NOAA, NASA, privatized data and the booming commercial space industry.
Pete Worden was the director of the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley from 2006–2015.
Ames is a NASA incubator that focuses on info, bio and nano technologies.
Ames Research Center
Testifying before the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences in 1972, Daniel J. Harnett, head of NASA's…
Its research is foundational to human exploration of planet and space.
Ames Research Center Overview
NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA…
Worden (Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret., PhD) is a recognized expert on civil and military space issues.
Will Marshall and Robbie Schingler were two of Worden’s first hires.
The Tiny Satellites Ushering in the New Space Revolution
A good rocket launch site has a few important characteristics. An unpopulated patch of land near an ocean is preferable…
While working at Ames, (l) Chris Boshuizen, Marshall and Schingler developed a CubeSat. A CubeSat is a miniature satellite — a nanosatellite.
NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America’s space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA…
In 2010, the 3 physicists left Ames and founded Cosmogia (later renamed Planet Labs).
How a NASA Team Turned a Smartphone into a Satellite Business
Nanosatellites provide detailed observations of Earth for a fraction of the cost of their bigger brothers.
In 2014, Marshall explains Planet Labs at TED.
Breaking into the satellite imaging industry can get expensive.
Consider the cost of sending a satellite to space.
How Much Does It Cost to Launch a Satellite?
Over the past several months, we've spent a lot of time running down the list of the several space companies that send…
Planet Labs has raised $183.1 million so far.
Is there profit in outer space?
Inside an immaculate but otherwise nondescript industrial building just outside the Beltway in suburban Virginia, half…
In 2013, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner led the $52 million Series B funding for Planet. He was also involved w/ Planet’s Series C round which raised $70 million.
Billionaire Yuri Milner Just Poured Millions Into This Whiz Kid Satellite Startup
Given the difficulties and cost of any foray into space, a ‘moonshot’ has become startup slang for an unlikely but…
Milner runs Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment firm that’s invested billions of dollars in U.S. startups like Zynga, Groupon, Twitter, Airbnb, Slack, Flexport, Wish and Boxed.
How Russian Tycoon Yuri Milner Bought His Way Into Silicon Valley
This is my first trip to Moscow, and Yuri Milner, the world’s most successful investor in social media, is taking me to…
Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov owns 1/3 of DST and is its largest investor. His estimated net worth fluctuates between $15 – $20 billion.
The Hard Man of Russia
Alisher B. Usmanov made his first fortune more than two decades ago making plastic bags-a commodity so scarce in the…
In 2015, DST raised $1.7 billion from 56 different investors. The fund, Global V, is registered in the Cayman Islands. As are funds II-IV.
DST Global raises $1.7 billion to launch fifth fund — without Russian money
DST Global, the venture capital and growth equity firm led by Yuri Milner, has raised $1.7 billion for its fifth fund…
In 2015, Milner launched Breakthrough Initiatives. The program was founded to search for extraterrestrial intelligence over a span of at least 10 years.
Breakthrough projects include:
Worden is the director of the Starshot project.
Pete Worden leading $100 million interstellar spacecraft tech effort — SpaceNews.com
Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced a $100 million project to develop interstellar spacecraft technology. Milner…
Milner, Stephen Hawing and Mark Zuckerberg are on the advisory board.
Thiel also has prior dealings in the commercial space and climate industries. Aside from Planet Labs, Founders Fund was the lead investor in a $50 million Series C round for Climate Corp.
Series C — The Climate Corporation — 2012–06–14 | Crunchbase
The Climate Corporation raised $50000000 on 2012–06–14 in Series C
Climate Corp. uses satellite imagery to help farmers manage their crops.
Bringing innovation and technology together for farmers
At The Climate Corporation, we aim to help all the world’s farmers sustainably increase their productivity with digital…
It was bought by Monsanto in 2013.
Monsanto Buys Climate Corp For $930 Million
Who knew betting on the weather could make a billion dollars? It just did for The Climate Corporation, which…
In 2015, FF became the first institutional investor in the legal cannabis industry.
The group invested “multi-millions” of dollars in Privateer Holdings, a marijuana company that owns the Canadian medical marijuana producer Tilray and the pot information service Leafly.
Tilray produces and sales medical cannabis around the world.
Latest Industry News: Canadian Medical Marijuana | Tilray
Get the latest news on medical marijuana in Canada as well as stories from inside Tilray.
In 2016, FF raised $1.3 billion for it’s sixth round of funding. Since FF I opened in 2005, Thiel and partners have raised nearly $3.5 billion.
Founders Fund | Crunchbase
Founders Fund is a San Francisco based venture capital firm investing in companies building revolutionary technologies.
