Commercial Space Steps Up
Wow! The images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are spectacular.
But the world’s largest space telescope is delivering more than just $10B background screens.
JWST could solve mysteries about the origins of the galaxy and detect planets capable of supporting life.
Projects like this highlight the NASA mission to “explore the unknown in air and space, innovate for the benefit of humanity, and inspire the world through discovery.”
Notice that this mission does not say anything about building rockets or satellites.
Commercial space companies can do that just fine, thank you.
Consider that, within days of launching JWST, NASA quietly announced it was retiring the ISS.
NASA has better priorities than maintaining the single most expensive item ever built, and “the private sector is technically and financially capable of developing and operating commercial low-Earth orbit destinations."
Military space is also looking to the commercial sector. For example, Starlink’s resiliency in Ukraine has frustrated Russia, impressed the Pentagon, and alarmed China.
By handing off to commercial space, government agencies can focus on their core missions.
Next up: GPS.
Last Week's Theme: The Move to Zero Trust
- Working to expand the team and add Quantum and Timing experts to our Board of Advisors. Announcements coming soon.
- Conducted a survey of potential office/lab space and looking at options for our first overseas office.
- Progress on the proof-of-concept (POC) hardware development continues. Goal is to meet key development milestones within this month.
- Kicked off the Xairos Summer 2022 Internship program this week with four future leaders. The goal is to provide mentorship and experience working within a space and quantum startup.
- Developing new government projects and commercial partnerships.
- Check out this video from Perihelion to truly appreciate those amazing JWST images.
- The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, which aims to provide post-quantum cryptography (PQC) standards, is making its way through Congress. PQC is needed to replace current encryption standards that could one day be cracked by quantum computers. Last week National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced a new round of PQC candidates.
- Previously, Russia has been suspected of jamming GPS across the border from Finland, and it appears that there have been new reports of similar jamming across the Norway border.
- Researchers announced a breakthrough in the development of linking qubits that could lead to the ability to “construct massively scalable quantum computers and the quantum internet that will connect them.”
- Major telecom disruptions were reported in both Canada and Japan last week, for seemingly unrelated reasons.
- Small Satellite Conference, August 6 - 11, Logan, Utah
- Optics + Photonics, August 21 - 25, San Diego, CA
- ION GNSS+ 2022, September 19 - 23, Denver, CO
- IEEE Quantum Week 2022, September 18 - 23, Broomfield, CO
- APSCC 2022, October 18 - 20, Seoul, Korea
- Tough Tech Summit, October 27 - 28, Boston, MA
- International Timing and Sync Forum, November 7 - 10, Dusseldorf, Germany
There have been reports about private investment cooling down due to recession worries.
But there are signs that government funding and funds for dual use technology could pick up the slack.
Consider the following:
- A White House backed fund that promises to accelerate 'deep tech' advancements in cybersecurity was recently announced.
- A “strategic capital” VC-type fund to “help startups do business with the Defense Department” was announced by the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
- A new $100M Booz Allen Hamilton venture fund was created to focus on disruptive technology.
- The "US Innovation and Competition Act of 2021" and “American Technology Leadership Act of 2022,” both under deliberation, provide funding for commercial research and development.
- An Executive Order was issued in May to prioritize and speed up quantum development in the US.
- A National Strategy Memorandum was signed into law at the same time “to maintain the Nation’s competitive advantage in quantum information science (QIS)."