Mar 10, 2020 - Science

Space startups raised $5.7 billion in financing in 2019

A SpaceX rocket launch timelapse. Photo: SpaceX

Space-focused startups raked in $5.7 billion in financing in 2019, far surpassing the $3.5 billion raised in 2018, according to a new report from Bryce Space and Technology.

Why it matters: The report and others like it show investors still see the industry — buoyed by investor interest and new international companies — as ripe for investment.

  • "I think this is certainly showing a very dynamic market — a lot of interest in the sector," Janice Starzyk, Bryce's vice president of commercial space, told Axios.

Details: SpaceX, Blue Origin, OneWeb and Virgin Galactic accounted for about 70% of the investment tracked in the report.

  • The report also shows companies outside of the U.S. are getting more investment attention than in years past, in part because of the emergence of Chinese companies breaking into the launch sector.
  • "Last year, the No. 2 company would be the U.K., but now China has really shot up and is taking over as a big growth engine," Starzyk said.

Between the lines: Starzyk advises those interested in investing in space to look for opportunities beyond rocket companies — for example, companies building ground segments or other, less sexy parts of the industry.

The big picture: There are still major questions about where the space industry and investment in it will go from here, including when companies might become profitable.

  • Last year also saw a number of high-profile exits from the industry — including Vector Space's bankruptcy — that are spurring fears there might be a slowdown for industry investment in the near future.

Go deeper: Investors are putting big money in small rocket companies

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The coronavirus pandemic is setting back the space industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

From canceled conferences to a delayed Mars mission, the space industry is starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as it spreads across the globe.

Why it matters: Hundreds of thousands of people are already experiencing the devastating effects of the pandemic.

Go deeperArrowMar 17, 2020 - Science

Nations around the world moved toward militarizing space last year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In the last year, countries including the U.S., France, Russia and Japan took steps toward further militarizing their uses of outer space, according to a new report from the Secure World Foundation.

Why it matters: As space becomes increasingly key for militaries, nations are starting to find new ways to protect their military and research satellites, raising concerns that they might develop ways of destroying enemy satellites and making some parts of space unusable.

Go deeperArrowMar 31, 2020 - Science

OneWeb files for bankruptcy amid coronavirus pandemic

Earth seen from orbit at night. Photo: NASA

OneWeb — a company that planned to bring high-speed internet to unconnected people around the world — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday.

Why it matters: OneWeb was a frontrunner in the increasingly competitive race to beam back high-speed broadband from space using large constellations of small satellites in low orbits.

Go deeperArrowMar 28, 2020 - Science