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Max Q: Things are tough out there

In this issue: A startup tackling the “unsexy” parts-ordering workflows Space tech predictions from Seraphim Space News from Varda, ClearSpace and more

Stell wants to modernize the “unsexy” workflows slowing down America’s industrial base

There is very little room for error in aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturing. For companies that build products like missiles, rocket boosters and avionics, each part must not deviate more than a hairsbreadth from its technical specifications. Despite the precise demands of the industry, however, parts ordering is generally done using systems that are only slightly better than carrier pigeon. To solve this problem, Malory McLemore and Anne Wen founded Stell, a startup that’s building a platform to bring new workflows to parts ordering. The company is hoping that its platform can reduce errors and improve efficiency — two variables that will be key to shoring up America’s industrial base. 026-e1673903095486

7 space tech predictions for 2023

From Seraphim Space CEO Mark Boggett, seven predictions on what the space industry has in store this year. First on the list: cell phone connectivity from space. “Multiple players in the space industry have recently set their sights on direct-to-mobile connectivity from space,” Boggett writes. “While it’s still a very early market with limited existing capabilities, companies such as Apple, T-Mobile, Globalstar, SpaceX, AST SpaceMobile and Lynk Global are targeting this area. Multiple mobile network operators are already on board, even before some of the first operational spacecraft have been launched.” GettyImages-1244294229-3

More news from TC and beyond

ABL Space Systems provided an update on the investigation into the anomaly that caused the company’s RS1 rocket to crash back into the launch pad on its first test flight. (ABL) China is planning more than 70 launches this year. (SpaceNews) ClearSpace, a Swiss startup developing in-orbit servicing and debris-removal tech, closed a €26.7 million ($28.9 million) Series A round. (Venturelab) The European Space Agency wants to enact a “zero-debris policy” for companies launching spacecraft into orbit. (WSJ) Slingshot Aerospace has a new partnership with HawkEye 360 for the latter company to provide radio frequency data for Slingshot’s space-based monitoring platform. (HawkEye) Space Capital’s most recent quarterly report found that private investment in space dropped 58% in 2022 compared to the previous year. (TechCrunch) SpaceX’s agreement with Carnival was expanded, with the cruise company moving to introduce Starlink across its cruise brands. (Carnival) Varda Space Industries provided a look at its first spacecraft that’s being built in partnership with Rocket Lab. It will launch aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-8. (Varda) Max Q is brought to you by me, Aria Alamalhodaei. If you enjoy reading Max Q, consider forwarding it to a friend. Max Q: Things are tough out there by Aria Alamalhodaei originally published on TechCrunch

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