First Mode Exits Stealth Status to Tackle the Planet’s Most Challenging and Critical Issues

… Spaceflight Industries, Boeing, Intel, and Planetary Resources. With extensive experience designing and operating robotic systems on the surface of …

SEATTLE, April 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Mode, a design, engineering, and complex-system development firm, today announced it has exited stealth mode to bring the tools and technologies of deep space exploration to challenging industrial problems around the globe. The company, formerly known as Synchronous, was founded in early 2018 by engineers, scientists, and strategists from companies including NASA, JPL, Spaceflight Industries, Boeing, Intel, and Planetary Resources. With extensive experience designing and operating robotic systems on the surface of Mars, the company has been testing their unique approach on projects and industries ahead of making the company’s services publicly available.

Over the past year, the company has successfully completed over 40 projects with 10 different organizations. Current and recent work includes a roster of deep space missions, the creation of prototypes for the consumer products industry, and the electrification of some of the world’s largest industrial platforms.

Industries worldwide face headwinds as the systems they rely on become increasingly complex. First Mode offers innovative methods to control and harness that complexity. For heavy industries especially, it has become critically important to treat complexity as an asset and a competitive advantage. First Mode helps clients manage this process through an approach rooted in systems engineering, appropriate use of innovation, and an active and honest management of risk and reward.

“The team at First Mode has always been fascinated with the types of problems that seem too big or too complex for any one group to tackle,” Chris Voorhees, First Mode President and Chief Engineer said. “A lot of what makes programs like Apollo or JPL’s Mars Rovers so impressive isn’t the individual pieces of technology, but the coordination of hundreds of thousands of parts, people, companies, and priorities. The methods used for solving these types of problems are just as relevant to applications here on Earth, where the combination of safety criticality, required function, constraint, and environment can create what initially appears to be an intractable problem. We help our clients methodically break it down into a set of smaller, connected developments that can be put together to realize the larger whole.”

Rhae Adams, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said, “It’s often assumed that innovation happens by throwing hundreds of ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. First Mode has developed a method to legislate reliable innovation. It starts with a deep understanding of the problem being solved, not a list of trendy technologies to solve it. By concentrating on system-level development, solutions can be implemented on a far faster timeline than what has been commercially available to date.”

To match its current growth, First Mode recently moved into over 7,500 square feet of laboratory and prototyping space in downtown Seattle and continues to invest in expanding its team and capabilities.

About First Mode

First Mode – Building the Barely Possible

First Mode is revolutionizing the design, engineering, and development of technology for industries on and off the planet. First Mode harnesses the tools and technologies developed for the robotic exploration of the solar system and adapts them to mission critical and safety critical projects on Earth, Mars, the Moon, and other planetary bodies. While no two solutions are the same, First Mode typically melds hardware, software, strategy, and design to build the barely possible for our clients.

Media Contact:

Rhae Adams

Vice President, Strategy & Business Development

(757) 289-9025

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Humans Can Reach To Moon By Starship In Just Five Years

Recently, it was declared by Elon Musk that, humans can reach surface of moon with the help of SpaceX in only span of five years. The upcoming …

Recently, it was declared by Elon Musk that, humans can reach surface of moon with the help of SpaceX in only span of five years. The upcoming Starship of the company is designated to send human beings to Mar’s surface under development of test facility Boca Chika of the firm in Texas. Currently, Musk is hoping that a return to nearest neighbor of Earth can be host by the same ship. Musk tweeted that, “he thinks so”, while giving an answer to a tweeter account named Everyday Astronaut.

When Mike Pence declared that, human would be sent to the moon by United States, that’s when the question arrived. The world will once again be astonished by America with the heights reached by us, the wonders and lead achieving lead at the human space exploration, stated Pence at the 5th National Space Council conference at the United States. Musk wrote that, it will be so inspirational for humankind to see humankind return to the moon. Preceding time, it was in the year 1972 when foot was set on the moon by a human. In the month of December, 2017, a directive had been signed by president Trump for returning to Mars and Moon, which has been a biggest goal.

Space Launch System of NASA was started in the year 2010 as a intended project for both more ambitious missions similar to Mars and returning to the moon has suffered from delays but now planned in the month of June 2020 for its 1st launch. The initial configuration of Block 1 weighs 5.75 million pounds and stands 322 feet tall, which delivers twenty-six metric tons to some places outside moon. The configuration of Block 2 having 11.9 million thrust’s pound will possibly send forty-five metric tons. However, a multitude of missions are designated to be covered by Starship of SpaceX.

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk proposes Starship, Starlink tech for Solar System tour

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has proposed an unusual approach to conducting a robotic survey of the Solar System’s major outer planets, asteroids, and …

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has proposed an unusual approach to conducting a robotic survey of the Solar System’s major outer planets, asteroids, and comets, requiring a stripped-down Starship with a minimalist payload of Starlink satellites modified for interplanetary cruises and high-resolution cameras.

