Welcome to Max Q, the TechCrunch newsletter that covers everything that flies. Or floating. Or I think it’s crashing too. Whatever happens in and on the way into space. We are now in 2022 and people are already launching missiles.
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SpaceX will fly its first rocket in 2022
Before the end of the first week of the year, Elon Musk launched a Falcon 9 with 49 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida on January 6, marking its first flight of the year. The company appears to be planning to quickly catch up with the Falcon 9 flights in 2022 as it prepares for a ridesharing mission as early as Jan 13 and has three more missions planned before the end of the month. .
At the same time, it is also preparing for the first orbital test launch of its Starship vehicle with a test of its Starting round this week It showed how the tower’s robotic arms would work to lift the spaceship onto the top of the super heavy booster that would give it the power to fly into space. Depending on the approvals, SpaceX may be ready to use this tower for an orbital test around Mars.
NASA’s new space telescope is ready
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, expected to provide more detailed and distant images of galaxies beyond our own than ever before, has completed its latest round of deployment, which means that all of the pieces will be brought together and installed after launch should have been successful.
The NASA scientists who worked on Webb have to breathe a sigh of relief. The telescope only needs to do a couple of mid-flight engine firings to get it into the correct and intended orbit, then it is ready to take pictures and send them back for study.
Starlinks Leiden in Als
Starlink ran into regulatory issues in India after setting up its own subsidiary to operate in the country. The company had to refund pre-orders after the government ordered them to stop providing satellite connectivity in the country without a valid license to do so. Elon Musk was once relatively cheeky when he believed that Starlink doesn’t necessarily need a license to operate in certain global markets.
Shortly after the refunds were announced, Starlink India front man Sanjay Bhargava announced his resignation.
More news from TC and beyond
President Biden appointed Vizeadmiral Frank Whitworth as the next director of the National Geospatial Agency.
Dr. Katherine Calvin becomes Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor for NASA.