In 2011, Marc Andreessen postulated that software was eating the world. Just four years later, he might need to tweak his iconic statement. No longer is software just eating the world, it is now expanding its reach outside the planet Earth. Startup companies are using software and cutting-edge technology to create businesses in sectors like space robotics, 3D-printed rockets, and microwave-energy enabled UAVs. For a quick peek at the brave businesses being built in the space technology sector, following are a few enticing companies you might want to dig into.
Phase Four hopes to bring plasma propulsion to the satellite-launching industry. Combining the knowledge of plasma scientists and aerospace engineers, they want to improve the cost effectiveness and capabilities of commercial satellite exploration. Potential uses range from improved data capture and above-earth photographs to satellite internet capabilities for developing nations.
You’ve probably heard of SaaS. In Generation Orbit’s case, SaaS stands for satellites as a service. This Atlanta startup wants to bring cost-effective satellite launching to everyone from business owners to government agencies. By offering air launch capabilities to satellite users, Generation Orbit can avoid low-level weather formations and can enable rocket ignition launches in remote locations.
Colorado’s Escape Dynamics is taking a drastically different approach to space exploration. They hope to launch reusable space vehicles using electro-magnetic power instead of chemical combustion. The team at Escape Dynamics is already working on beaming microwave energy to unmanned aeronautic vehicles. If you like the idea of launching small satellites via reusable UAVs, this is one intriguing company to keep on your radar.
The above-listed companies are but a small sampling of the innovative thinking happening within the space travel sector. From satellite as a service to asteroid mining and 3D-printed rockets, there’s no shortage of intriguing ventures being built by bright minds in this market. Instead of worrying about our robot overlords, we might be better off pondering the potential of business opportunities in the heavens.