It’s Only a Matter of Time • TechCrunch

Hello and welcome to Max Q!

In this issue.

  • Intuitive Cars is entering the public market
  • Silicon Valley is going to war
  • News from Transcelestial, Umbra and more

Tech company Lunar received far less cash from its merger with Intuitive Machines than it had anticipated, but despite this rocky start, the stock price saw big gains last week.

While Intuitive Machines said the SPAC trust could provide the company with up to $301 million in dry powder, shareholders opted to repay a staggering $279.8 million before the deal closes. The buybacks may reflect relative investor fatigue with SPACs, which have seen a surge in popularity over the past few years but have recently fallen out of favor as post-SPAC companies struggle to stay alive on the public market.

But maybe those shareholders will regret getting their money back. The company’s shares closed at $10.03 in the first day of trading on Tuesday and rose 211 percent to $39.73 on Thursday.

Demonstration of the lunar landing by intuitive machines

Intuitive lunar landing vehicles. Image credits: Intuitive machines

For TC+, I’ve written about the surge in defense technology investment over the past few years.

Just a few years ago, many investors thought that cutting a check for a defense-first startup was a proposition that just didn’t make sense. The tides have clearly turned, and data from PitchBook supports this heating up of defensive technology. Between January and October of last year, VC-backed firms injected $7 billion into aerospace and defense companies, a huge increase that contrasts sharply with the relative sluggishness of other sectors.

There are many reasons for this surge in interest in defense technology, but driving them all is a new, realistic vision shared by some technologists and venture capitalists. It sees global antagonisms as threatening stability Pax Americana; it sees the United States rotting from the inside out through bloat and apathy. As a result, the Silicon Valley mindset has returned to its defensive roots, acknowledging the role that venture-funded startups can play in maintaining America’s military dominance and technological dominance around the world.

“If you believe in democracy, democracy requires a sword,” a16z General Partner David Ulevich told TechCrunch in a recent interview. And Silicon Valley will be where it’s rigged.

Image credits: Kiyoshi Tanno/Getty Images

More news from TC…

  • Near the space labs CEO Rema Matevosyan spoke with TechCrunch to explain what exactly happened with the alleged Chinese spy balloon. (TC)
  • SpaceX It faces a $175,000 fine to the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to report certain data to the agency before Starlink launched last August. (TC)
  • ExtraterrestrialA Singapore-based startup has raised $10 million to expand its wireless laser communication system across Southeast Asia. (TC)
  • Virgin Orbit’s The Start Me Up mission was aborted due to a fuel filter and fuel pump malfunction in the second stage engines. (TC)

…and beyond

  • Astranis has been awarded a $4.5 million Phase III SBIR contract with the US Space Force to integrate tactical wave technology into its spacecraft for a $6 million on-orbit demonstration using the future Astranis satellite. (Astranis)
  • Blue origin Blue Alchemist has quietly announced a project that has been in the works for at least two years, developing technology to turn lunar regolith into solar cells and power wires. (Blue origin)
  • India successfully launched the new SSLV rocket six months after the first launch failed. (NASA space flight)
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Cleared the launch of his new H3 missile at T-0. (Reuters)
  • Launcher: the first spacecraft, Orbiter SN-1, ceased operations after the spacecraft failed to generate power from its solar panels. (launcher)
  • Customs and Umbra this week announced a new partnership that will see Umbra’s synthetic aperture radar data combined with Maxar’s optical imagery in a combined offering for customers. (Customs)
  • SpaceRyde:A Canadian launch company that was developing a vehicle that used a balloon in the first stage has filed for bankruptcy. (truck)
  • SpaceX sold the two oil rigs it bought in 2020 that were to be converted into Starship sea launch platforms. (SpaceNews)

Max Q brought me to you Aria Alamalhoda. If you enjoyed reading Max Q, please consider sending it to a friend.

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