Jump-Starting Success: Taking Off at Full Speed

Welcome to Max Q! TG+ HQ is off and running, and the space industry isn’t far behind. We’ve got plenty of news to share – keep reading for all the details!

This issue includes:
• An overview of the new developments in technology
• A review of the latest trends in digital marketing
• Insight into how to leverage customer data for more

  • A catch-up with Impulse Space
  • SpaceX kicks off 2023 launch with Transporter-6
  • News from Momentus, the Indian Space Research Organization and more

Impulse Space, an in-space transportation start-up, will launch aboard a SpaceX rideshare mission this year. It aims to prove its orbital maneuvering and servicing technology for the first time.

Impulse’s mission is under intense scrutiny, as it will be headed by Tom Mueller, SpaceX’s former head of propulsion. Mueller is a renowned engineer who spearheaded the development of Falcon 9 rocket’s Merlin engine -the same one Impulse will use to reach space.

Impulse is sending its first orbital service vehicle, Mira, to space this quarter. The mission will test the spacecraft’s propulsion, payload delivery and hosting, software & communications systems and maneuvering capabilities. It will launch aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-9 rideshare mission.

rocket on launch pad

Image Credit: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Last Tuesday, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched more than 100 payloads into orbit, marking the sixth mission of their small-sat rideshare program. With 61 successful launches in 2022 alone, SpaceX is now a veteran in space launch – but for several startups this was an especially momentous occasion; Transporter-6 was their milestone.

Launcher, Magdrive and Epic Aerospace launched their first-ever space tugs on Transporter-6, carrying satellites for Planet Labs and Spire Global plus a range of payloads for scientific research and commercial customers.

Image credits: Launcher/John Kraus (link opens in new window).

More news from TG+ and beyond

  • Blue Origin may have left up a job description for a secret space tug project for a little too long… Ars Technica got wind. (Ars Technica)
  • Intuitive Machines will fly a rover for Japan-based robotics company Dymon on its second mission to the moon. The Yaoki rover will head to the lunar south pole on Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander sometime in the latter half of this year. (Intuitive Machines)
  • Iridium is teaming up with Qualcomm to bring satellite connectivity to several new smartphones running Android this year. (The Washington Post)
  • ispace’s HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander successfully executed its second orbital control maneuver, keeping it on track to reach the moon sometime this spring. (ispace)
  • John Deere is finalizing a satellite partner, as the agriculture machinery company looks to create its geospatial data product for farmers. (CNBC)
  • Microsoft and the Indian Space Research Organization have signed an MOU to give Indian space startups free access to the technology behemoth’s cloud tools. (TechGround)
  • NorthStar Earth and Space closed a $35 million Series C for its space-based space situational awareness constellation. The round was led by Cartesian. (NorthStar)
  • SpaceX is raising $750 million at a $137 billion valuation, with Andreessen Horowitz likely leading the round, according to emails. (CNBC)
  • Virgin Orbit is looking at a launch date as soon as January 9 for its inaugural mission from the United Kingdom (and the U.K.’s first space flight, ever). (SpaceNews)
  • Voyager Space landed a new partner for its private space station, Starlab: Airbus Defense and Space. Airbus “will provide technical design support and expertise” for the space station, which Voyager says will launch in 2028. (Voyager)

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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