To enable this arrangement, it sounds like an expendable variant of Starship would have to be designed and built, cutting as much extraneous mass as possible to put as much energy as physically possible into its payloads. Outer planets – those lying beyond the Solar System’s main asteroid belt – are a minimum of 400 million miles (~650 million km) from Earth and stretch out to bodies like 2014 MU69 (below) at 4+ billion miles (6.8+ billion km) beyond Earth’s orbit. To travel those truly absurd distances, the time-to-destination can often be measured in decades, a timeframe that is physically impossible to shrink without hugely powerful rockets like BFR. Even then, SpaceX would face major hurdles to pull off Musk’s impromptu mission design.

We should send probes to outer solar system & get high res, true color images of these strange things. Maybe there’s an alien artifact out there …

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 29, 2019

New Horizons, the tiny but amazing spacecraft responsible for the first-ever close-up photos of Pluto and (more recently) the bizarre MU69 comet/asteroid, is perhaps the best categorical example of what Musk is proposing. Weighing less than 480 kg (1060 lb) and powered by a radioisotope generator (RTG), the spacecraft was launched in January 2006 and – after a single gravity assist around Jupiter – flew by Pluto a bit less than ten years later in July 2015, traveling a blistering ~13.8 km/s (8.6 mi/s).

After traveling several billion miles over nearly a decade, New Horizons completed its main mission, returning spectacular views of the unexpectedly exotic Pluto. (NASA/JPL)

Coincidentally, at least the first prototypes of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation weighed around 400 kg (880 lb) during their March 2018 launch, just shy of New Horizons’ own dry mass. Major differences abound, however. Most notably, Starlink satellites will be powered by solar arrays optimized for energy generation at Earth’s distance from the sun, compared to New Horizons’ RTG reactor. At distances beyond Saturn, reliance on solar power would be an extraordinary challenge for any spacecraft hoping to do more than simply survive. For example, due to certain unforgiving laws of physics, New Horizons would receive – quite literally – 0.06% the solar energy per unit of area at Pluto.

To produce the scant ~300 Watts New Horizon receives from its nuclear power source, a single Starlink satellite would need a minimum of 1400 m^2 (~15,000 ft^2) of high-efficiency solar panels to survive and power a minimal suite of instruments and communications hardware. Assuming an extraordinary 170 g/m^2 solar array as proposed by Alta Devices, a Starlink satellite would need solar cells weighing no less than 250 kg (550 lb) total to operate at Pluto, a mass that absolutely does not factor in the complex mechanisms necessary to deploy a third of an acre of solar panels from an area of just a few cubic meters.

Probably no fairing either & just 3 Raptor Vacuum engines. Mass ratio of ~30 (1200 tons full, 40 tons empty) with Isp of 380. Then drop a few dozen modified Starlink satellites from empty engine bays with ~1600 Isp, MR 2. Spread out, see what’s there. Not impossible.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2019

Frankly put, solar-powered exploration beyond the orbit of Jupiter and perhaps Saturn becomes almost inconceivably difficult. Further, the above numbers don’t even take into account each Starlink spacecraft’s electric thrusters, which would need several times more solar panels or massive batteries (themselves needing heaters) to operate at an optimal power level for long, uninterrupted periods of time, a necessity for electric propulsion. Several billion miles closer to the sun, in the main asteroid belt or around the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, solar power is still extremely challenging but not impossible. NASA’s Juno spacecraft, the first solar-powered vehicle to visit the outer planets, uses solar arrays with an area of 72 m^2 (800 ft^2) to produce less than 500 Watts of power around Jupiter, compared to the ~14 kW they could produce around Earth.

Juno’s solar arrays are an impressive ~28% efficient but still weigh 340 kg (750 lb) and produce less than 500 Watts of power around Jupiter. (NASA)

At the end of the day, SpaceX’s Starlink satellites and Starship-based boost stage would need to undergo radical (and thus expensive) redesigns to accomplish such an ambitious ‘tour’ of the Outer Solar System, quite possibly also requiring the development and integration of wholly new technologies and exploration strategies to get off the ground. While the challenges are immense, the fact that Mr. Musk is already expressing interest in supporting such an exploratory, science-focused mission inspires confidence in the many future benefits that could soon be derived from Starlink and Starship, if successfully developed. Assuming missions that remain within the Inner Solar System, an exploration architecture as described by Musk is already readily doable and wouldn’t need the major modifications and leaps necessary for Outer Solar System ventures. Possible destinations where it could be practical include the Moon, Mars, Venus, the main asteroid belt (i.e. Ceres, Vesta, etc.), and many others.

If SpaceX can find a way to get both Starlink and Starship off the ground and into operational configurations, the future of space exploration – both human and robotic – could be extraordinarily bright.

