What the primary six months of 2022 have seemed like in area

What the primary six months of 2022 have seemed like in area

We’ve made it midway thru 2022. The yr has flown by means of, nevertheless it’s been stuffed with large information and firsts for the distance trade. Right here’s our recap of the off-Earth goings-on throughout those remaining six months.


The yr began off with a bang as JWST spread out effectively, reached its new house one million miles clear of Earth, and started prepping its tools for science ops.

In February, the FAA granted the primary streamlined Phase 450 license to Astra, opening the doorways to sooner and extra environment friendly release permissions for business rocket firms. Jared Isaacman and SpaceX additionally introduced the bold Polaris Program.

Russia invaded Ukraine on the finish of February (and the warfare has been raging on for 126 days). Business satellite tv for pc operators stepped as much as the plate, bringing satellite tv for pc imagery to the leading edge of OSINT and assembly the Ukrainian executive’s wishes for space-based intelligence. At the broadband entrance, SpaceX and Iridium despatched terminals and satphones/push-to-talk units into Ukraine.

In March, Astra reached orbit for the primary time, and President Biden in spite of everything signed the FY22 federal appropriations invoice into legislation.

Fundraising protection: Radian emerged from stealth, pronouncing its spaceplane plans and $27.5M seed. E-House raised a $50M seed spherical, Aerospacelab raised a €40M Sequence B, CesiumAstro raised a $60M Sequence B, and Slingshot Aerospace raised a $25M Sequence A-1.

And that’s no longer all, other people—for extra of the main points, take a look at our Q1 2022 information roundup.

Shifting proper alongside to Q2 and April

With House Symposium falling in the midst of the month, we bore witness to a flurry of blockbuster bulletins. Leader amongst them was once Amazon’s block purchase of probably the most business launches ever, with Undertaking Kuiper booking as much as 83 flights from ULA, Arianespace, and Blue Foundation. House tourism had a second as International View and House Viewpoint made trade strikes.

New rocket engines made it to checking out, with SpaceRyde and Launcher every pronouncing primary milestones. Ursa Main manufacturing devices got here off the road and the Colorado startup inked an enormous engine care for Phantom House.

The White Area introduced a unilateral ban on direct-ascent ASAT (antisatellite) checking out, main the way in which for different international locations to announce equivalent bans.

At the warfare entrance, the lack of Antonov airplanes in Ukraine impacted GEO element delivery as satellite tv for pc operators regarded for different ways to move flight devices. ESA additionally withdrew from Roscosmos lunar missions. HawkEye360 and NSSA introduced a Ukraine support initiative for the distance trade.

Fundraising protection: ConstellR got hyperspectral imaging corporate ScanWorld, Capella raised a $97M spherical of investment, and RFA gained €11M in a German microlauncher pageant.


Rocket Lab tried its first helicopter seize of the primary degree of Electron within the first days of Might, finishing up losing the degree ahead of totally securing it. Boeing’s Starliner tablet additionally in spite of everything made it to the ISS. ESA needed to maneuver a satellite tv for pc round a work of particles created within the Russian ASAT check remaining November. The NRO introduced its largest-ever satellite tv for pc imagery procurement contracts. In spite of everything, Transporter-5 put a bunch of your satellites, spacecraft, and tugs into orbit.

Fundraising protection: 3 propulsion startups—Firehawk, Adranos, and X-Bow Programs—raised Sequence A rounds. AstroForge raised a $13M seed spherical.


NASA awarded its business EVA spacesuit contracts to Axiom and Collins Aerospace. Sony opened the doorways to a brand new laser comms trade. Ursa Main unveiled its new Arroway engine design. The FAA, in the end, launched its discovering of no important environmental have an effect on on Starship, clearing the largest hurdle isolating the enormous Mars rocket from release. SFL carried out passive particles deorbiting for the primary time the usage of drag sails. Sierra House introduced its very personal astronaut coaching program. And NASA and Rocket Lab introduced CAPSTONE, a pathfinding challenge to a novel lunar orbit.

Fundraising protection: Ion-X raised a €3.8M investment spherical. QuadSAT gained  €500,000 in ESA investment.

Deep breath

Whew, that was once so much. Right here’s to many extra launches, thrilling firsts, and certain area vibes for the again part of 2022!

This tale at the beginning seemed on Payload and is republished right here with permission.

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