The news loves to cover Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin. You’ve likely read about Richard Branson’s space company Virgin Galactic and of course Elon Musk’s SpaceX. But there are many other companies that are doing incredible work in the space industry that you may not even know are space companies.
While launch companies get a lot of the spotlight, here are 5 space companies that should be on your radar for jobs or investment.
Akin is an Australian company building a powerful artificial intelligence system that is running smart home and personal assistant systems. But what you may not know is that they are also developing an emotionally intelligent AI system to accompany space explorers on future trips.
Akin CEO Liesl Yearsley says “the goal is not for the AI to simply run tasks and set reminders like Alexa or Siri, but to act as a companion that provides empathetic support.”
At first glance, you may not think of an additive construction (think 3D printing on a large scale) company like Icon as a space company. Icon is doing excellent work 3D printing houses here on Earth and making waves with new building technology.
Icon is also working with several partners to create processes for 3D printing buildings on the moon, utilizing planetary resources. Icon’s CEO Jason Ballard says “Building humanity’s first home on another world will be one of the most ambitious construction projects in recorded human history and push technology, engineering, science and architecture to literal new heights.”
AstroForge is a brand new space mining company that has booked a trip on a SpaceX rocket to test their new technology for processing asteroid material. If their asteroid prospecting process works, AstroForge can deliver resources like platinum-group metals to earth from asteroids.
"Our real mission is to take asteroid mining out of the realm of sci-fi into the realm of reality," AstroForge co-founder and CEO Matt Gialich told Space.com.
You might have a Fitbit on your wrist right now–but did you know that Fitbit is a space company? According to TechCrunch, in 2021, NASA outfitted “1,000 of its employees, including 150 astronauts, with Fitbit devices in a pilot program designed to see if they can help supplement efforts to keep these mission-critical personnel healthy ahead of key space missions.”
Security and military contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation has become a major player among private space companies.
Their space wing, Sierra Space, seeks to help create space infrastructure by “developing next-generation spacecraft, like the Dream Chaser® spaceplane set to begin NASA resupply missions, and LIFE™ habitat, a modular commercial habitation and science platform. Both are key components of the Orbital Reef, a mixed-use business park—in space.”
As the space industry grows, space companies will expand and innovate. It’s the perfect time for you to get involved.