Max Q: Umbra is a Silicon Valley outsider — they prefer it that way


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Hello and welcome back to Max Q!

In this issue:

  • A closer look at Umbra
  • News from Rocket Lab, Astranis and more

Umbra co-founder Gabe Dominocielo’s last name is roughly translated from the Latin as “lord of the skies.” It’s a fitting title for the head of a satellite imagery company — but in a recent interview with TechCrunch, he joked that his last name should be “unit economics.”

“Space isn’t my background,” he said. “My passion is unit economics.”

Umbra’s story can be summed up as a marriage of technological innovation and — you guessed it — sound unit economics.

More news across TC

  • Amazon will spend $120 million on a new satellite processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for its Project Kuiper satellite internet constellation.
  • Astranis said its first commercial internet satellite will be unable to provide full coverage to Alaska due to a technical issue with the spacecraft’s solar arrays.
  • Pew Research Center found that few Americans think that going to the moon or Mars should be among NASA’s top priorities.
  • Rocket Lab advanced its Electron reusability program with its most recent launch, which includes a number of upgrades to the booster to make it more water-resilient.
  • SpaceX’s Swarm Technologies is halting new sales of its modem, in a move that seems to be connected to SpaceX’s plans to move into the sat-to-cell market.
  • Virgin Galactic is gearing up for its second commercial launch in August, which will send three private citizens to suborbital space and back.

Max Q is brought to you by me, Aria Alamalhodaei. If you enjoy reading Max Q, consider forwarding it to a friend. 

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