Check out Teslarati’s newsletters for prompt updates, on-the-ground perspectives, and unique glimpses of SpaceX’s rocket launch and recovery processes

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Why US is rushing to return to the moon

Among the leaders from the private sector is Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has revolutionised rocket launchers, making them reusable and cost-effective …
NEW DELHI: A return to the moon has been on the cards for the United States for some time now, but on Tuesday, vice president Mike Pence + told Nasa to pick up the pace. But he has set an ambitious and possibly unrealistic target for the space agency — to return to the moon by 2024. A look at what triggered Pence’s urgent directive and if Nasa is up to the task.


Setting up a base on the moon has become a necessary first step before a manned mission to Mars becomes viable. A lunar base would act as a testing ground and stopover for Mars exploration missions. Speaking at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Alabama, Pence pressured Nasa to return to the moon in by 2024 instead of the initial 2028 target.

Thumb NASA1 (1)

Apollo 11 Saturn V vehicle that carried three astronauts to the moon in 1969


The US has been a longstanding leader in the field but China is hot on its heels and India is catching up too. And the space race is no longer dominated by national space agencies with private players making considerable advancements. Among the leaders from the private sector is Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has revolutionised rocket launchers, making them reusable and cost-effective.

Billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have also set up spaceflight companies Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, respectively. The stakes have never been higher for the US. After decades of unchallenged dominance, able competitors are finally rising up and the US risks losing its edge in space. Already China has made history by landing a rover on the far side of the moon earlier this year, with the 2030s as their target to land astronauts on the moon, and India has joined an elite club of nations with its recent anti-satellite weapon test.


Nasa’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969 landed the first of 12 Americans on the moon. It marked the height of the Cold War-era space race with the Soviet Union


The US still has the edge in the human spaceflight sector. It’s one of three nations, alongside Russia and China, with operational human space programmes and the only one to have landed a man on the moon. But Nasa has hit some snags, making its new five-year target unrealistic.

Its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the heavy launch vehicle at the centre of Nasa’s deep space exploration missions, is behind schedule and over budget. Pence suggested alternatives to SLS might be necessary and NASA chief Jim Bridenstine recently said using a commercial rocket, like SpaceX’s launchers, might be a possibility.

Prospects for the Space Exploration Markets, 2016-2018 & 2027

Over the past ten years, 19 planetary exploration missions were launched by … Masten Space Systems; Deep Space Industries; Planetary Resources …

Dublin, March 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Prospects for Space Exploration” report has been added to’s offering.

Global government investment in space exploration totaled $14.6 billion in 2017, a 6% increase compared to 2016.

Prospects for Space Exploration is an economic and strategic assessment of the space exploration sector, including an analysis and benchmark of government and commercial space exploration programs worldwide. The report identifies existing and upcoming new entrants in space exploration, global trends related to space exploration, and analyzes collaborative undertakings for exploration.

Highlights of the report

Fifteen leading space programs worldwide are estimated to contribute to this global investment, with the U.S. accounting for 74% of the total. Global expenditures have grown in the past five years driven by programs in leading countries and new countries investing in space exploration. In a still constrained budgetary environment, global space budgets for space exploration are expected to grow to over $20 billion by 2027.

Future funding for space exploration is expected to grow to support the ambitious plans of the next decade. Nonetheless, national investments will remain constrained by their public finance environments that should dictate realistic and pragmatic investment strategies. Space exploration is attracting not only the interest of an increasing number of governments but also the private sector; start-ups to large companies seek to exploit the commercial potential of exploration activities. Space agencies are increasingly seeking to leverage partnerships with the private sector to achieve their goals more cost-effectively while fostering sustainable space exploration.

Over the past ten years, 19 planetary exploration missions were launched by six countries/agencies (the U.S., ESA, Russia, Japan, China, and India). Over the next decade nearly 80 missions are expected to be launched, of which 63% will correspond to government missions. The next decade will also see the rise of commercial exploration initiatives, with close to 30 commercial missions forecasted by 2027, primarily driven by lunar initiatives.

In terms of applications, Moon exploration is expected to account for the majority of missions to be launched by 2027, as lunar exploration becomes the focus in the strategy of private and public stakeholders. A total of 18 missions are anticipated to be launched for other deep space exploration, while the remaining missions will be dedicated to Mars exploration.

Included in the Report:

  • Government funding in space exploration of leading space agencies. Two periods of reference are considered: 2013-2017 for historical trends and 2018-2027 for forecasts
  • Government and commercial space exploration missions launched and to be launched over 2008-2027
  • Five applications analyzed in detail, including: Transportation, Orbital Infrastructure, Moon Exploration, Mars Exploration, and Other Deep Space Exploration
  • Profiles of key commercial and government organizations involved in space exploration

Who will Benefit from this Report?

