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Startups in space need to start preparing for a post-Starship world


SpaceX’s supermassive launch system Starship is about to fundamentally reshape the space economy. The 394-foot craft, which took to the skies for the first time last month, is designed to carry a staggering amount of mass to low Earth orbit and into deep space.

TechCrunch+ spoke to three pure-play space VCs – Space Capital founder and managing partner Chad Anderson, Space.VC founder and general partner Jonathan Lacoste, and E2MC Ventures founder Raphael Roettgen – to learn more about how they advise founders to thinking about Starship’s superheavy implications.

While the trio disagreed on many fine points, they all agreed that founders now need to think about how Starship can affect their operations, for better or for worse.

“Starship is so important to the space industry that probably almost everyone who owns a space company must be wondering what that means for their business,” Roettgen said.

Changing the face of the launch…

The most obvious way Starship is likely to revolutionize the industry is by continuing the trend that SpaceX set firmly on with the debut of Falcon 9: further reducing the cost of mass launches to space. Starship will be capable of launching 100 to 150 tons of stuff into orbit, a paradigm-shifting amount that far exceeds the payload capacity of any rocket ever designed by humans.

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