Singapore has emerged as a pivotal hub for space innovation, nurturing a thriving network of startups that are reshaping the landscape of space technologies and services. These pioneering companies are pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished, pioneering state-of-the-art solutions that are transforming our engagement with the cosmos. This article highlights Singapore’s top space startups: Kacific, SpeQtral, Equatorial Space Systems, and Aliena, all of which are playing a significant role in advancing the nation’s space ambitions.
Singapore’s Top Space Startups
Kacific is a satellite operator that aims to provide affordable high-speed broadband services to the Asia Pacific region. Their first Ka-band high-throughput satellite, Kacific1, was launched into geostationary orbit by SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle on December 16, 2019. Kacific has been involved in various projects and initiatives, including the National Broadband Project, which transformed Northern Luzon with 438 Satellite Broadband Sites. They have also won the Euroconsult Universal Broadband Award in 2023. Kacific has partnered with Solomon Telekom Company Limited (STCL) to restore Internet Services after an anchor incident. Engaging in initiatives to drive educational innovation, extend inclusive healthcare to remote areas, and participate in the evolution of smart farming through satellite broadband, this organization has not only garnered recognition for its groundbreaking disaster response solution, CommsBox, with the Gold Stevie Award but also actively contributes to various impactful sectors.
SpeQtral, a Singapore-based company, is dedicated to fortifying worldwide networks in preparation for the impending quantum revolution. They provide a comprehensive array of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) solutions. Currently, their primary focus lies in implementing fibre-based QKD solutions for metropolitan communication networks. By the year 2024, SpeQtral aims to generate and transmit unbreakable symmetric quantum keys capable of safeguarding existing communication infrastructure across vast distances. Furthermore, by 2025, they aspire to integrate Quantum-Safe Satellite and Quantum-Safe Terrestrial networks. Through their holistic approach to quantum communications, which encompasses terrestrial and satellite QKD technologies as well as PQC, SpeQtral is laying the foundation for a global quantum internet. Notably, SpeQtral played a role in the deployment of SpooQy-1 from the International Space Station in June 2019. Their solutions are meticulously designed to ensure the security of sovereign networks, communication infrastructure, healthcare, and financial institutions in the quantum era.
Equatorial Space Systems, a company based in Singapore, is transforming space travel by introducing innovative propulsion technologies that make it safer and more affordable. Since its establishment in 2017, the company has created a range of modular, low-cost space launch vehicles called VOLANS, which are powered by their exclusive propulsion technology. VOLANS is the first launcher that is completely free of pyrotechnics and explosives, allowing for launches from near-equatorial locations. Equatorial Space Systems also offers a responsive launcher called DORADO, which is designed to deliver small payloads into a suborbital trajectory. DORADO is also free of explosives and can be easily deployed to any range worldwide. Furthermore, the company has developed the Student Payload Academic Rocket Kit (SPARK), which is the first commercially available rocket kit with payload support for student training missions. These groundbreaking technologies by Equatorial Space Systems are poised to make space travel more accessible and cost-effective.
Aliena, a Singapore-based space-tech company, is renowned for its proficiency in delivering customized electric propulsion solutions for the small satellite industry. Their exclusive electric propulsion technology empowers small satellites to navigate Very Low Earth Orbits (VLEO), resulting in the acquisition of top-notch quality data. Aliena’s propulsion systems are distinguished by their high thrust-to-power ratios and high specific impulse, all while operating within a minimal power budget, making them the ideal choice for small satellite missions. Aliena’s first plasma thruster is currently operational in orbit. Since its inception in 2018, Aliena has been progressively gaining recognition within the new space community, positioning itself as a global contender in providing advanced mobility solutions for satellites.