Hello and welcome back to Max Q!
In this issue:
- Astra’s Apollo Fusion acquisition followed by delays and desertion
- News from SpaceX and more
Two years ago, Astra hailed its acquisition of satellite propulsion startup Apollo Fusion as a strategic move that would round out its launch business and bring expert engineers into the fold. But under Astra leadership, Apollo Fusion quickly disintegrated, with the majority of the original team resigning, leaving few people to staff the one part of the business that had substantial customer demand and the promise of revenue.
More news from across TC
- Amazon and its board, including founder and executive chairman Jeff Bezos, are being sued by an institutional investor over hefty launch contracts the company awarded to Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin.
- Firefly Aerospace and Millennium Space Systems have entered the “hot standby phase” for an orbital mission for the U.S. Space Force.
- Gitai, a space robotics startup, has closed an additional $15 million in funding to advance its technology for the moon.
- Globalstar, a satellite network operator backed by Apple, has purchased launches from SpaceX worth $64 million, according to regulatory filings.
- India is launching its first space-based solar observatory mission called Aditya-L1 to study the sun, just days after the successful landing of the country’s moon rover mission Chandrayaan-3.
- Starfish Space has managed to pull its first orbital mission back from the brink of catastrophe, with the startup saying that it has regained control over the Otter Pup spacecraft that had been rapidly tumbling through space.
- The U.S. Department of Defense must accelerate integration of commercial space tech, a new op-ed argues.
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