Max Q: Another day, another delay

Hello and welcome back to Max Q!

In this issue:

  • Pixxel’s new investor
  • Mission delays for Boeing, Rocket Lab
  • News from SpaceX and more

Hyperspectral imagery startup Pixxel has closed $36 million in funding as it prepares to roll out new remote sensing and analytics capabilities to customers.

The LA- and Bangalore-based startup also scored a new strategic investor: Google, the tech giant that’s as well known for its mapping products as it is for its search engine. While Google led the Series B funding round, this does not mark the start of its relationship with Pixxel, CEO Awais Ahmed said in a recent interview.

“We were already working with them as a client before this,” he explained, with an AI research team from Google employing Pixxel’s hyperspectral data in agricultural applications. Google also rolled out its Earth Engine last year, a powerful tool that gives governments and businesses access to a massive trove of Earth observation data from hundreds of sensors in orbit. Many of Pixxel’s users separately use Earth Engine, Ahmed said, and the ultimate goal is to integrate the startup’s data onto that service.

Monochrome image on left and hyperspectral image on right of a satellite view of mountains.

Image Credits: Pixxel

Boeing and NASA said that the first crewed flight test of the Starliner capsule would be further delayed due to a new crop of technical issues with the spacecraft.

The first crewed mission was scheduled to fly two NASA astronauts on July 21 after being pushed back from an earlier April launch date. Officials did not provide a new launch date during a media briefing, though Boeing’s VP of commercial crew, Mark Nappi, said leadership would spend the next week or so figuring out a plan to ensure the capsule is safe for flight.

“The bottom line here is: safety is always our top priority,” a Boeing official said. “It’s always been that way with human spaceflight. And so that’s what drives this decision. You can say we’re disappointed because it means a delay, but the team is proud that we’re making the right choices.”

Image Credits: United Launch Alliance

More news from TC and beyond

  • Axiom Space’s second private mission to the International Space Station concluded with a successful splashdown late on May 30. (TechCrunch)
  • China aims to land taikonauts on the moon before 2030. Meanwhile, the country is also at work developing its answer to Starlink. (SpaceNews/SpaceNews)
  • The European Space Agency is inviting commercial companies to submit proposals for cargo transportation services to and from the ISS. (ESA)
  • Hubble Network raised $20 million to build out its satellite network that any Bluetooth-enabled device will be able to connect to. (TechCrunch)
  • Rocket Factory Augsburg conducted a full-duration hot fire test of its upper stage for 280 seconds, a first for an EU-based company. (RFA)
  • Rocket Lab’s private mission to Venus has slipped to January 2025 after the company missed the launch window last month. (TechCrunch)
  • Sierra Space powered up its Dream Chaser spaceplane for the first time. (Sierra Space)
  • SpaceX’s role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is not over yet, with the Pentagon ordering more Starlink terminals to go to Ukrainian troops. (TechCrunch)

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

Previous post Apple debuts new privacy, security innovations : Tech Live Trends
Next post watchOS 10 gets redesigned apps, new Smart Stack, new watch faces : Tech Live Trends