SpaceX and Planetary Resources get plenty of attention, but the number of organizatinons doing interesting things around launch and orbital activities continues to grow.
Ed Lu, founder of the B612 Foundation, was a guest on The Long Now Foundation’s most recent podcast episode, “Anthropocene Astronomy: Thwarting Dangerous Asteroids Begins with Finding Them”. The non-profit’s Sentinel satellites are designed to detect and identify asteroids which might be on a collision path with Earth and the interview is fascinating.
Copenhagen Suborbitals is a group of hobbyists, who recently launched a 5.3 meter tall rocket that used active guide jet vane rudders. The use of ‘active guidance’ is a significant technical accomplishment, regardless of the group’s target and/or ability to achieve orbit.
Wired’s popular science approach to coverage of the space industry is thorough, and their recent article about SkyBox, which is pioneering a fleet of terrestrial observation satellites describes how a lean startup mentality drives the West Coast startup. The company’s view on the market for their imaging is simple:
There are 1,000 satellites orbiting the planet at any given time, but only 12 send back Hi-Res images.