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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 59 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Ransomware attack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of a ransomware attack, Colonial Pipeline said Saturday.

Why it matters: It's a significant breach of critical infrastructure and comes on the heels of multiple other major cyberattacks on both U.S. companies and the federal government.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The wealthy exodus from superstar cities

Pandemic-induced remote work is chipping away at a recent trend of Americans staying put — but only for the well-off.

Why it matters: Telework has been lauded as a geographic equalizer, allowing talented people from all over the country to go for jobs in superstar coastal metros. But the benefits have largely been limited to wealthier workers — so far.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The end of quarantine — CDC updates guidance on airborne COVID-19.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surge.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.