Advertisement

TechCrunch Space: $paceX

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. This is an uncommonly SpaceX-heavy issue. Apologies (or you're welcome).

Want to reach out with a tip? Email Aria at aria.techcrunch@gmail.com or send me a message on Signal at 512-937-3988. You also can send a note to the whole TechCrunch crew at tips@techcrunch.comFor more secure communicationsclick here to contact us, which includes SecureDrop (instructions here) and links to encrypted messaging apps.

Story of the week (and launch of the week!)

This week, we're combining the Story of the Week and Launch Highlights sections, because folks -- what else could possibly fit the bill except Starship's third orbital test flight?

In my mind, it was a spectacular success, and a testament to the company's truly iterative design approach. It's remarkable how much more progress the company makes, even in just three test flights.

And it's a good thing, too: Starship is integral to both the company's business plan -- it's going to be used to deposit many hundreds of next-gen Starlink satellites into space -- and NASA's aim to return humans to the surface of the moon.

Plus, going to Mars.

Starship orbital test flight 3
Starship orbital test flight 3

Image Credits: SpaceX

Scoop of the week

This week, with the aid of internal company documents and conversations with sources, I learned that SpaceX requires employees to agree to some unusual terms related to their stock awards, which have a chilling effect on staff. 

That includes a provision that allows SpaceX the right to purchase back-vested shares within a six-month period following an employee leaving the company for any reason, and the right to ban past and present employees from participating in tender offers if they are deemed to have committed “an act of dishonesty against the company,” or violated written company policies, among other reasons. 

Image Credits: TechCrunch

What we're reading

I was finally able to catch up on this February 2024 space stock review from Case Taylor, an investor at Thomas Tull's U.S. Innovative Technology. I HIGHLY recommend these reviews. He provides a lot of sharp commentary on the public space companies, and as someone without a finance background, I feel like I learn a lot. Plus, there are memes.

This week in space history

On March 21, 2007, a small but mighty company called SpaceX launched its Falcon 1 rocket for the second time. The rocket failed to reach orbit due to the engines shutting down prematurely. Oh, how far they've come.

Image Credits: Paul Harris/Getty Images