orbit manufacturing involves creating spacecraft directly in space using 3D printers and other technologies. Clear the space of space debris.
If we continue to ignore the problem of waste disposal in orbit, over time it will become so congested that we will no longer be able to explore space industrially. ClearSpace is a company trying to solve the problem and create satellites to clean up orbit. Space traffic management and space situational awareness. Among the companies working in the field of predicting spacecraft movements and creating traffic rules in space are our company Mission Space, as well as LeoLabs and Privateer. Space traffic management is accomplished by tracking and controlling the movement of objects. Essential to ensure the safe and efficient use of outer space in the face of increasing space activity.
Industrial development of the Moon. Creating infrastructure on the Moon will make it possible to use lunar resources to produce materials and fuels, and to develop lunar logistics to transport these materials to Earth and space stations. This is not an illusion but the reality of tomorrow. For example, the Japanese company Ispace plans to soon send its lunar probe to the Moon for industrial purposes. Missions include using advanced technologies to find water and transport construction materials and equipment. The company plans to create a colony on the Moon for 1,000 people by 2040 and develop a commercial business center there.
According to a Forbes report, more than 10,000 space technology companies have a total value of more than 4 trillion USD. The emergence of new space startups has attracted significant private investment, with early-stage space companies receiving $15.4 billion in private funding in 2021. Overall, the space sector has seen a major increase in investment over the past decade. According to a study by Space Capital, from 2014 to 2023, mainly from US and Chinese investments, more than $272 billion in equity investments were made in 1,746 space companies.
Launching a space startup
The main challenges of a space startup are the same as those of any other new business: finding funding, qualified employees, and scaling up. tissue. Lack of capital is one of the biggest challenges when starting a business. Costs can vary greatly depending on the type, size and scale of the business. For example, a startup that develops small satellites may require less capital than one that aims to develop and launch spacecraft and rockets. However, the emergence of new commercial launch service providers has significantly reduced the cost of launching payloads into space.
The most common costs associated with launching a SpaceTech startup include: Startup costs. One of the biggest costs a space startup faces is the cost of getting a product or service into space. Depending on the launch option chosen (e.g., Falcon 9, Atlas V, Delta IV), payload size and weight, and required orbit, launch costs can range from $10 million to $100 million. USD or more. Satellite costs. Another expensive project is building and launching satellites. Depending on the type of satellite you plan to develop (e.g. CubeSat, nanosatellite, microsatellite),
Another difficulty is finding experts, especially engineers and physicists. Few people can talk about operations management in space in simple language. You can search for employees on industry portals such as Space Impulse or Space Careers. These are the largest job search and recruitment portals in the space industry. LinkedIn can also help you: post jobs or browse professional profiles using filters by key skills. When launching a startup, you may not be able to scale the technology.
How to Obtain Investment and Industry
Support Obtaining initial funding can be difficult, especially if the founder lacks experience and reputation in the venture capital industry. First of all, investors in SpaceTech pay attention to the business model and progress of the startup. If previously it was possible to attract financial resources at the idea stage, now, without specific measures, it is difficult for investors to trust your project. Therefore, when pitching, it is important to demonstrate the startup’s development and show specific results in numbers.
Looking for Investments
Today there are many platforms to find investors in the Space Technology sector, for example: Space Angels is the world’s largest platform for investing in space startups. Provide access to investment opportunities, carry out selection and support of projects in the SpaceTech sector. Seraphim Capital is a venture capital fund specializing in investing in space companies. Invest in various Space Technology sectors, including satellites, communications, surveillance and others. Space Capital is a venture capital fund focusing exclusively on the space sector. Invest in projects related to space infrastructure, data analytics and other advanced space industry technologies.
Choosing an accelerator
A space accelerator will help you attract financial resources, find support from experts and access infrastructure. There are about 10 to 15 in the world. Each of them focuses on a specific industry segment and offers unique services. Here is a list of the best known ones: Techstars Space Accelerator targets startups developing new technologies in the fields of space defense and security, communications and geolocation . The program lasts 13 weeks and provides startups with up to $120,000 in funding and access to space industry experts, including representatives from major space companies and government agencies .
Starburst Aerospace Accelerator is a global aerospace accelerator that offers a variety of programs for entrepreneurs at different stages of development.
Seraphim Space Accelerator – supports startups in the field of space technology. The program includes investment, mentoring, training and mentoring as well as access to industry experts.
The ESA Business Incubation Center (ESA BIC) is a network of incubators established by the European Space Agency to support businesses in the space technology sector. Each hub provides space, infrastructure and expert support to startups for two years.
Venture Catalyst Space is an incubator and accelerator for space startups. The program provides funding in the amount of A$10,000.