The subject of space exploration has become a priority for many scientists and governments. The fact that we are a mere speck on the universe, pushes us even more to gain knowledge about things lying unknown in the vastness of the space. A lot of money is spent by the government in undertaking space explorations, in the hope of finding something new and useful, or even alien life forms.
The present decade has seen many private firms and startups emerge with innovative offerings and projects dedicated to the space. The privatization of this industry is has upped the game for ‘space quest’, and this only implicates that the day is not far when me and you will probably be stepping on the lunar surface, or the Mars for that case. These private firms are making fruitful strides into space, which compels me to present you with some of the most interesting ways enterprises are exploring the potential of space.
Launching satellites for commercial application
Elon Musk founded space organization, SpaceX makes its major bulk of money by engaging in just one activity, launching commercial satellites into space. The agency undertakes both commercial and government project, charging $72 million on an average per launch. For government, SpaceX undertakes complex space missions such as resupplying the International Space Station, or placing a science satellite into orbit for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Co-founded by Narayan Prasad, Dhruva Space is yet another example of an Indian startup created in 2012, with a vision to lead privatization of satellite industry in India. The company is working on developing an indigenous small satellite platform. However, the firm stresses its primary focus on assembly, integration, testing, and operation of satellites.
Promoting space tourism
Rocket-powered test flights have been conducted for SpaceShip Two, which is intended to take passengers to the brink of space. The spaceship has been designed by Virgin Galactic, and despite blown deadlines to the initiation of space tourism, the firm is pushing hard with its effort of making the dream come true.
Turning asteroid mining into a reality
Planetary Resources had stated its unique goal of mining asteroids within proximity using robotic spacecraft. The startup had earlier used Kickstarter to fund its own project involving successful launch of low-cost, publicly accessible satellite telescopes into orbit, back in 2014. The private firm is supported by director James Cameron and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.
Earth2Orbit’s unique value proposition lies in its GeoIntel Analytics practice. Composite data sets, sophisticated algorithms, and advances in Deep Learning and AI are utilized in the process to deliver “actionable intelligence.” This helps private and government organizations alike, to make prudent decisions. E2O’s GeoIntel practice today, has transcended across various verticals climate change, agriculture, shipping, oil and gas, mining, retail, and smart city projects.
Another interesting story is about Orbital Insight’s geoanalytics platform. The firm analyzes millions of satellite images at a time to equip industry leaders with advanced and unbiased knowledge of socio-economic trends.
Planet.com uniquely leverages space to better life on earth. The firm offers its planet monitoring and planet basement services across a plethora of industries such as agriculture, civil government, defense and intelligence, energy and infrastructure, and forestry. Planet strives in the “space race” with a mission to image the entire Earth every day. This helps their clients perceive and understand global changes, while acquiring actionable insights.
Innovative space-based manufacturing
Made in Space brings something new and innovative to the table with its idea of taking 3-D printing into the orbit. The disruptive idea has been endorsed by NASA, and the startup is working on a project to build a 3-D printer for the International Space Station. The potential commercial applications of this futuristic idea is several-fold, and it will soon be a reality.