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Earth from space. Photo: NASA

2019 was a record year for investment in the space industry, according to a report from the investment firm Space Angels.

Why it matters: The report paints a picture of an industry that's coming of age, with total investment in 2019 reaching $5.8 billion, up 73% from 2018 and exceeding 2017's record-setting year that saw $5.1 billion of investment.

  • "This record year is a reflection of a decade-long shift in the industry, with younger companies taking on more responsibility and driving innovation in a market long dominated by government contractors," Space Angels CEO Chad Anderson told Axios via email.

Details: According to Space Angels, 535 space companies have received a total of $25.7 billion since 2009. While U.S. companies have led in investment, Chinese companies accounted for about 34% of investment in the last quarter of 2019.

  • Most funding went to high-profile companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and OneWeb, but smaller companies — perhaps bolstered by investor confidence in those industry giants — also received millions last year.
  • The heavy launch business — which includes Blue Origin and SpaceX — drew the most investment in 2019.
  • Some of the largest funding rounds raised for the year included $140 million for Relatively Space's 3D printed rocket system, $120 million for Virgin Galactic and about $140.5 million for China-based Qianxun Spatial Intelligence.

What's next: Some warn that a shakeout could be coming to the space industry after years of growth, but Anderson doesn't see it that way, pointing to the tech industry's demand for data and applications based on it.

  • "Instead of a shakeout, I think 2020 will see IPOs from several pure-play space companies created in the past decade," Anderson said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.