Rocket Report: Billionaire backs Scottish spaceport, Relativity bags a bundle

Images of Electron rocket.
Enlarge / Rocket Lab’s Catch of the Day recovery vessel nears the Electron rocket’s first stage.

Welcome to Edition 3.24 of the Rocket Report! It’s December, and we could see a number of big smallsat launches this month, including from Virgin Orbit and Astra. But in the immediate future, our eyes are on South Texas, where a Starship prototype is due to make a high leap early next week.

As always, we welcome reader submissions, and if you don’t want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

Aevum unveils its Ravn X launch system. Until now, Aevum has largely operated in the background. But now, it’s ready to show off

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Billionaire Bezos Backs Start-Up in Maiden Africa Investment

(Bloomberg) — Jeff Bezos agreed to back Africa-focused financial technology company, Chipper Cash, making it his first start-up investment on the continent.



Jeff Bezos wearing a suit and tie: Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., speaks during a discussion at the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Amazon is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new AmazonGo cashierless stores in the next few years, according to people familiar with matter, an aggressive and costly expansion that would threaten convenience chains.


© Bloomberg
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc., speaks during a discussion at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. Amazon is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new AmazonGo cashierless stores in the next few years, according to people familiar with matter, an aggressive and costly expansion that would threaten convenience chains.

The world’s richest man’s personal venture capital fund, Bezos Expeditions, supported the Series B funding led by Ribbit Capital, which raised $30 million for the San Fransisco-based company.

“Jeff Bezo’s backing of Chipper Cash will widen the company’s product suite through inclusion of more business payment solutions, crypto-currency trading options, and investment services,” the company said

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Dave Aranda impressed with young running backs’ effort vs. Texas Tech

Here are highlights from Baylor’s postgame press conference following its loss to Texas Tech:

Head coach Dave Aranda

On the frustration behind the loss: “We’ve been through a fair amount of adversity. This was a game I thought we played well enough to win, it’s disappointing that we didn’t finish.”

On RBs Qualan Jones, Taye McWilliams: “I thought there was a lot of positives. There’s a fair amount that we can improve on. They were at their best when they put their foot on the ground and got north and south. For both of them, the most playing time they’ve ever had, their ability to attack it and to help us in our effort I thought was very good and something to build on.”

On why Trestan Ebner exited early: “He was feeling tight prior to the game and we were concerned about how that would look. He wanted to

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Brazil backs U.S. Clean Network proposal for transparent 5G technology

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s government on Tuesday backed the United States’ Clean Network proposal to build a global digital alliance that excludes technology that Washington sees as manipulated by China’s Communist government.

FILE PHOTO: An advertising board shows a 5G logo at the International Airport in Zaventem, Belgium May 4, 2020. Picture taken May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

The adherence came during a visit by Keith Krach, U.S. under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and environment, who has advised Brazil not to buy fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications network equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], which he has called “the backbone of China’s global surveillance.”

Huawei has repeatedly denied being a security risk. It has said it abides by Brazil’s laws and is available for tests and clarifications that authorities considered necessary.

“Brazil supports the principles contained in the Clean Network proposal made by the United States,” said

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JPMorgan backs UK payments technology company Icon Solutions

FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York City May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N has made a strategic investment in Icon Solutions, a UK-based company that advises and provides technology to banks to help them overhaul their digital payments systems, the companies said on Thursday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Icon will use the funding to grow the business and expand its geographic reach, Simon Wilson, co-head of global payments solutions at the company said in an interview.

The investment comes amid a global acceleration in digital payment volumes, in part due to COVID-19 lockdowns which have pushed more commerce and business flows online.

The fallout of the pandemic has also increased cost pressures on banks, making them more keen to digitize their services in a bid

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