  • Satellite & launch vehicle integrators
  • Satellite & launch vehicle parts manufacturers
  • Launch & service providers
  • Banks, investors & insurers
  • Satellite operators
  • Space & other government agencies

This report provides an assessment and benchmark of space exploration programs. It does not assess the market value of the commercial exploitation of space resources. The report concentrates on programs in LEO orbital programs and beyond LEO, excluding suborbital programs.

Key Topics Covered:


  • Space exploration: The context in 2018
  • Global trends for government funding in space exploration
  • Leading government space exploration programs
  • Space exploration missions launched and to be launched
  • Government cooperation
  • Public-private cooperation
  • Commercial organizations involved in space exploration
  • Challenges and enablers for commercial organizations
  • Overview of each application area, including
  • Prospects for the application
  • Government funding
  • Missions roadmap


  • The context in 2018
  • Government transportation programs
  • Commercial transportation programs


  • The context in 2018
  • The ISS: Program & future scenarios
  • Future government orbital infrastructure programs
  • Commercial initiatives: Commercial utilization of the ISS
  • Commercial initiatives: Space stations


  • The context in 2018
  • Government programs
  • Commercial initiatives


  • The context in 2018
  • Government programs
  • Commercial initiatives


  • The context in 2018
  • Government programs
  • Commercial initiatives


  • United States
  • China
  • ESA
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • European National Programs
  • UAE
  • India
  • Canada
  • South Korea


  • Astrobotic
  • PTScientists
  • Moon Express
  • ispace
  • Blue Origin
  • Masten Space Systems
  • Deep Space Industries
  • Planetary Resources
  • Axiom Space
  • Bigelow Aerospace
  • Made In Space
  • NanoRacks
  • SpaceX
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation
  • Thales Alenia Space
  • Airbus Defence & Space
  • Lockheed Martin
  • MAXAR Technologies
  • Boeing
  • Northrop Grumman

Companies Mentioned

  • ABS
  • Airbus Defence & Space
  • Amos – Spacecom
  • Anchorage Capital Group
  • Apax Partners
  • APT Satellite
  • Arab Satellite Communication Organization
  • Arianespace
  • Arqiva
  • Arsat
  • ASI
  • Astrium
  • Astrobotic
  • Avanti Communications
  • Axiom Space
  • Bain Capital
  • BC Partners
  • Bigelow Aerospace
  • Blue Origin
  • Boeing Satellite Systems
  • CAST
  • Center of Space Communications in Kazakhstan
  • China Great Wall Industry Corporation
  • China Satellite Communications
  • CIB
  • Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
  • CNES
  • Cobham Microwave
  • COM DEV International
  • Convergence Partners
  • Crdit Agricole
  • Crdit Suisse
  • CSA
  • Cyfrowy Polsat S.A
  • Deep Space Industries
  • Deutsche Bank
  • EBU
  • Echostar
  • Electronic Telecommunications Research Institute
  • Ericsson
  • ESA
  • Eutelsat
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Gazprom Space Systems
  • Gilat Satellite Networks
  • Globecast
  • Goldman Sachs International
  • GSO Capital Partners
  • GT Satellite Systems S.A.
  • Hispasat
  • Hughes Network Systems
  • iDirect Technologies
  • ING
  • Inmarsat
  • Intelsat
  • ispace
  • ISRO
  • ISS Reshetnev
  • JAXA
  • Jefferies & Company
  • Khrunichev State Research & Production Space Center
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
  • Korea Telecom-Kt Sat
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Macquarie Capital
  • Made In Space
  • Masten Space Systems
  • MAXAR Technologies
  • MDA
  • Measat
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
  • Moon Express
  • Morgan Stanley
  • NanoRacks
  • National Operator of Satellite Communications CJSC
  • NEC
  • NEC Corporation
  • Newtec
  • Northrop Grumman
  • O3b Networks
  • Ocean Rich Technology
  • Onex Corporation
  • Optus
  • Perella Weinberg Partners
  • Planetary Resources
  • PT Telkom
  • PTScientists
  • Raytheon Company
  • RRsat Global Communications Network
  • RSCC
  • SES
  • Shumway Capital Partners
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation
  • Singtel
  • SK Telecom
  • SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation
  • Skyware Global
  • Socit Gnrale
  • SpaceX
  • Spectrum Venture Management
  • SSL
  • Star One S.A.
  • TA Associates
  • Telecom
  • Telenor
  • Telesat
  • Telespazio
  • Temasek International
  • Tesat-Spacecom
  • Thales Alenia Space
  • The Blackstone Group
  • Turksat A.S.
  • UBS Investment Bank
  • Unison Capital
  • VEGA Deutschland
  • Wavestream
  • Yahsat

For more information about this report visit

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.comLaura Wood, Senior Press Managerpress@researchandmarkets.comFor E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900Related Topics: Space Systems, Satellites and Launchers

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