SpaceX is making big money moves

Planning a Mars mission, a global telecommunications network for inexpensive internet service and creating an interplanetary hedge against World War Three isn’t cheap, so it’s no wonder that SpaceX is closing on $500 million in new cash through a financing round led by Fidelity, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the round. Responding to clamoring […]

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SpaceX and United Launch Alliance land $640 million in Air Force launches

The U.S. Air Force wants to maintain its options: It awarded a total of $640 million in satellite launch contracts to both SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance (Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s joint space launch venture), with the goal of making sure it has access to at least two options for launching its payloads to […]

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FCC accuses stealth space startup of unauthorized satellite deployment

 The FCC has denied a space startup permission to launch a collection of communications satellites after discovering that it had already launched some — after being told not to. Swarm Technologies, still in stealth mode, appears to have gone ahead with the deployment of four satellites deemed too small to be tracked and therefore unsafe to put into orbit. Read More

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Discover your own planets Google-style with AstroNet

 You may remember that in December, a pair of new planets was discovered via machine learning, using NASA data and Google Brain ingenuity. If you’re interested in doing the same, the team behind the system has just released the code they used to accomplish this astronomical achievement, which they call AstroNet. Read More

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The dos and don’ts of crafting frontier-tech companies

 Powerful tools, amazing talent and endless dollars flowing from eager investors makes today an amazing time to start tomorrow’s technology companies. Curious and ambitious founding teams are putting their skills to work toward solving real-world problems. Here’s how to build hard value while avoiding common pitfalls in nine exciting startup categories that will brighten our future. Read More

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SpaceX successfully launches 50th Falcon 9 mission

 SpaceX has launched its 50th Falcon 9 rocket mission, and on board is its largest ever geostationary satellite payload, a Hispasat unit that’s around the size of a city bus. The launch took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida this morning and proceeded as planned, delivering Hispasat 30W-6 to its target geostationary transfer orbit. The Standish satellite weighed 6 metric tons and sets a… Read More

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Watch SpaceX launch a record-sized satellite on its 50th Falcon 9 live

 SpaceX is setting up to launch its 50th Falcon 9 rocket, with a payload that also represents a new milestone. The two-hour launch window is set to begin at 12:33 AM EST (9:33 PM PST) so it’s a late one, but if you’re a fan of watching SpaceX make history, this is one to watch. The Falcon 9 launching tonight is carrying Hispasat 30W-6, a satellite destined for Geostationary… Read More

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Stealth space catapult startup SpinLaunch is raising $30M

 What if instead of blasting cargo into space on a rocket, we could fling it into space using a catapult? That’s the big, possibly crazy, possibly genius idea behind SpinLaunch. It was secretly founded in 2014 by Jonathan Yaney, who built solar-powered drone startup Titan Aerospace and sold it to Google. Now TechCrunch has learned from three sources that SpinLaunch is raising a massive… Read More

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SpaceX misses catching Falcon 9 rocket fairing with a giant net on a big ship

 SpaceX nearly succeeded in catching the fairing used in its PAZ Falcon 9 mission on Thursday, using a barge called ‘Mr. Steven’ that uses four giant arms with a net strung between them to secure the used nosecone once it floats back from space. The fairing missed the boat by just a few hundred meters, but did land intact in the water, at least. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk noted that… Read More

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Watch SpaceX launch its first broadband internet satellites to space live here

 SpaceX is making a second attempt to launch its PAZ mission today, which includes the PAZ satellite from client Hisdesat, and is set for launch during an instantaneous window at 6:17 AM PST, or 9:17 AM EST. The mission was scrubbed on Wednesday due to high upper level winds, and reset for this morning. The Hisdesat payload is a satellite with radar instrumentation on board, with a planned… Read More

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