Only a matter of time •

by Ana Lopez

Hello and welcome back to Max Q!

In this issue:

  • Intuitive Machines enters the public market
  • Silicon Valley goes to war
  • News from Transcelestial, Umbra and more

Lunar technology company Intuitive machines received much less money from the merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) than predicted, but despite this rocky start, the share price reached major highs last week.

While Intuitive Machines said the SPAC trust could net the company as much as $301 million in dry powder, shareholders chose to pay off a whopping $279.8 million before closing the transaction. The redemptions could reflect a relative fatigue among investors of SPACs, which have surged in popularity in recent years but have recently fallen out of favor as post-SPAC companies struggle to stay afloat on the market. public market.

But maybe those shareholders regret getting their money back. Shares of the company closed at $10.03 on Tuesday’s first day of trading and rose to $39.73 on Thursday, up 211%.

Intuitive machine view of lunar lander

Intuitive machines that display lunar lander. Image Credits: Intuitive machines

For TC+ I wrote about the increase in investments in defense technology in recent years.

Just a few years ago, many investors thought lowering a check for a “defense-first” startup was a proposition that just didn’t make sense. The tides have clearly shifted, and PitchBook data supports this warming for defense technology. From January to October last year, venture-backed companies injected $7 billion into aerospace and defense companies, a massive growth that contrasts sharply with the relative sluggishness in other industries.

There are many reasons for this surge in interest in defense technology, but all of them are driven by a new, realistic view that is being spread among some technologists and venture capitalists. It sees global contradictions that threaten the stability of the world Pax Americana; it sees the United States rotting from the inside out from bloating and lethargy. As a result, the Silicon Valley mindset has returned to its defense roots, embracing the role venture-funded startups can play in maintaining America’s military dominance and technological supremacy around the world.

“If you believe in democracy, democracy requires a sword,” a16z general partner David Ulevitch said in a recent interview with And Silicon Valley will be where it is forged.

Image Credits: Kiyoshi Tanno/Getty Images

More news from TC…

  • Close to Space Labs CEO Rema Matevosyan sat down with to explain exactly what was going on with that alleged Chinese spy balloon. (TC)
  • SpaceX faces a $175,000 fine from the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to report certain data to the agency ahead of a Starlink launch last August. (TC)
  • Transceles, a startup based in Singapore, scored $10 million to expand its wireless laser communication system to parts of Southeast Asia. (TC)
  • Virgin job Start Me Up mission was ruined by a faulty fuel filter and fuel pump in the second stage engines. (TC)

…and further

  • Astranis was awarded a $4.5 million Phase III SBIR contract with the US Space Force to integrate tactical waveform technology into its spacecraft, with a $6 million option for an orbital demonstration using a future Astranis satellite. (Astranis)
  • Blue origin quietly announced a program, Blue Alchemist, that has been working for at least two years to develop technology to convert lunar regolith into solar cells and electricity transmission wires. (Blue origin)
  • India successfully launched the new SSLV rocket, six months after the first launch attempt failed. (NASA spaceflight)
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency scrubbed a launch of its new H3 rocket at T-0. (Reuters)
  • Launchers first spacecraft, Orbiter SN-1, ceased operations after the craft failed to generate power from its solar panels. (Launcher)
  • Maxar and Umbra this week announced a new collaboration, combining Umbra’s synthetic aperture radar data with Maxar’s optical imagery in a combined offering for customers. (Maxar)
  • SpaceRyde, a Canadian launch company that was developing a vehicle using a balloon first stage, has filed for bankruptcy. (Load capacity)
  • SpaceX has sold the two rigs it purchased in 2020 that would be converted into offshore launch rigs for Starship. (SpaceNews)

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