NEWSPACE AUSTRALIA: 30+ COMPANIES FOUNDED SINCE 2016
Since January 2016, Australian space startups Saber Astronautics, Myriota, Fleet Space, Gilmour Space Technologies, Hypercubes, Cuberider, Neumann Space, and Earth-AI have raised nearly A$20m in private angel and venture funding from firms such as Blackbird Ventures, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes' Grok Ventures, 500Startups, and many others. Another 20 NewSpace and Spatial startups self-identified over this same period. In March 2017, the Space Industry Association of Australia released a white paper calling on the Australian government to institute a proper space industry policy. Watch the Sky News report of 21st March 2017 featuring 5-time Australian astronaut Andy Thomas calling for an Australian Space Agency to unlock our burgeoning potential.
In December 2016, Delta-V member Cuberider made history by sending the first ever Australian payload to the ISS. And on April 19th, 2017, Delta-V founding teams and members ACSER UNSW and Sydney University SpaceNet, along with teams from ANU, Adelaide University, and UniSA launched three Australian-built research Cubesats into orbit as part of the Cygnus OA-7 and QB50 missions, the first Australian-made spacecraft to travel into space since 2002. The same launch also the US Biarri Point satellite which as part of its payload has GPS technology developed by ACSER UNSW in partnership with UNSW Canberra's space engineering team and the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group.
On the opening day of the 2017 International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, 25th September 2017, the Australian Federal Government announced they would establish an Australian Space Agency which is fantastic news for the sector.
WHAT IS NEWSPACE?
Space 2.0: CNBC calls it the "next internet". Lightweight, 3-D-printed, miniaturised satellites – up to 1000x cheaper. Low-cost, re-usable launch systems. Startups using smart sensors, machine learning, big data, autonomous robots... to create new solutions to big problems on Earth – from Space.
Recent announcements of large-scale constellations by OneWeb (648 spacecraft) and SpaceX (over 4,000 - see article), has doubled 2014 forecasts of "2,750 small satellites launched by 2020 worth $1.9bn". We're now forecasting over 5,000 spacecraft to be built and launched over the next 5 years with investment since 2013 now pushing north of $5bn.