Hello and welcome back to Max Q! We’re hitting the ground running at TC HQ, and it seems the space industry is, too — there was a lot of news, which means a lot to get to in this issue! Read on for more.

In this issue:

While there’s always major pressure before an inaugural demonstration, there will likely be more eyes on Impulse’s mission than usual. That’s not least because the startup is headed by Tom Mueller, SpaceX’s former head of propulsion, a formidable engineer who led the development of the Merlin engine that powers the Falcon 9 rocket — the very rocket Impulse will use to reach space.

Impulse will first send its first orbital service vehicle to space to test its propulsion, payload delivery and hosting, software, communications and maneuvering capabilities. That spacecraft, called Mira, will hitch a ride on SpaceX’s Transporter-9 rideshare mission in the fourth quarter of this year, the company announced today.

Image Credits: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

SpaceX launched more than 100 payloads to orbit on a Falcon 9 last Tuesday, the sixth mission of its small-sat rideshare program. But while the rocket company is now an old hand at launches — SpaceX just completed a record year with 61 launches in 2022 alone — for a handful of space startups, Transporter-6 marked a milestone.

Image Credits: Launcher/John Kraus(opens in a new window)

Max Q: Hitting the ground running by Aria Alamalhodaei originally published on TechCrunch