Space Activity Review: Special Edition – Top Ten Space Business Stories of 2021.

# 1 Space spaces

At least thirteen space companies are announcing or concluding merger transactions with ad hoc acquisition companies in order to become listed on the stock exchange, producing a collective valuation of around $ 26 billion: Arqit, AST SpaceMobile, Astra, BlackSky, Momentus, Planet, Redwire, Rocket Lab, Satellogic, Spire, Terran Orbital, Tomorrow and Virgin Orbit.

# 2 FSS in transition

Evolving Industry Causing Significant Shifts in Fixed Satellite Services Segment: Telesat Moves Forward with its Lightspeed LEO Broadband Constellation, Raising Additional Capital Through Merger with Loral and Public Listing on the Stock Exchange of Toronto and Nasdaq; Eutelsat reaffirms its commitment to OneWeb through investments totaling $ 715 million; Viasat Acquires Inmarsat in Successful $ 7.3 Billion Combination; Intelsat emerges from Chapter 11, both he and Eutelsat see a change of guard at the top; Regional operators ABS, Arabsat, AsiaSat, Avanti, Es’hailSat, Hispasat, Spacecom and Yahsat face growing challenges to remain competitive.

# 3 victorious VC

A record year for venture capital investments in space startups, notably: ABL Space Systems, Accion Systems, Albedo Space, Atranis, Astroscale, Axelspace, Axiom, Firefly, Fleet Space Technologies, GHGSat, HawkEye 360, Hiber, Hydrosat, HySpecIQ, ICEYE, Inversion Space, Isar Aerospace, Isotropic Systems, Ispace, Kepler Communications, LeoLabs, Loft Orbital, Mangata, Mynaric, Omnispace, Orbital Sidekick, Relativity Space, Sierra Space, Stoke Space Technologies, Totum Labs, Unseenlabs and Ursa Major.

# 4 Fly Me to the Moon space tourism

SpaceX performs a successful test flight and landing of its Starship vehicle, and separately, launches four passengers into space on the Inspiration-4 mission using its Falcon 9 vehicle and Dragon capsule, marking the first crewed orbital mission without professional astronauts; Virgin Galactic makes its first operational tourist flight with Sir Richard Branson and three others; Blue Origin performs its first crewed space flight with the launch of Jeff Bezos and three others and two more crewed missions, each time with its New Shepard spacecraft; and Axiom receives clearance for its first private crewed mission to the International Space Station, scheduled for Q1 2022 using SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.

# 5 Consolidation events

Consolidation in thriving space sector: Astra buys Apollo Fusion; BAE Systems acquires space missions; Marlink acquires ITC Global; OneWeb buys Trustcomm; Planet acquires VanderSat; Redwire adds deployable space; Raytheon buys SEAKR; Rocket Lab acquires Advanced Solutions, Planetary Systems and SolAero; SpaceX buys Swarm; Spire adds exactEarth; Viasat acquires Inmarsat; Voyager Space acquires The Launch Company.

# 6 Constellation

SpaceX’s Starlink and OneWeb system advance in deployment, Amazon’s Kuiper and Telesat’s Lightspeed advance in development, and Boeing obtains FCC approval for its V-Band system, while new players Astra, Mangata and Totum join the growing field of constellation operators.

# 7 Group C stimulates growth

FCC C-Band Auction Raises Record $ 81 Billion, Boosting Growth in Space Industry and Communications Sectors; Intelsat and SES get a total of $ 2 billion in upfront incentive payments by releasing C-band before the FCC Phase I deadline.

# 8 Space and climate change

A growing number of space companies are supporting efforts to tackle climate change through environmental monitoring, data collection and analysis using satellite systems.

# 9 Key missions for commercial launch 2021

Arianespace Ariane 5: Star One D2, EUTELSAT QUANTUM, SES-17; Arianespace Soyuz: 284 OneWeb satellites, Galileo FOC-M9 (23-24); Arianespace Vega: Pliades Neo 3 & 4, BRO-4; ISRO PSLV: Amaznia 1; Long March 3B: Tiantong 103, Fengyun 4B, Zhongxing 9B, Shijian 21; March 6 long: Qilu 1 & 4, KL-Beta A & B, SDGSAT 1; MHI H-2A: Inmarsat-6 F1; Proton: Express AMU3 and AMU7; Soyuz: CAS500 1, ELSA-d; Rocket Lab Electron: Pathstone, Centauri 3, Myriota 7, Veery Hatchling, BlackSky Gen-2; SpaceX Falcon 9: Trksat 5A & 5B, Transporter 1 & 2, Tyvak-0130, SXM-8, 16 Starlink missions; Virgin Orbit LauncherOne: 2 SatRevolution satellites.

# 10 notable commercial satellite orders in 2021

Airbus: 2 OneSat, Superbird-9, EUTELSAT 36D satellites; Maxar: SX-9 & -10; Thales Alenia Space: HTS 113BT, selected by Telesat as prime contractor for Lightspeed.

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