Max Q: Hitting the bottom operating

Good day and welcome again to Max Q! We’re hitting the bottom operating at TC HQ, and it appears the area trade is, too — there was numerous information, which suggests so much to get to on this concern! Learn on for extra.

On this concern:

  • A catch-up with Impulse Area

  • SpaceX kicks off 2023 launch with Transporter-6

  • Information from Momentus, the Indian Area Analysis Group and extra

In-space transportation startup Impulse Area will head to orbit aboard a SpaceX rideshare mission later this yr, because it seeks to show out its orbital maneuvering and servicing expertise for the primary time.

Whereas there’s all the time main stress earlier than an inaugural demonstration, there’ll possible be extra eyes on Impulse’s mission than normal. That’s not least as a result of the startup is headed by Tom Mueller, SpaceX’s former head of propulsion, a formidable engineer who led the event of the Merlin engine that powers the Falcon 9 rocket — the very rocket Impulse will use to succeed in area.

Impulse will first ship its first orbital service car to area to check its propulsion, payload supply and internet hosting, software program, communications and maneuvering capabilities. That spacecraft, referred to as Mira, will hitch a experience on SpaceX’s Transporter-9 rideshare mission within the fourth quarter of this yr, the corporate introduced right this moment.

rocket on launch pad

rocket on launch pad

Picture Credit: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Photos

SpaceX launched greater than 100 payloads to orbit on a Falcon 9 final Tuesday, the sixth mission of its small-sat rideshare program. However whereas the rocket firm is now an previous hand at launches — SpaceX simply accomplished a file yr with 61 launches in 2022 alone — for a handful of area startups, Transporter-6 marked a milestone.

These startups embrace Launcher, which is conducting its first area tug mission; Magdrive, which is offering an inaugural in-orbit tech demonstration; and Epic Aerospace, which additionally launched an area tug for the primary time. Transporter-6 additionally carried satellites for Planet Labs and Spire World, in addition to different payloads for scientific, analysis and industrial clients.

Picture Credit: Launcher/John Kraus(opens in a brand new window)

Extra information from TC and past

  • Blue Origin might have left up a job description for a secret area tug mission for somewhat too lengthy… Ars Technica acquired wind. (Ars Technica)

  • Intuitive Machines will fly a rover for Japan-based robotics firm Dymon on its second mission to the moon. The Yaoki rover will head to the lunar south pole on Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander someday within the latter half of this yr. (Intuitive Machines)

  • Iridium is teaming up with Qualcomm to carry satellite tv for pc connectivity to a number of new smartphones operating Android this yr. (The Washington Put up)

  • ispace’s HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander efficiently executed its second orbital management maneuver, protecting it on observe to succeed in the moon someday this spring. (ispace)

  • John Deere is finalizing a satellite tv for pc accomplice, because the agriculture equipment firm appears to create its geospatial information product for farmers. (CNBC)

  • Microsoft and the Indian Area Analysis Group have signed an MOU to provide Indian area startups free entry to the expertise behemoth’s cloud instruments. (TechCrunch)

  • NorthStar Earth and Area closed a $35 million Sequence C for its space-based area situational consciousness constellation. The spherical was led by Cartesian. (NorthStar)

  • SpaceX is elevating $750 million at a $137 billion valuation, with Andreessen Horowitz possible main the spherical, based on emails. (CNBC)

  • Virgin Orbit is taking a look at a launch date as quickly as January 9 for its inaugural mission from the UK (and the U.Ok.’s first area flight, ever). (SpaceNews)

  • Voyager Area landed a brand new accomplice for its personal area station, Starlab: Airbus Protection and Area. Airbus “will present technical design help and experience” for the area station, which Voyager says will launch in 2028. (Voyager)

Max Q is delivered to you by me, Aria Alamalhodaei. In the event you get pleasure from studying Max Q, think about forwarding it to a pal. 

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