Astra heads to the Space Coast – TechCrunch
Hello and welcome to Max Q! Happy December to all. We’re officially approaching the end of the year, and what a year that has been. Despite the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it’s pretty safe to say this has been a 365-day turning point for the space industry. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for me. OK, now on the news!
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Astra heads for Cape Canaveral
In the wake of its first successful launch into orbit, space startup Astra is heading to the Space Coast. The company said it will transport CubeSats for NASA for its first mission, which will take place outside of the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska on Kodiak Island. The launch, which is slated for January, will take place under a Venture Class Launch Services program contract that Astra won last year.
It is a big victory for the company. Multiple launch locations mean Astra can finally demonstrate one of its key value propositions: that its on-site launch operations are nimble, lightweight, and can be efficiently deployed from a number of locations. The Florida location will also give the company access to more orbits, meaning it will be able to serve even more customers.
Ursa Major wants to disrupt vertically integrated rocket launch industry
Ursa Major steps up ambitions to disrupt the vertically integrated launch industry with a new round of funding. The company raised an $ 85 million Series C led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, as well as participation from XN, Alsop Louie, Alpha Edison, Dolby Family Ventures, KCK, Space Capital, Explorer 1, Harpoon Ventures and others.
The startup has already put its first product into production, a 5,000-pound liquid oxygen and kerosene engine called the Hadley, and it’s working on the Ripley, the next-gen engine 10 times more powerful than Hadley, with a 50-pound engine. 000 pounds thrust.
CEO Joe Laurienti compared Ursa Major to a company like Intel, which is constantly innovating more powerful processors and outsourcing that expertise to brands like Dell and Lenovo. âWe really like the idea that we’re a technology development company, and the companies that fly rockets today shouldn’t be flying the same engine that they designed for their rocket 10 years ago. This is the paradigm we see in vertical integration.
More news from TC and beyond
Atranis signed a $ 90 million deal with Latin American telecommunications company Grupo Andesat to provide high-speed Internet access to rural Peru. The first launch will take place in 2023.
The Federal Aviation Administration will end its Commercial Space Astronaut Wings program in early 2022, citing the advent of commercial space tourism. From now on, individuals who travel 80 kilometers above the Earth will be recognized on the administration’s website.
Orbital Loft raised $ 140 million in a new round of funding led by investment firm BlackRock. The space infrastructure startup has already launched two spacecraft and aims to use the funds to expand its business, reports CNBC.
NanoAvionics got a mission contract from Los Alamos National Labs to build a tiny microwave-sized spacecraft. It will house instruments for measuring the diffuse background of gamma rays, a type of radiation.
Planet Labs is officially a public company. It began trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol $ PL on Tuesday, after completing a merger with blank check firm dMY Technology Group Inc. IV. Planet received approximately $ 590 million in proceeds and PIPE from the transaction.
– Planet (@ planet) December 8, 2021
Rocket lab has now deployed 109 satellites into orbit, having successfully put two satellites into orbit for geospatial intelligence firm BlackSky. Rocket Lab also announced an agreement for three launches with Japanese terrestrial imaging company Synspective in 2022 and 2023.
Tomorrow. is the latest company in the space industry to announce a merger with a blank check company, in a deal the startup says could inject up to $ 420 million in capital. Tomorrow, the goal is to operate a network of meteorological satellites and an intelligence platform for customers. It will merge with the special purpose acquisition company Pine Technology Acquisition Corp.
TC Sessions: Space is NEXT WEEK
It’s finally (almost) there !!!! That’s right: TC Sessions: Space is slated to start next week, December 14-15. This will again be a fully virtual conference, so people from all over the world can join – and you can too.