Top Space Companies to Follow
Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation, tech, and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up the most exciting space startups of 2023 that startup-lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow.
Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the companies that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.
1. Mission Space
- Location: Luxembourg
- Funding: €450,000
Mission Space monitors the “weather” in the solar system, including geomagnetic and solar radiation storms. It features three different types of satellites with sensors that can measure and monitor magnetic and solar wind conditions near the earth, as well as streams of radiation from the Sun. All of these can cause power blackouts, damage to electrical grids, satellite disruption, and it can even wreak havoc on our critical systems.
2. Skyroot Aerospace
- Location: Hyderabad, India
- Funding: $68.1 Million
Skyroot Aerospace’s mission is to create responsive, reliable, and economic ways to transport people and objects into space. It currently is working on three launch vehicles with different payload capacities and other characteristics. All three are tailored to the small satellite market. They’re built on a common architecture, can deliver a wide range of payloads, and can be assembled and launched within 24-72 hours (depending on the model) from any launch site.
- Location: Bengaluru, India
- Funding: $8 Million
Pixxel wants to build a “health monitor for the planet” by launching a constellation of small satellites. These “hyperspectral” Earth-imaging satellites are uniquely designed to beam down geospatial data in hundreds of wavelengths to detect problems that are invisible to today's satellites. The data they collect from their 24-hour global coverage will be made accessible through a platform that allows businesses and governments to glean new insights about the earth.
4. Bellatrix Aerospace
- Location: Coimbatore, India
- Funding: $11.1 Million
Bellatrix Aerospace builds cutting-edge rocket propulsion systems. Next year it plans further tests of its proprietary hall-effect thruster, which uses electric propulsion and can be used on small satellites. The company has partnered with the European Space Agency.
5. Leaf Space
- Location: Milan, Italy
- Funding: €10.4 Million
Leaf Space provides dedicated and shared ground segment services for satellites. Its Leaf Key dedicated ground services are aimed at satellite operators and space service providers who need a custom approach to communicating with their space assets. Space companies with more limited budgets can use the Leaf Line shared services, which are best for in-orbit demonstrations and other missions requiring high contact time and low latency.
- Location: Trondheim, Norway
- Funding: Undisclosed
Norway-based Solstorm manufactures a space propulsion system to deorbit rockets and satellites. When a rocket or satellite reaches the end of its useful life, Solstorm’s Magbreak technology deploys and generates a magnetic field by harnessing power from the ionosphere without conventional rockets or propellants. The magnetic field induces electromagnetic drag that deorbits and disposes of the craft without leaving behind hazardous “space junk.”
- Location: Gilching, Germany
- Funding: Undisclosed
DcubeD develops actuators and deployable structures tailored for nano-satellites and the commercial space industry. Release actuators are commonly used to ensure that critical mechanisms are locked for launch, open doors for satellite deployers, and trigger the release of deployable structures like solar arrays and antennas. The company’s products are made from off-the-shelf or custom components.
- Location: Espoo, Finland
- Funding: $313.3 Million
ICEYE is another startup in the earth-monitoring satellite business, manufacturing a constellation of small and agile radar satellites that enable access to new kinds of data for the persistent monitoring of areas around the world. The satellites can detect even millimeter-level daily changes on the Earth’s surface. Applications include tracking fast-moving objects like ships, monitoring and addressing national security issues, and potentially predicting natural disasters.
- Location: London, United Kingdom
- Funding: Undisclosed
London-based startup MyelinS is developing a biologically inspired software operating system that acts as a sort of brain for terrestrial and space robots. The company’s software makes robots more autonomous and allows them to cooperate with human controllers in real time. These robots can also sense their environment and even make decisions about navigation, manipulating an object, etc. The software also can be used in space rovers, mining robots, self-driving cars, and other applications.
10. The Exploration Company
- Location: Munich, Germany
- Funding: €87.3 Million
The Exploration Company wants to “democratize exploration” for both space and non-space industries by manufacturing and operating a modular and reusable orbital vehicle that can eventually be refueled in orbit. The vehicle, dubbed Nyx, currently carries cargo but has the potential to carry humans on missions ranging from orbiting the earth to traveling to the Moon and back. The vehicle is built with open interfaces that can be used by other companies to develop new applications.
Recommended: Check out our full list of the hottest startups to watch!