It’s only a matter of time • TechCrunch

Hello and welcome to Max Q!

In this problem:

  • Intuitive Machines enters the public market
  • Silicon Valley goes to war
  • News from Transcelestial, Umbra and more

Lunar Technology Company Intuitive machines received far less money from its merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) than expected, but despite that rocky start, the stock price hit major highs last week.

Although Intuitive Machines said the SPAC trust could provide the company with up to $301 million in dry powder, shareholders opted to buy out a staggering $279.8 million before the deal closed. . The buybacks could reflect relative fatigue among investors in SPACs, which have enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity in recent years but have recently fallen out of favor as post-SPAC companies struggle to stay afloat in the public market. .

But perhaps these shareholders regret getting their money back. Shares of the company closed at $10.03 on its first day of trading on Tuesday and jumped to $39.73, up 211% on Thursday.

Rendering of the Lunar Lander by Intuitive Machines

Intuitive machinery making the lunar lander. Picture credits: Intuitive machines

For TC+, I wrote about the rise in defense technology investment over the past few years.

Just a few years ago, many investors thought writing a check for a defense-focused startup was a proposition that just didn’t make sense. The tides have clearly changed, and Pitchbook data supports this warming of defense technology. From January to October last year, venture capital-backed companies pumped $7 billion into aerospace and defense companies, a massive growth that contrasts sharply with the relative slowness of other sectors.

There are many reasons for this increase in interest in defense technologies, but all are driven by a realistic new view that has spread among some technologists and venture capitalists. She sees global antagonisms threatening the stability of American Pax; he sees the United States rotting from within with bloat and lethargy. As a result, the Silicon Valley mentality has returned to its defense roots, embracing the role venture-backed startups can play in maintaining America’s military dominance and technological supremacy in the world. .

“If you believe in democracy, democracy requires a sword,” a16z general partner David Ulevitch said in a recent interview with TechCrunch. And Silicon Valley will be where it is forged.

Picture credits: Kiyoshi Tanno/Getty Images

More news from TC…

  • Near space labs CEO Rema Matevosyan sat down with TechCrunch to explain what exactly is going on with this alleged Chinese spy balloon. (CT)
  • SpaceX faces a $175,000 fine from the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to report certain data to the agency before Starlink launched last August. (CT)
  • Transcelestial, a Singapore-based startup, has secured $10 million to expand its wireless laser communication system to parts of Southeast Asia. (CT)
  • pristine orbit The Start Me Up mission was marred by a faulty fuel filter and fuel pump in the second stage engines. (CT)

…and beyond

  • Astranis was awarded a $4.5 million Phase III SBIR contract with the US Space Force to integrate tactical waveform technology into its spacecraft, with a $6 million option for an orbital demonstration using a future Astranis satellite. (Astranis)
  • blue origin quietly announced a program, Blue Alchemist, which has been working for at least two years to develop technology to turn lunar regolith into solar cells and electricity transmission wires. (blue origin)
  • India successfully launched the new SSLV rocket, six months after the first launch attempt ended in failure. (NASA spaceflight)
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency cleaned up the launch of its new H3 rocket at T-0. (Reuters)
  • Launcher first spacecraft, Orbiter SN-1, ceased operation after the craft was unable to generate power from its solar panels. (Launcher)
  • Max and Umbra announced a new partnership this week, which will see Umbra’s Synthetic Aperture Radar data combine with Maxar’s optical imagery in a combined offering for customers. (Max)
  • Ryde space, a Canadian launch company that was developing a vehicle using a balloon first stage, has filed for bankruptcy. (Payload)
  • SpaceX sold the two oil rigs purchased in 2020, which were to be converted into offshore launch pads for Starship. (SpaceNews)

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