Astrobotic Pulls Out of Google Lunar X Prize

Peregrine lunar lander (Credit: Astrobotic)
Peregrine lunar lander (Credit: Astrobotic)

Astrobotic has pulled out of the Google Lunar X Prize, according to an update on the Space Angels Network website.

As a former XPRIZE contender, Astrobotic was the only team to win all three of the competition’s Milestone Prizes, which brought the company $1.75 million in prize money. Astrobotic is now poised for further success: Their Peregrine Lander will carry customer payloads to the Moon’s surface in 2019, including the rovers of three other GLXP competitors. These initial customers, who have had an opportunity to evaluate all potential service providers, have said that Astrobotic is “years ahead of the competition.”
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Vector Space Systems Receives $1.25 Million From Space Angels Network

P20 sub-scale test vehicle launch (Credit: Vector Space Systems)
P20 sub-scale test vehicle launch (Credit: Vector Space Systems)

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 18, 2016  (Vector Space Systems PR) — Vector Space Systems, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced that it has received an additional $1.25M in angel funding led by Space Angels Network, a New York City-based investor in early-stage space companies. As one of the largest communities of space investors and entrepreneurs in the world, Space Angels Network will be contributing to the rise and success of the micro satellite industry through its investment in Vector.

With this additional seed financing, Vector will accelerate development efforts towards the goal of being one of the first commercial dedicated micro satellite launch vehicles to achieve low earth orbit. Vector continues to strive to connect space startups and innovators with affordable and reliable access to space. Its mission to reshape the multi-billion-dollar launch market has never been more critical. This need for dedicated low-cost micro satellite launches and software defined satellites to democratize space access and the speed to orbit has increased significantly since the company’s founding earlier this year.

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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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Space Angels Network Opposes Use of Surplus ICBMs to Launch Commercial Satellites

A Minotaur V rocket carrying NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifts off from at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (Credit: NASA/Chris Perry)
A Minotaur V rocket carrying NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifts off from at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (Credit: NASA/Chris Perry)

The Space Angels Network has sent the following letter opposing the use of surplus ICBMs for the launching of commercial satellites to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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Planetary Resources Announces $21.1 Million Funding Round For Sat Constellation

Ceres constellation (Credit: Planetary Resources)
Ceres constellation (Credit: Planetary Resources)

REDMOND, Wash.,  May 26, 2016 (Planetary Resources PR) – Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, announced today that it has secured US$21.1 million in Series A funding. The capital will be used to deploy and operate Ceres, an advanced Earth observation business that features the first commercial infrared and hyperspectral sensor platform to better understand and manage humanity’s natural resources.

The funding was led by Bryan Johnson and the OS FUND; and joined by Idea Bulb Ventures; Tencent; Vast Ventures; Grishin Robotics; Conversion Capital; The Seraph Group; Space Angels Network, a syndication of investors from Angel.co; and Larry Page. Earth observation will be another aspect of Planetary Resources’ operations in addition to prospecting and mining asteroids.

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NewSpace Business Plan Competition Announces First Regional Round

sff_logoSILICON VALLEY, Calif., Sept. 3, 2015 (SFF BPC PR) – The Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace Business Plan Competition (BPC), which awards seed money, announced today that the first two of five total regional, qualifying competitions for the 2015/2016 competition cycle will be held in New York on October 22, 2015 and Los Angeles on December 3, 2015.

The cities will each host a Shark Tank-style event whose winners will advance to the national competition in Seattle. Submissions from the Northeast open September 1, 2015 and November 5, 2015 in the Southwest. Partners of the BPC include the Space Angels Network, OrbitalATK, Heinlein Prize Trust and the Space Finance Group.

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Space Angels Network Supports Taiwan/Europe Space Collaboration

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TAIPEI, TAIWAN, 9 February 2015 (SAN PR) –
In March, the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan’s (ECCT) Technology Committee is holding a lunch meeting to discuss opportunities for Taiwan/Europe cooperation in (autonomous) satellite navigation, as well as future opportunities for space exploration in Taiwan. The event will feature speaker Jordan Vannitsen, Space Systems Engineer from ESA, and Nathan Kaiser, Asia Hub Representative of Space Angels Network.

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Space Angels Network Pens Incubator Partnership with Space-Nest

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LOS ANGELES, Caif. (Space Angels Network PR) – Today Space-Nest sponsored Space Angels Network, launching a relationship that will incubate space startups. The organizations’ collaboration will connect Space Angels Network’s private capital and startup expertise with Space-Nest’s entrepreneurs. Space-Nest will also act as Space Angels Network’s Tel Aviv Network Hub, the network’s first in the Middle East.

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Space Angels Network and CASIS Orbits Align

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REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 2, 2014 (Space Angels PR) –– Space Angels Network and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) announced their agreement today to promote angel investment in projects aboard the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory.

Space Angels Network Principal, Amir Blachman said, “This relationship showcases the historic growth of private investment in space. We are excited to have our telescope focused on the ISS, and are honored to work with CASIS’s team members who are steeped in space flight, space economics and space science.”

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Space Angels Network Tours SoCal Space Companies

Space Angels trip members watch the firing of an XCOR Lynx thruster. (Credit: Space Angels Network)
Space Angels trip members watch the firing of an XCOR Lynx thruster. (Credit: Space Angels Network)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – September 29, 2014 (Space Angels PR) – Earlier this month Space Angels Network hosted an exclusive Expedition to Southern California space companies, offering unique insights inside the private space industry. The companies, located in Los Angeles and at the Mojave Air & Spaceport, included SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Masten Aerospace, XCOR Aerospace, Whittinghill Aerospace and Firestar Technologies.

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Space Travel Alliance to Offer Variety of Services

space_travel_allianceKIRUNA, Sweden (STA PR) — Space Travel Alliance (STA) is a new Swedish venture aiming to make the dream of space discovery a reality to mankind with the vision to become the premier European space travel company. Operating from Spaceport Sweden, STA will offer commercial suborbital spaceflights for tourism, research, development and education, astronaut training and space adventures.

“We are at the dawn of a new space era and with Space Travel Alliance we seek to leverage Sweden’s rich space heritage and launch not only spaceships but also new careers and contribute to regional development”, says Karin Nilsdotter, CEO of Space Travel Alliance.

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Space Angels Network Partners with Swedish Space Accelerator, Space Travel Alliance

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LONDON, United Kingdom, August 19, 2014 (Space Angels PR) — Space Angels Network, a global network of seed‐ and early‐stage investors focused on aerospace‐related ventures, and Space Travel Alliance, the region’s first space accelerator, today announced the beginning of a collaborative partnership. Through this partnership both organizations will work together to support early-stage space ventures, connect them with investment capital, and accelerate the growth of the global commercial space industry.

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Space Angels Network Forms Partnership With Space Foundation

space_angels_networkSeattle, Washington, 24 July 2014 (Space Angels PR) – Space Angels Network, a global network of seed- and early‐stage investors focused on aerospace‐related ventures, and Space Foundation, a global non-profit organization advancing space-related endeavors to inspire, enable, and propel humanity, are proud to announce their new partnership. Through this partnership both organizations will work together to accelerate the growth of the emerging space ecosystem, by promoting entrepreneurial activity and encouraging private investment in commercial space ventures.

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