Legendary Ventures Invests in SpaceX Starlink Constellation

Sixty Starlink satellites separate from a Falcon 9 second stage on April 22, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX website)

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22, 2020 (Legendary Ventures PR) — Legendary Ventures announced today an investment in Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”) through its Series N funding round.

Founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX is an aviation and aerospace company that designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecrafts, including the Starlink satellite constellation.

With this investment, Legendary Ventures continues to execute its strategy of investing in consumer, retail and technology companies, including businesses with enterprise values ranging between $1 billion and $100 billion (USD).

“We are honored to be a part of the SpaceX effort to usher in a new era of space exploration, telecommunications, and travel,” says Jayson Kim, General Partner of Legendary Ventures.

About Legendary Ventures

Legendary Ventures is a venture capital firm that accelerates value creation for early-stage startups in the consumer, retail and technology industries. For more information about the firm or its funds, visit  https://legendary.vc

Dispute Erupts Over SpaceX’s Boca Chica Test Facility

Elon Musk (center) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry break ground on a new launch complex. (Credit: Texas Governor’s Office)

A dispute has erupted between several environmental groups and the federal government over the impact of SpaceX’s test operations at Boca Chica Beach in south Texas.

The issue: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved SpaceX’s plan to use the coastal site for launching its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets up to 12 times per year.

However, Elon Musk’s company has instead been using its facilities to develop and flight test its larger Starship and Super Heavy boosters. The resulting impacts have been much greater than anticipated under the original proposal, environmental groups argue.

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OneWeb Gets FCC Approval for Additional 1,280 Satellites

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Satellite broadband provider OneWeb received FCC approval this week to launch an additional 1,280 satellites, increasing the size of the company’s constellation to 2,000 spacecraft.

The additional satellites will provide services in the V-band and operate at an altitude of 8,500 km (5,282 miles).

“After review of the record, we conclude that granting OneWeb access to the U.S. market for its proposed V-band satellite system would increase competition for the broadband services proposed to be provided by such systems to American consumers, particularly in underserved areas, offer a greater likelihood that such a large system is able to fulfill its ambitions and deploy the proposed services, and thereby serve the public interest, subject to the requirements and conditions specified herein,” the FCC said.

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FCC Approves Amazon’s $10 Billion Kuiper Satellite Constellation

Jeff Bezos

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved Amazon’s plan to launch its Kuiper constellation of 3,236 satellites to provide global broadband coverage.

Jeff Bezos’ company plans to invest $10 billion in the constellation, which will compete with OneWeb and SpaceX’s Starlink system to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband services via satellite.

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SpaceX Looks to Raise $1 Billion

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Bloomberg reports Elon Musk’s SpaceX is in discussions to raise another $1 billion in investment at a price of $270 per share.

The round would value the company at about $44 billion, before taking into account the new capital, they said.

At a roughly $44 billion valuation, SpaceX would rank as one of the most valuable venture-backed companies in the U.S.

In a research report dated July 20, Morgan Stanley said the company ultimately could be worth as much as $175 billion. The bank said it remains “focused on the needs and sources of capital for SpaceX as a potential catalyst to increase the relevance of space for public investors.”

Universal Studios Bidding for Tom Cruise Space Movie

International Space Station (Credit: NASA/Roscosmos)

Variety reports that despite there being no script yet, Universal Studios is already in negotiations for the Tom Cruise film to be shot aboard the International Space Station.

The movie, which will be directed by former Cruise collaborator Doug Liman, made waves in May for its record-chasing ambition and for recruiting the full cooperation of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA, who will house the production on the International Space Station.

This kind of innovation does not come cheap. Sources said the production budget has been set at $200 million in the most optimistic projections. Cruise could earn somewhere between $30 million and $60 million, according to insiders. This would cover his services as a producer and star, and also be comprised of significant first-dollar gross participation over a windfall up front.

The inherent marketing value around a global event like this is obvious. Similar to the recent historic launch of SpaceX’s Dragon crew vessel, the entire world will watch as Cruise is rocketed into space, forcing natural curiosity around the results. The stakes are also high from a filmmaking standpoint. As one person familiar with the project put it, “you can’t be sure what you’re going to get up there, and you have one shot to do it.”

SpaceX Ends Lease at Port of Los Angeles

SpaceX’s plan to build components for its Starship and Super Heavy boosters at the Port of Los Angeles is dead — again.

Elon Musk’s company gave notice to the port on March 27 that it was backing out of a lease to locate a research, development, manufacturing and recovery facility at a dilapidated structure on Terminal Island.

SpaceX gave notice just over a month after harbor commissioners approved a 10-year lease with two 10-year extensions on Feb. 21. The agreement was later approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

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Space Exploration in a Time of Social Turmoil

The Expedition 63 crew welcomes Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/Bill Stafford)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The contrast was jarring. In one browser window, two NASA astronauts were making their way to the International Space Station (ISS) after the first orbital launch of a crew from U.S. soil in nearly 9 years.

In another window, scenes of chaos played out as protests over the death of George Floyd after his arrest by Minneapolis police erupted into violent clashes across the country.

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NASA Modifies SpaceX Contract to Allow Reuse of Crew Dragon, Falcon 9

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, Saturday, May 30, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls & Joel Kowsky)

NASA has modified its $2.7 billion commercial crew contract with SpaceX to allow Elon Musk’s company to reuse Falcon 9 first stages and Crew Dragon spacecraft for transporting astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

The reuse of the boosters and spacecraft will begin with the second commercial Crew Dragon flight, which will likely be launched in 2021. The first commercial mission with four astronauts aboard is scheduled to launched on Aug. 30.

In return, SpaceX has agreed to extend the ongoing Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight test from two weeks to up to 119 days. The spacecraft, currently docked to the space station, was launched with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard on May 30.

The contract modification added the requirement for SpaceX to conduct joint training with the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Operations Group Detachment 3 (DET-3) for the first six commercial Crew Dragon launches.

DET-3 forces are placed on alert at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii in case Crew Dragon astronauts need to be rescued due to a mishap.

Crew Dragon and its booster’s first stage are designed for reuse. A Falcon 9 first stage landed on an offshore drone ship on Thursday after launching for the fifth time. Cargo Dragon vehicles has flow to ISS multiple times.

SpaceX Senior VP Jumps to Relativity Space Startup

Zachary Dunn

One of the lesser known aspects of SpaceX’s rise to the top of the space industry is how the company has seeded other companies with experienced personnel.

Throughout its existence, SpaceX has had fairly high employee turnover. People work at Elon Musk’s company and move on for reasons ranging from being fired or laid off to getting burned out from long hours to becoming frustrated over relatively low pay to simply wanting to do something else.

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California Panel Turns Down Training Money for SpaceX

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Angered by Elon Musk’s threat to move Tesla Motors out of the Golden State, the California’s Employment Training Panel denied an application from Musk’s SpaceX for $655,500 in state job and training funds.

Reuters reports:

“In my opinion, given the recent threats of the CEO to leave the state of California, and everything else we’ve discussed today, this proposal does not rise to the level for me to feel secure in supporting it,” said Gretchen Newsom, a panel member and the political director of an IBEW electrical workers union local.

“SpaceX is a different company, but they have the same CEO,” said Newsom, who is not related to California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Musk threatened to pull his electric car company out of California after Alameda County officials wanted him to delay reopening Tesla’s production facility in Fremont, Calif.

The plant had been closed in late March due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. County officials were not satisfied with Tesla’s plan to protect workers from the virus. Musk reopened the facility without the county’s approval.