Hi, and welcome to Max Q, it’s your former newsletter writer now returned while Aria is out. We just wrapped our TC Sessions: Space 2021 event, but as is often the case in the space biz, things aren’t slowing down just because it’s almost the end of the year.
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SpaceX breaks a reusability record and records its first two-launch day
SpaceX launched another batch of its Starling satellites from its launch facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base on Saturday morning, then followed that up with a launch of a Turkish communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Florida late that night. This marks the first time that SpaceX has launched twice in one day, and the Starlink mission also included the eleventh flight and landing for its Falcon 9 booster, besting a re-use record for SpaceX’s launch system.
That would be impressive enough on its own, but now SpaceX is set to deliver another load of supplies and experiment materials to the International Space Station for its latest Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission. That’s currently scheduled for tomorrow morning, taking off from Cape Canaveral.
A look back at 2021 from the perspective of space investors
As mentioned above, we just wrapped our TC Sessions: Space 2021 event, and one of the more interesting discussions for the startup community was definitely our chat with a panel of early-stage investors looking at the sector. Some, like Space Capital founder Chad Anderson, have seen the space industry evolve considerably over many years of placing early bets on startups, and could speak to the major shifts going on in the industry. Assembly Ventures’ Jessica Robinson spoke to how space tech is bleeding out into just about every other area, and vice versa.
The full chat is available to TC+ subscribers exclusively here, as are the rest of our Space panels and fireside discussions.
Other news from TC and beyond
Voyager Space hires Blue Origin VP of global sales as its new chief revenue officer. Clay Mowry was a fairly high-profile member of the Blue Origin team, and before that he worked for Arianespace as its chairman and president.
NASA and its international agency partners have approved the Axiom Mission 1 private astronaut flight to the International Space Station, which is now set to take place February 28, 2022.
Spaceport Camden in Camden County, Georgia, has officially been granted its launch site operator license by the FAA. It still has some final hurdles to cross before it becomes operational, but it could play host to commercial launch companies as another option for a take-off locale.
Rocket Lab will acquire SolAero Holdings, a producer of solar cells, solar panels and other structural components for space-based infrastructure. We spoke to Rocket Lab’s Peter Beck [subscription required] last week about its recent spate of acquisitions.
The U.S. Space Force turned two! It’s the toddler of the armed forces.
NASA is set to launch the James Web space telescope on December 24, with a target liftoff time of 7:20 AM EST. It’s taking off from the European spaceport on Kourou, French Guiana, aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in partnership with the ESA.