The Hyperspace Challenge and Its Winners
The Hyperspace Challenge is a business accelerator that was developed in a partnership between the United States Air Force and CNM Ingenuity in 2018. The partnership is now between CNM Ingenuity and the newly created United States Space Force, though the intentions of the Hyperspace Challenge remain the same. The main goal of the Hyperspace Challenge has always been to move along partnerships between the business sector and the government, which can lead to advancements and innovations in space. Since its inception, the Hyperspace Challenge has helped to support 37 small businesses and universities both in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. Each year, the Hyperspace Challenge gathers a cohort of pitches from startups and universities, ultimately choosing a group of them to support and move forward on their combined goals.
This year, the cohort was made up of 11 different startups and two universities who each offered pitches with each focusing on creating autonomous technology to be used in space. The Hyperspace Challenge ultimately chose a top 3 out of these pitches and rewarded them with $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively. In descending order, the three winners are Resilient Solutions 21, Starfish Space, and Space Domain Awareness.
Resilient Solutions 21 is a data science analytics company based in New Mexico whose pitch involves utilizing machine learning and oncology techniques to help better predict satellite failures in space. This technology provides satellite operators faster warning, thus preventing further damage from happening as a result of the failed satellite. Outside of the Hyperspace Challenge, Resilient Solutions 21 has created an Urban Health Vulnerability Index to better assess situations involving COVID-19, among other projects.
In second place is Seattle-based Starfish Space, a space technology company that proposed building space tug boats of sorts to create a more efficient satellite delivery and servicing system. This idea would extend the lives of older satellites and create a more efficient process for removing space debris from orbit.
The final winner in third place was Space Domain Awareness. Space Domain Awareness serves mostly as a tracking service for CubeSats, and their pitch follows similar ideas. Space Domain Awareness’s pitch would be to create orbital license plates, so to speak, which would help satellite operators more easily identify and locate their own devices in space considering how quickly the amount of satellites in space is increasing.
Beyond simply the cash prizes which will help the startups continue to develop the technology of their pitches, each startup was given two months of direct collaboration with the government, which could lay the groundwork for a possible partnership. That partnership would see these companies develop their technology further for the government to then actually implement their solutions into the ongoing space technology that’s currently in place. While obviously not every idea will eventually be put to use by the government, the award and the collaboration will certainly help further the advancement of these pitches.
The Hyperspace Challenge puts a major spotlight on businesses and ideas that could help push the envelope of what is currently possible for space travel and research. Each startup that was chosen this year had a unique and viable option to improve the ways in which the space industry currently operates, and each will certainly see greater results in their own technology in the near future.
About the Author
Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.