Jim Cantrell calls himself “one of the intellectual fathers of the small-launch business.” It’s hard to disagree. When Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, Cantrell became its first vice president of business development. His expertise was critical to the development of the company’s first rocket, the Falcon 1.
Cantrell later founded Strategic Space Development (StratSpace), which has worked on projects like NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu and the Planetary Society’s demo of solar-sail technology in space. He was a cofounder and CTO of Moon Express, a company that wants to one day mine the moon for resources.
He’s also well versed in the hazards of an industry where failures can be literally explosive. Moon Express, a finalist for the Google Lunar X Prize (a $30 million competition to land a rover on the moon that was later canceled), has yet to actually make it to space, let alone the moon.
Cantrell’s latest focus is Phantom Space, one in a sea of new launch startups seeking to take advantage of the explosion of smaller, cheaper satellite designs and build rockets that can meet the growing demand to launch these payloads into orbit. But as is par for the course with Cantrell, Phantom is trying to find success by swimming against the current.
One of the hottest trends in rockets right now is ride-share launches, where customers buy available spots for their payloads on a midsize or large rocket with a specific departure date. This is usually a cheaper way than single launches for customers to get a payload into space—with SpaceX’s ride-share program, it costs $1 million to launch a 200-kilogram payload (its Falcon 9 rocket can take 22,800 kg total into low Earth orbit). The company launched a dedicated ride-share mission on January 21, deploying a record 143 satellites into orbit. It’s following up with a similar mission in June. In a surprising about-face in March, Rocket Lab, which has long resisted the idea of building larger rockets, unveiled the Neutron for the precise purpose of doing ride-share launches and competing with the SpaceX Falcon 9.
Ride shares aren’t Phantom’s cup of tea. The company wants to establish its space footprint by mass-manufacturing small rockets and launching a hundred a year. “We want to be the Henry Ford of space,” says Cantrell. “We’re taking a contrarian view of how we develop this.” Just as Henry Ford didn’t reinvent the car but the way it was built, Phantom isn’t out to reinvent rockets—just their production.
How so? When SpaceX started, the supply chains for aerospace companies going into orbit were enmeshed in the financial system of the US Defense Department. To stay independent of that system, SpaceX decided to build everything itself, relying on Musk’s fortune and a ton of investment to stay afloat during years of losses. It was a long-term gamble that paid off.
But Phantom’s founders decided they didn’t need to follow suit. Even in just the last five years, aerospace supply chains have become more fluid and competitive, which means Phantom can just buy the specific parts it wants rather than build everything from scratch. It buys 3D-printed engines from Ursa Major in Colorado. The design of the flight computer was licensed from NASA, and it uses a BeagleBone Black board that some distributors sell for around $50. Other components, like batteries and telemetry systems, are bought through the missile defense supply chain.
The Henry Ford analogy isn’t just an aspiration—it’s a model for the company. Cofounder Michael D’Angelo says the car and rocket businesses follow similar growth curves: doubling production leads to certain economies of scale also associated with greater efficiency and fewer production errors. Computers and mobile devices followed a similar path. And he argues that the supply chains nowadays are mature enough to allow for the kind of speedy manufacturing Phantom wants.
Right now, the company is pursuing two types of rockets. There’s the 18.7-meter-tall Daytona, which should be able to lift about 450 kilograms into space. It’s perhaps on the larger end of what might be termed the small-rocket class, but according to Cantrell, the company’s analysis estimates this to be an optimum size for profitable activity. Then there’s Laguna, a 20.5-meter-tall rocket that can lift payloads of up to 1,200 kg. Phantom is developing a version of Laguna with a reusable first-stage booster, like a SpaceX Falcon 9 (with a similar vertical landing process).
By: Neel V. Patel
Title: Startup Phantom Space wants to head into orbit against the grain
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2021/05/26/1025350/phantom-space-startup-jim-cantrell/
Published Date: Wed, 26 May 2021 09:00:00 +0000
LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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