A Closer Look at Which Space Companies U.S. VC’s are Investing in

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA’s new publication, “Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit,” consists of a series of papers that examines a number of important policy questions that will be of rising importance as NASA transitions human spaceflight in LEO to the private sector.

One of the papers, “Venture Capital Activity in the Low-Earth Orbit Sector,”
has detailed information on what U.S. venture capitalists have invested in. Key excerpts from the paper follow.
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ACME Advanced Materials Selects Aircraft for Microgravity Processing

ACME_logoALBUQUERQUE, NM, January 13, 2016 (ACME PR) — ACME Advanced Materials, Inc. today announced that they have decided to use parabolic aircraft to produce their first generation of Silicon Carbide (SiC) semiconductor material instead of suborbital rockets. Although initially conceived as a series of demonstration experiments that would lead to space based production of semiconductor material, ACME’s aircraft flights demonstrated that carefully designed and executed parabolic profiles could provide a commercially viable product without the need for space flight.

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CASIS Awards Research Agreements to Five Companies

casis_new_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., Oct. 26, 2015 (CASIS PR) The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced it has granted research agreements to five businesses in the technology development and remote-sensing industries. The agreements will allow these businesses to access the unique research environment of the ISS National Laboratory to further their individual investigations and offer new cutting-edge solutions and products capable of benefitting life on Earth.

“Today’s announcement represents a major win for the National Laboratory,” said CASIS Director of Operations Ken Shields. “CASIS has placed a heavy emphasis in reaching out to the technology development and remote sensing communities to showcase the unique opportunities that are possible through ISS experimentation. These projects further diversify our robust research portfolio and demonstrate the immense value the ISS National Laboratory offers to U.S. commercial enterprises.”

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ACME Advanced Materials Produces Commercial SiC Wafers in Microgravity

ACME_logoALBUQUERQUE, NM (ACME PR) – ACME Advanced Materials, Inc. today announced the successful commercialization of its process to produce large quantities of low loss, electrically defect free (EDF) Silicon Carbide (SiC) wafers in a microgravity environment.

This development creates a new grade of SiC wafer, S Grade, that are electrically defect free of the mid-gap states known to cause power loss and reliability issues in SiC devices by impeding current flow through these electrical scattering centers.

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