Deep Dive #7 - Space Tech

The future of everything above and beyond

Hey everyone!

Startup Exchange Deep Dive is a newsletter sharing interesting links and resources we find about various topics in the startup world. We also hope to provide opportunities for people looking to break into startups and tech.

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This week we will be diving into some interesting startups involved in developing and furthering space technology and exploration.

Rocket Printing? 🚀

Relativity Space is a space startup that automates aerospace engineering through robotics, software and its exclusive metal 3D printing technology. It is transforming the entire aerospace ecosystem by creating a completely new process to build and fly rockets. Relativity has built the world’s largest metal 3D printer to 3D print their personal rockets and launch satellites into space. With the use of its cutting-edge technology, rocket building becomes 100x faster, a process that usually takes years to finish. With the future seeming to head towards a colonization of Mars, Relativity Space’s broader vision is to 3D print the first rocket made on Mars and develop and sustain an interplanetary civilization.

Ever since Elon Musk laid the foundation to how space exploration can be privatised, several companies have followed suit. Relativity aims to take this a step further with their innovative fast metal 3D printing technology to reduce the time it takes to build a spacecraft and rather complete space missions at a faster rate.

Backed by famous capital firms like YCombinator, Social Capital and even famous investor Mark Cuban, Relativity has a lot of momentum going into this decade.

Custom Made Satellites! 🗜

Traditionally, satellites are large objects and typically need a lot of time and money to be placed in orbit. However, with advances in space tech, startups are now able to rapidly develop small-sized satellites at a fraction of the cost. Some satellites weigh as little as 1-10 kg and are known as nanosatellites. Additionally, startups are now working on customizing satellites for different uses that various organizations have.

Spanish startup Alén Space offers ready-to-launch nanosatellites. The startup develops communication hardware, mission control, on-board software, and turnkey apps for data transmission. These are assembled to provide plug-and-play solutions for use cases in various applications of the Internet of Things (IoT), aircraft surveillance, and signals intelligence.

To the Moon 🌕

In 2007, Google started a competition called the Google Lunar XPrize with the goal of creating an affordable solution to putting robots on the moon for space exploration. The competition had a deadline of a space launch to the moon by 2018, but never crowned a winner because none of the finalist teams were ready to launch. 

One of those companies was Moon Express. The company’s mission is to build space-faring robots with the goal of exploring and mining the moon for resources beneficial to humanity. In order to do so the company has raised a total of $65.5 million dollars and $12.5 million dollars in their most recent round. The space of moon mining has become a hotbed for new space tech startups and companies, some other players in this space are Blue Origin (founded by Jeff Bezos) and iSpace

However, due to the deeply technical nature of the problem, it will come down to who can develop the cheapest solution first in order to make moon mining a sustainable process. And most likely the first one to do so will profit the most in what seems to be a winner takes all space. 

Small but mighty 🏋️‍♂️

Many companies are trying to get to space first. However, a company called Rocket Lab is building rockets to help others’ put their projects into space. The whole premise of Rocket Lab is to build “tiny” rockets to launch payloads such as satellites, robots, etc. into space as opposed to putting humans in space. 

Most of the missions done by Rocket Lab rockets have been for launching satellites into space, but in the future they hope to enable greater access to space for students and researchers as well who want to run experiments in space. The company was founded in 2006 and plans to go public via SPAC in order to build medium-lift rockets. Rocket Lab is the dominant player in the payload launching at the moment and it’ll be exciting to see how they continue to grow. 

The Best Roles This Week 🎮

Internships 

Masterclass - Development Intern | Learn from the world’s best

Flexport - User (UX) Research Intern | The operating system for global trade

Formlabs - Logistics Intern | Develops powerful and accessible 3D printing systems designed for printing intricate figures.

Full Time

Linear - Chief of Staff | The issue tracking tool you’ll enjoy using 

Clubhouse - Trust & Safety Specialist | Drop-in audio chat

Patch - Design Lead | Integrates with businesses to calculate their carbon footprint and systematically compensates by funding verified carbon removal projects.

Real - Product Manager | Real is a mental wellbeing membership, empowering you to take proactive care of your mental health.