Hello and welcome back to Max Q!
In this issue:
- Three leading space companies agree: No new regulations on human spaceflight
- News from Varda Space and more
Three leading space companies told Congress this week that the industry needs time to mature before federal regulators introduce new safety guidelines for human spaceflight — but that existing regulatory processes for launch are in dire need of improvement.
Blue Origin, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, as well as two industry experts, also emphasized that the FAA would need more funding to deal with launch licenses and to enforce regulations — at least double, SpaceX’s VP of build and flight reliability Bill Gerstenmaier told lawmakers. Representatives repeatedly stated that they wanted regulations to be more “streamlined” across regulatory agencies, which often span federal, state and even more local jurisdictions. Gerstenmaier said that Starship has been ready for its next flight test “for more than a month,” and that it was just waiting on the multiple agencies for their reviews.
More news from across TC
- Agnikul, an Indian space tech startup developing small-lift launch vehicles, has raised $26.7 million in fresh investment.
- Capella Space founder Payam Banazadeh is stepping down, with a new CEO starting at the end of this month.
- India wants to set up its own space station by 2035, and send the first Indian astronaut to the moon five years later, the government said on Tuesday.
- Israel is in discussions with SpaceX to roll out Starlink internet services, especially for communities near the conflict zone, an Israeli official said Tuesday.
- K2 Space is accelerating its path to orbit with fresh venture funding, new defense contracts and a satellite architecture that will be capable of delivering staggering power levels in a single launch.
- Urban Sky, a stratospheric balloon company, has closed a $9.75 million Series A round to scale its Earth imaging operations and expand its data products.
- Varda Space Industries will land its next in-space manufacturing capsule in Australia as it continues working with U.S. regulators to bring its first mission home.
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