Thiel is Trump’s closest tech advisor. He’s been in talks to become the chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. The PIAB is in place to independently monitor America’s spy agencies.
Is Trump Mulling Peter Thiel for a Top Intelligence Advisory Post?
Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has been quietly advising the Trump administration for months. Now-as sources say he…
Thiel’s data analysis company Palentir has been working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency for the last few years. It’s been helping immigration enforcement track individuals.
Leaked Palantir Doc Reveals Uses, Specific Functions And Key Clients
Since its founding in 2004, Palantir has managed to grow into a billion dollar company while being very surreptitious…
Palantir‘s database is comprised of a wide-ranging array of datasets which are used in its top-secret algorithms to “track and assesses immigrants and other travelers.”
Documents suggest Palantir could help power Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ of immigrants
Palantir, the data-mining firm co-founded by tech billionaire and Trump transition adviser Peter Thiel, has provided…
Palentir is also widely used w/in the CIA.
Palantir’s relationship with America’s spies has been worse than you’d think
Palantir Technologies, the Silicon Valley data company co-founded by billionaire investor Peter Thiel, has developed an…
Several of Thiel’s associates are in top positions in the Trump admin. Michael Kratsios is the U.S. Deputy Chief Tech Officer.
Thiel’s chief of staff tapped as White House deputy CTO
Peter Thiel has been at Donald Trump’s side since the Republican National Convention, guiding the then-candidate on…
Kevin Harrington is on the senior staff at the National Security Council.
Who Is Kevin Harrington, the Peter Thiel Associate Who Just Joined the National Security Council…
It looks like Peter Thiel’s early support of commander-in-chief and angry tweeter Donald Trump continues to pay off…
Thiel is also playing a pivotal role in the negotiations going on at the National Space Council.
Tech CEOs just met with Trump. Here’s why
The group met with Trump and other members of his administration throughout the day. The main agenda, at least on paper…
Friction exists regarding the “direction” of the space council.
The tenured gov contractors have offices in Huntsville, AL where the Marshall Space Flight Center is located. It’s NASA’s largest center.
NASA.gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America’s space agency. Get the latest updates on NASA…
The United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of defense contractors Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The ULA and other A&D contractors brings in hundreds of millions of dollars into Session’s home state. They’re also a direct competitor to SpaceX.
Is Donald Trump good news for Alabama's space, defense industries?
President-Elect Donald J. Trump's victory Tuesday may be good for Alabama's defense and aerospace industries, but…
The ULA uses the Russian RD-180 engine for its US Atlas V launch vehicle because it’s cheap and reliable. It’s been carrying U.S. satellites into space for decades.
U.S. needs up to 18 more Russian rocket engines: Pentagon
The Pentagon will need to buy up to 18 more Russian-built RD-180 engines to power rockets carrying U.S. military…
Why Do We Use Russian Rockets to Launch Our Satellites?
Sixteen years ago, amid a post-Cold War glow, U.S. defense contractors began using a cheap and efficient Russian engine…
Thiel’s FF has invested around $200M in SpaceX. As part of its initial $20M investment, FF partner Luke Nosek was added to the SpaceX board.
Musk, Thiel and Nosek are all OG PayPal Mafia.
In July 2017, Nosek announced he would be creating Gigafund, a new investment firm that initially raised $100M in SpaceX.
Founders Fund partner leaves to launch SpaceX-focused fund
Background: A source says that Nosek has been spending an increasing amount of time on SpaceX business, and the idea…
Most of SpaceX work has been cargo supply missions to the Space Station. It’s expected to launch astronauts in 2018. It launches satellites into space w/ its Flacon 9.
After Delays, SpaceX and Boeing Aim to Launch Astronauts Next Year
No American-made spacecraft has launched American astronauts into orbit since then. * NASA tasked SpaceX and Boeing…
It’s also working on the Falcon Heavy, a rocket that will carry up to 37,000 pounds of cargo and crew to Mars. It’s expected to launch in 2018.
When Falcon Heavy lifts off in 2017, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two…
In 2016, Planet Labs signed a $20 million contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence agency.
The NSG is the operating framework supported by producers, consumers or influencers of geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT.
NGA introductory contract with Planet to utilize small satellite imagery
SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will have access to a global imagery refresh every 15…
Planet now has 144 satellites in space — the most of any company in the world. It will soon be able to image the entire earth on a daily basis.
As the commercial space and meteorology industries flourish, politicians favoring more privatized data are gaining full backing from Trump/GOP.
Jim Bridenstine (R-Ok) is Trump’s pick to head NASA.
Bridenstine pushes “measures that would allow commercial companies to collect and sell weather forecasting data that would integrate with U. S. weather forecasting models.”
