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Earth seen from space by night. Photo: NASA

OneWeb's bankruptcy, announced Friday, could mark the beginning of a shakeout for companies hoping to make a profit using constellations of small satellites to beam internet to people on Earth.

The big picture: Analysts have been concerned that the market for satellite internet likely can't support more than one or two companies aiming to develop these constellations.

  • OneWeb's exit places SpaceX as the front-runner to get its own satellite internet business up and running, with Amazon's Kuiper still in the early stages and a handful of other companies at varying stages of development.

Details: U.K.-based OneWeb has launched 74 satellites, and its bankruptcy — which was in part due to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic — may mark a turning point for the market, industry analyst Tim Farrar told Axios.

  • The pandemic will likely create a complicated environment for even well-situated companies looking to raise funds for their satellite internet constellations.
  • "I think it's going to be very difficult for people to raise money to move forward," Farrar told Axios.

Between the lines: OneWeb was the most high-profile satellite internet company advocating for other companies with large satellite constellations to go above and beyond in their efforts to reduce the creation of space junk.

  • With OneWeb's exit, it's unclear whether those conversations about using space responsibly will continue to have a place of prominence.

The bottom line: OneWeb's bankruptcy doesn't mark the end of the line for the satellite internet market at large, but it could be a harbinger of things to come, with some analysts predicting a shakeout is inevitable.

Go deeper: The earthly limit on satellite ambitions

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."