space news

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, partnered with CNM Ingenuity, or CNMI, the economic development arm of Central New Mexico Community College, to hold the 2022 Hyperdrive Space Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Nov. 15-17, 2022. The Hyperdrive Space Summit is an evolution of the Hyperspace Challenge that AFRL’s Technology Outreach Office began in 2018, in collaboration with CNMI, with the goal of growing the space economy in the southwest.

Gabe Mounce, the director of the AFRL Technology Outreach Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico and deputy director of SpaceWERX, the innovation arm of the Space Force, has been engaged in AFRL’s space technology innovation efforts since 2016. In his summit opening remarks, Mounce set the stage on the event’s purpose.

“The summit was created to include a cross section of participants comprised of small businesses, military leaders and members from the U.S. Space Force, SpaceWERX, investors and community professionals,” Mounce said. “All of these groups have an interest in tapping into the innovation and capabilities being generated in the commercial space sector.”

Mounce added that the commercial space sector is estimated to grow to $4 trillion in the next several years, dwarfing the money the federal government invests in space. He said 100,000 spacecraft are expected to be in orbit soon, exceeding previous years by a factor of 10.

“With this meteoric rise, what many call the Second Golden Age of Space, the federal government, and especially the Space Force, want to be better consumers and co-investors with industry, to tap into these huge opportunities for innovation and space capability,” Mounce said. “The Space Force needs these capabilities because the commercial sector is growing so fast, causing the space domain to be congested and increasingly contested.”

Kathy Steen, CNMI senior program manager for the Hyperspace Challenge, led the summit that included more than 150 participants from space technology small businesses, academia, government and others from the space community. Participants included those that took part in previous Hyperspace Challenges and new invitees.

“The challenges focused on matching pressing AFRL and Space Force needs with innovative technologies from teams not yet familiar with government contracting, in which the winners received funding to begin the government acquisition process,” Steen said. “This year we brought together 85 teams to network with government researchers, industry experts and investors to connect and deepen collaboration efforts to further their visions and mission needs.”

Steen added that the Hyperdrive Summit is a celebration of five years of AFRL and SpaceWERX in their technology scouting and acceleration activities.

Mounce and Steen agreed the summit exceeded expectations, which were set higher than previous Hyperspace Challenges. Mounce said the goals achieved are:

+ It brought attention on the national level to the growing space economy in New Mexico and highlighted it as a place for space business to thrive.

+ It enabled small businesses and venture-backed startups the opportunity to meet with U.S. Space Force and other government personnel, creating opportunities to explore missions that fit their products and solutions.

+ It enabled military and government officials to gain an increased perspective of how fast the commercial space sector is growing, especially within the small business and venture-backed startup community across the globe.

+ It highlighted the importance of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, literacy to the growing space industry and the need to better develop the space workforce of the future.

“This summit was hugely important as we brought together companies that have previously found a mission-fit via the Hyperspace Challenge or Catalyst Space Accelerator, both integrated into SpaceWERX’s tech scouting operation; the Q-Station Soft Landing program which enables small businesses to tap into the growing New Mexico space economy; and the Ignitor, a new incubator partnership with NewSpace New Mexico, to aid small businesses in growing their technical and investment readiness nationwide,” Mounce said.

Mounce added that these groups along with private sector investors, government representatives, and the broader technology community enabled collaborative opportunities and private-public partnerships that are the first step toward the relationship the USSF is fostering to leverage fast-growing commercial capabilities.

“Based on the current trajectory, the commercial space economy will continue to drive most of the innovation happening in space,” Mounce said. “The summit validated the predictions for the growth of the space economy despite a recent worldwide economic slowdown. Space is now truly for everyone.”


Power on the Moon. What Will it Take to Survive the Lunar Night?

With the help of international and commercial partners, NASA is sending astronauts back to the Moon for the first time in over fifty years. In addition to sending crewed missions to the lunar surface, the long-term objective of the Artemis Program is to create the necessary infrastructure for a ...

View more: Power on the Moon. What Will it Take to Survive the Lunar Night?

Iwan Rhys Morus

Iwan Rhys Morus holds PhDs in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge. He has spent much of his career working on the history of science during the nineteenth century, including the development of new electrical technologies, the popular culture of science, and the history ...

View more: Iwan Rhys Morus

How do lie detectors work?

This article was first published on Big Think in October 2020. It was updated in December 2022. We all lie. Some might argue it’s human nature. In a 2002 study, 60% of people were found to lie at least once during a 10-minute conversation, with most people telling an ...

View more: How do lie detectors work?

How electricity stormed past steam and became the power of the future

Excerpted from HOW THE VICTORIANS TOOK US TO THE MOON, written by Dr. Iwan Rhys Morus and published by Pegasus Books. None of this happened by accident – and none of it happened as the result of acts of individual genius either. The business of electrification was a business, ...

View more: How electricity stormed past steam and became the power of the future

What is the true nature of our quantum reality?

When it comes to understanding the Universe, scientists have traditionally taken two approaches in tandem with one another. On the one hand, we perform experiments and make measurements and observations of what the results are; we obtain a suite of data. On the other hand, we construct theories and ...

View more: What is the true nature of our quantum reality?

Planetary Interiors in TRAPPIST-1 System Could be Affected by Solar Flares

In a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cologne in Germany examined how solar flares erupted by the TRAPPIST-1 star could affect the interior heating of its orbiting exoplanets. This study holds the potential to help us ...

View more: Planetary Interiors in TRAPPIST-1 System Could be Affected by Solar Flares

SpaceX’s last Starlink launch of 2022 is a bit of a mystery

In a strange twist, SpaceX says that its next Starlink mission will launch 54 satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), implying that they’re roughly the same size as the V1.5 satellites it’s already launching – not the larger V2 or V2 Mini satellites hinted in recent FCC filings. However, ...

View more: SpaceX’s last Starlink launch of 2022 is a bit of a mystery

Is Mining in Space Socially Acceptable?

Traditional mining has been subject to a negative stigma for some time. People, especially in developed countries, have a relatively negative view of this necessary economic activity. Primarily that is due to its environmental impacts – greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction are some of the effects that give ...

View more: Is Mining in Space Socially Acceptable?

“Mad honey”: The rare hallucinogen from the mountains of Nepal

Fred Hogge

The history of ice, one of the first luxuries

Astronomy 2023: Top Sky Watching Highlights for the Coming Year

Are humans wired for conflict? Charles Darwin vs. "Lord of the Flies" - Big Think

What was the biggest explosion in the Universe?

Canada takes boldest stance on electric vehicles yet

Despite the low air Pressure, Wind Turbines Might Actually Work on Mars

NASA Makes Asteroid Defense a Priority, Moving its NEO Surveyor Mission Into the Development Phase

Lightweight Picogram-Scale Probes Could be the Best way to Explore Other Star Systems

World’s biggest cultivated meat factory is being built in the U.S.

Ndidi Akahara


Top Car News Car News