Trump Picks Oklahoma Congressman To Head NASA
President Trump’s pick for the next leader of NASA is a fighter pilot who wants Americans to return to the moon but…
He’s introduced the “American Space Renaissance Act.” A bill that is meant to “provide certainty to encourage commercial space innovation.”
Bridenstine’s Sen confirmation hearing was Wednesday. (11/01/17)
Trump's pick for NASA chief gets grilled on climate change
President Donald Trump's nominee to lead NASA faced a barrage of questions and criticisms from the Senate Committee on…
Barry Myers is Trump’s nominee for the the dual post of NOAA Admin & Under Sec for Oceans and Atmosphere, Dept. of Commerce.
Myers is the CEO of AccuWeather, a private weather forecaster. His brother founded it in 2007.
He has a “direct responsibility for the company’s rapidly growing New Media initiatives in the wired and mobile web, (and) the 24x7 Local AccuWeather Channel.”
He does not have any formal education in science or meteorology but has worked in the industry for decades.
He’s the first person from private industry to be nominated to head NOAA.
Trump’s pick for NOAA chief causes a storm
As a top executive at AccuWeather, Barry Myers has pushed for limits on the kinds of products that the National Weather…
In 2012, Myer’s supported Rick Santorum’s bill that would have “prohibited federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel.”
Santorum's weather crusade
Will Rick Santorum's lost crusade against the National Weather Service rain on his suddenly hot presidential campaign…
AccuWeather lobbied for the passage of the “Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017.”
Lobbying Spending Database H.R.353, 2014 | OpenSecrets
Explore the billions of dollars special interest groups are spending on lobbying in Washington, D.C., — and on what -…
It became law on April 18, 2017. It’s the first major weather legislation enacted since the early 1990s.
President Trump signs comprehensive weather forecast improvement bill into law
On Tuesday evening, President Trump signed into law a sweeping bipartisan bill that aims to improve forecasts for…
The law was passed to do the following:
Bridenstine, Trump’s nominee to head NASA , was a co-sponsor of the bill. So was Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).
Cosponsors — H.R.353–115th Congress (2017–2018): Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act…
Cosponsors of H.R.353–115th Congress (2017–2018): Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017
Rohrabacher represents Orange County. The area is home to various space contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.
He’s the Vice Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. He’s been the Chairmen of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee since he first entered Congress in 1989.
He’s had a long, close relationship w/ Russia.
Why Dana Rohrabacher’s name keeps coming up in the Russia investigation
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has long believed that the United States needs to build a friendlier relationship with Russia…
The new wave of weather and space data will provide whole new insights into how the world operates. Experts can track deforestation, monitor natural disasters, track human and animal migration. Farmers will have better data to grow more efficient crops. Transport comps. will have improved supply chain logistics.
It will be valuable data that provides strategic advantages. It will need to be secure and available.
In Aug. 2017, it was reported that “unauthorized (user) location data was being sent from the Accuweather iOS mobile app. Even when the user had opted out of providing that data .”
AccuWeather deflects blame after selling users’ data, even if they opt out
AccuWeather doesn’t know how to issue a reassuring statement. The company attempted to quell users’ concerns a day…
The data was being sent from the AccuWeather app to a company called Reveal Mobile. Reveal sells the info. to retailers with the promise of helping to “understand the path of a consumer and where they go throughout the day.”
Advisory: AccuWeather iOS app sends location information to data monetization firm
The AccuWeather application for iOS requests location access under the premise of providing users localized severe…
In 2011, Accuweather was involved in a class action lawsuit over location tracking on an HTC EVO device.
Weather: Cloudy With A Chance Of Stalking
It’s like being followed by the weatherman. A new class action suit against HTC makes some unsettling allegations about…
The NOAA and NASA budgets continue to be slashed. Trump and the GOP are proposing to cut the NOAA budget by 16%.
Trump and the GOP are proposing to cut FEMA’s budget for state and local grants by $667 million. Trump also wants to eliminate the National Flood Insurance Program. The program costs the government $190 million and is $25 billion in debt.
Trump wants to cut FEMA’s budget before the next major hurricane
Update | The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is one of those areas of the government we’d all prefer to…
Trump’s budget proposal calls for $19.1 billion in funding for NASA.
Trump’s Fiscal Plans for NASA
While the space agency would see cuts across most of its programs, it has been spared the worst compared to the…
In 2015, the DOD released the “National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and Climate Change” report.
The report identified four main areas of climate-related security risks:
- Recurring flooding, drought, and higher temperatures;
- More frequent and/or more severe extreme weather events;
- Sea level rise and temperature changes; and
- Decreases in Arctic ice cover, type, and thickness.
The collection, dissemination and security of the growing data necessary to monitor these climate security risks are increasingly being taken over by private industry.
The laws are being blurred between what data is publicly accessible and what data is private.