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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."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

3 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.