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A SpaceX launch in 2020. Photo: SpaceX

Investment in the space industry continued to grow in the last quarter of 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from Space Capital.

Why it matters: The space industry turned out to be far more robust in the face of the pandemic than many experts were initially expecting.

What they found: According to the report, the fourth quarter of 2020 saw $5.7 billion in investment, bringing the year's total up to $25.6 billion.

  • Venture capital firms invested $15.7 billion into more than 250 space companies last year, according to the report.
  • One of the more surprising findings was that the infrastructure segment of the industry — which includes rocket manufacturers like SpaceX and Relativity Space — had a record year for investment, at $8.9 billion.
  • That record shows this part of the industry bounced back from a major slowdown in the second quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic.
  • Multiple space companies announced their intentions to go public last year. "We expect that there will be at least a few more publicly listed space companies to add to the ETF in 2021," Space Capital's Chad Anderson told me via email.

What's next: The report urges space watchers to keep an eye on the growing competition between Amazon and Microsoft, which are both courting space companies to use their web and cloud services.

  • These companies are effectively making analysis tools less complex to use, allowing companies to work with their data more quickly and easily, potentially opening up avenues for new customers to get in on the action.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Podcasts

When investing goes viral

You've likely heard the headlines this week about the stock market mania around GameStop. But this isn't just about the stock market. It's a kind of populist uprising borne of the Internet.

  • Plus, what’s behind GM’s big electric vehicle announcement.
  • And, the new Wild West is in outer space.

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.