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Things are tough out there • TechCrunch

Hello and welcome back to Max Q! I hate writing intros so let’s get started, shall we?

In this issue:

  • A startup tackling the “non-sexy” parts ordering workflows
  • Space engineering predictions from Seraphim Space
  • News from Varda, ClearSpace and more

There is very little room for error in aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturing. For companies that build products such as missiles, rocket boosters and avionics, each component should not deviate more than a hair’s breadth from the technical specifications.

However, despite the precise requirements of the industry, parts ordering is generally done with systems that are only slightly better than carrier pigeon.

To solve this problem, Malory McLemore and Anne Wen founded Best, a start-up building a platform to introduce new workflows for parts ordering. The company hopes its platform can reduce errors and improve efficiency — two variables that will be key to strengthening America’s industrial base.

Stell founders Malory McLemore and Anne Wen

Stell founders Malory McLemore and Anne Wen. Image Credits: Best

From Seraphim Space CEO Mark Boggett, seven predictions about what’s in store for the space industry this year. First on the list: mobile phone connectivity from space.

“Several players in the aerospace industry have recently set their sights on direct-to-mobile connectivity from space,” Boggett writes. “Although it is still a very early market with limited existing capabilities, companies such as Apple, T-Mobile, Globalstar, SpaceX, AST SpaceMobile and Lynk Global are focusing on this area. Several mobile network operators are already on board even before some of the first operational spacecraft have even launched.”

The crowd cheers at Playalinda Beach in the Canaveral National Seashore, just north of the Kennedy Space Center, during the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket on Feb. 6, 2018. Playalinda is one of the closest public viewing spots to see the launch, about 3 miles from the SpaceX launch pad 39-A.  (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Image Credits: Orlando Sentinel (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

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 plans more than 70 launches this year. (SpaceNews)
  • Free space, a Swiss startup developing in-orbit maintenance and debris removal technology closed a €26.7 million ($28.9 million) Series A round. (Venture lab)
  • The European Space Agency wants to introduce a “zero-debris policy” for companies launching spacecraft into orbit. (WSJ)
  • Catapult Space Travel 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 The most recent quarterly report showed that private investment in space is down 58% in 2022 compared to the previous year. (TechCrunch)
  • from SpaceX agreement with Carnival was expanded, with the cruise line introducing Starlink to all of its cruise brands. (Carnival)
  • Varda Space Industries gave a look at the first spacecraft being built in collaboration 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, please consider forwarding it to a friend.

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