Feb 11, 2020 - Science

New company wants to transform the space industry through software

Sunrise from orbit. Photo: NASA

NewSpace Networks — which is emerging from stealth mode on Tuesday — will focus its efforts on making data collection and communication from space cheaper and easier through software, not engineering new satellites and rockets.

Why it matters: The price of launching satellites to orbit has gotten cheaper in recent years, but it still costs millions, if not billions, of dollars for companies to deploy and operate their own constellations of satellites.

  • "What we want to do is take what's being deployed, lever it up to make it more efficient and more usable," NewSpace Networks co-founder Robert Cleave told Axios.
  • Cleave and his co-founders all worked for Vector, a small launch company that suspended operations and filed for bankruptcy last year.

How it works: At the moment, getting data back from satellites is a cumbersome process involving ground stations, satellite links and an extensive infrastructure of fiber-optic cables and antennas on Earth.

  • NewSpace Networks hopes to work with satellite and ground operators to make their networks run more efficiently and find ways to help them stand out in an increasingly crowded market.
  • The company wants to create tools that will move information through networks of communications satellites from one point to another as quickly as possible, even in remote locations like in the ocean or in the Arctic.
  • They're also looking to more efficiently process data, saving time, money and opening the door to using information from orbit in new ways.
  • NewSpace Networks is now looking to raise $200 million to put toward these efforts.

But, but, but: The company's founders say it likely won't be easy to convince the old guard of the space industry that this kind of innovation is useful and necessary.

  • "It's to its detriment as an industry to not embrace new technologies," co-founder Shaun Coleman told Axios. "I think probably our single biggest issue is getting the industry to adopt and embrace good, new technology."

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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,490,954 — Total deaths: 345,962 — Total recoveries — 2,228,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,250 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.