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Players in China’s emerging commercial space sector have outlined big plans for rockets, spaceplanes and more for the coming years at a space forum hosted in Wuhan, central China.
Previously seen as a source of national pride reserved only for superpowers, space exploration has now become the focus of emerging and smaller nations.
Chinese firm Space Transportation raised more than $46.3 million for its hypersonic spaceplane plans in a new funding round announced Monday.
The coastal cities of Ningbo and Wenchang are planning construction of Chinese commercial spaceports to meet growing demand for launch in China.
China is to establish a commercial spaceport in the coming years to support the rapid growth of private space activities in the country.
MinoSpace has secured new series A round funding which the Beijing-based private satellite company will use to develop larger satellite platforms.
Chinese private space launch firm Galactic Energy has raised $21.5 million for the development and launch of new rockets.
A cubesat launched Dec. 18 is testing hardware from French component makers jockeying for smallsat constellation work.
Isar Aerospace, a German startup developing a small launch vehicle, has raised $17 million in a Series A round led by Airbus Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital.
Private satellite firms secure new funding which adds to an estimated $1.4 billion already invested in the Chinese commercial space sector.
A number of newer firms in the nascent Chinese NewSpace sector are taking steps towards debut suborbital and orbital launches — while also attracting funding.
Tokyo-based remote sensing company Synspective said July 26 that it had successfully reached $100 million in funding since forming 17 months ago.
An Indian satellite propulsion startup with eventual plans to also build a small launch vehicle has raised $3 million from a group of venture capital investors.
The NewSpace sector is expected to grow from a $350 billion global industry in 2018 to a trillion dollar one by 2040, according to a Morgan Stanley report. Given these forecasts it is not clear how the market will expand, will there be more mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, initial coin offerings or just companies remaining private?
Josh Jackson, executive vice president and general manager of SAIC’s Solutions and Technology Group, said SAIC is working with around a dozen startups through accelerators in Austin, Texas and Colorado Springs, Colorado, to make their technology more available to U.S. government customers.
Commissioners speaking this week at the Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels said the continued reservations of European investors about financing space startups is hampering Europe’s ability to keep pace with similar startup activity in the United States.
While everybody is rightly celebrating recent successes in commercial space, some long-term trends are just beginning. It is still early days, and significant growth and new opportunities are just around the corner.
Forecasts that predict the space industry to grow to a trillion dollars by the 2040s will require the development of new markets, even with the modest annual growth rates needed to achieve that goal.
The space race of old was between governments, but we may be on the brink of a 21st century private space race on an international scale.