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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sierra Space, a Louisville, Colo.-based commercial space transportation and infrastructure company, raised $1.4 billion in Series A funding at a $4.5 billion valuation.

Why it matters: This is one of the largest VC raises ever for an aerospace company, and moves Sierra Space closer toward its ultimate goal of building a private space station in orbit. In the meantime, it's also working on low-orbit spaceplanes that can deliver cargo and, eventually, crew.

Investors: Coatue, General Atlantic and Moore Strategic Ventures co-led, and were joined by BlackRock, AE Industrial Partners and family offices of Stanley Druckenmiller and Vincent Viola.

History: Sierra Space was formed earlier this year via a spinout from Sierra Nevada Corp., which said the move was partially designed to secure outside investment.

The bottom line: "Sierra Space's planned space station, Orbital Reef, is a joint project with Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin and may be operational by 2027. Companies seeking zero-gravity or microgravity environments for pharmaceutical research, 3D-printed human organs, or work in fiber-optics, energy and semiconductors, have expressed interest in station, [CEO Tom] Vice said." — Gillian Tan, Bloomberg

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Nov 23, 2021 - Science

How space sticks in the minds of amateur astronauts

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Coming back to Earth from orbit has been marked by a loss of anonymity, packed days and little time for reflection for the all-civilian Inspiration4 crew.

Why it matters: The astronauts' celebrity status is a sign amateur spacefaring hasn't arrived. The public still reveres those who take on the risks and rewards of space travel.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Updated Nov 24, 2021 - Science

NASA probe launches on mission to redirect an asteroid

Photo: NASA

A NASA spacecraft called DART has launched on a journey to change the orbit of an asteroid in deep space.

Why it matters: The mission is designed to test technology that could one day be used to change the course of a dangerous asteroid if one is ever found on a collision course with Earth.

3 hours ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.