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Satellite-to-cell service gets a boost.

FCC announces new framework for satellite-to-cell service. Redwire reports a 51.9% increase to revenue. Astra Investors investigate proposed buyout. And more.




The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a new regulatory framework to facilitate collaborations between satellite operators and cell phone companies. Redwire Corporation reported revenues for the full year 2023 increased 51.9% to $243.8 million. Astra Space Investors are requesting a legal review of the private sale of the company to founders Chris Kemp and Adam London, and more.

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T-Minus Guest

Our guest today is Chris Stott, CEO and Cofounder of Lonestar Data Holdings.

You can connect with Chris on LinkedIn and learn more about Lonestar Data Holdings on their website.

Selected Reading

FCC Proposes Framework to Facilitate Supplemental Coverage From Space | Federal Communications Commission

Redwire Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Financial Results- Business Wire

ASTRA SPACE INVESTOR ALERT by the Former Attorney General of Louisiana: Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Investigates Adequacy of Price and Process in Sale of Astra Space, Inc. -ASTR- Business Wire

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch at Cape scrubbed for Thursday night

Space Force Chief Says Shift to Warfighting Posture Continues Despite Slight Budgetary Decrease

ESA Announces Reusable Upper Stage Demonstrator Project - European Spaceflight

China concludes selection of fourth batch of astronauts for future space missions

Two Chinese satellites fail to enter orbit after abnormality - CGTN

NASA’s Europa Clipper Solar Arrays Successfully Deploy at Kennedy Space Center

Virgin Galactic Reports Inducement Awards Under NYSE Listing Rule 303A.08- Business Wire

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>> Are we still riding yesterday's SpaceX?

Hi Maria.

>> I mean, I am.

Obviously, despite popular media focusing on all the negatives and we'll get back to that later in the show, I would say most of the industry is still buzzing from Starship's third test flight.

>> You know what?

I'm going to add to that because I've got a great space joke for you.

Why haven't aliens come to our solar system yet?

>> I can think of a few reasons, but why else?

What is the reason?

>> They read the reviews, one star.

>> You know.

>> Nice.

I like that one.

That one's going in the vault.

>> Okay.

>> It's a good one.

>> T minus, 20 seconds to L-O-S, we're going to go for the floor.

>> Today is March 15th, 2024.

I'm Maria Varmasas.

>> I'm Alice Carruth and this is T-minus.

>> The FCC proposes a new framework for satellite to cell service.

Redwire had a 51.9 percent increase to revenue in 2023 reports.

Astra Investors launched an investigation into the proposed buyout.

>> Our guest today is Chris Dot, CEO and co-founder of Lone Star Data Holdings.

Chris will be talking to Maria about the first data center on the moon, which is so cool.

So stay with us for that chat.

>> Happy Friday, everybody.

Let's take a look at today's Intel Briefing.

And we start our briefing with a new policy update.

The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, has proposed a new regulatory framework to facilitate collaborations between satellite operators and cell phone companies.

The commission says the proposal seek to establish clear and transparent processes that support supplemental coverage from space.

The notice proposes a framework through which satellite operators collaborating with terrestrial service providers would be able to obtain FCC authorization to operate space stations on certain currently licensed flexible use spectrum allocated to terrestrial services.

The commission is proposing to add a mobile satellite service allocation on some terrestrial flexible use bands.

The FCC will also seek comment on how this framework might best support access to emergency response systems like 911 and wireless emergency alerts when a consumer is connected via supplemental coverage from space.

It will also seek to build a record on whether the framework can be extended to other bands, locations and applications that might be supported by such collaborations.

>> Redwire Corporation has announced results for its fourth quarter and for 2023.

The company reported that revenues for the full year 2023 increased 51.9% to $243.8 million.

The company says that their contracted backlog increased 19.1% year-over-year to $372.8 million as of December 31, 2023.

Peter Canito, chairman and CEO of Redwire, said in a press release that, "This trend is expected to continue in 2024 with a contracted backlog of $372.8 million at the start of the year.

We see great things over the horizon for Redwire."

>> Astra Space Investors are requesting a legal review of the private sale of the company to founders Chris Kemp and Adam London.

The investigation is being led by the former attorney general of Louisiana and a law firm.

Under the terms of the purchase of Astra, shareholders will receive 50 cents in cash for each share of Astra that they own.

The legal team is seeking to determine whether this consideration and the process that led to it are adequate or whether the consideration undervalues the company.

>> While all the focus has been on Boca Chica, Texas over the last few days, the SpaceX Falcon 9 launches in Florida have been stored.

The rocket was due to launch Starlink satellites on Wednesday, but has suffered two scrubs in a row.

The company is reportedly looking into an issue with the transporter, the erector's cradle arms, the structure that brings the vehicle to an upright position and retracts before launch.

SpaceX states that everything else seems to be in good condition.

I think there is definitely a joke in there.

SpaceX said on social media that teams are resetting for a launch attempt as early as this evening.

I'm sorry.

[LAUGHTER] I think I think I think.

Oh my god.

The Chief of Space Operations of the United States Space Force says the approximately $600 million reduction from the branch's fiscal year 2024 budget isn't holding the agency back from focusing on areas necessary to face off against potential adversaries.

General Chance Salciman says we are still investing heavily in resilient architectures to make sure that we can continue to provide missile warning, satellite communications, and precision navigation and timing.

The fiscal year 2025 Space Force budget request for $29.4 billion is down from the fiscal year 2024 request for a mere $30 billion.

The reductions come in the areas of research, development, and testing and evaluation, along with procurement.

The European Space Agency is looking for a reusable launch vehicle upper stage.

They released a call with James to identify the technology maturation needed for reusable upper stage demonstration.

ESA is looking to identify critical and enabling technologies required for the project, consolidate high-level requirements that will be used to initiate Phase 1 development, and explore commercial applications for the technology.

ESA is also pursuing the development of reusable rocket boosters and a high-thrust reusable stage combustion engine.

Over to China now, and the China manned space agency has selected a fourth batch of astronauts to join future space missions.

The candidates include pilots, flight engineers, and for the first time, payload experts that have been selected from Hong Kong and Macau, the two special administrative regions of China.

China started the selection process in 2022, and by August 2023, the second stage of the selection process was complete, with about 20 candidates entering the final round.

The astronaut candidates will go through training that normally lasts three and a half years before they're ready to conduct space missions.

And a pair of Chinese satellites failed to reach their designated orbit due to abnormalities after lifting off on Wednesday.

The satellites known as DRO-A and DRO-B were launched by an Expedition 1S upper-stage vehicle, which was attached to a Long March 2C carrier rocket.

The first and second stages of the rocket operated as expected, but the upper stage encountered an abnormality during flight.

China says that they're making efforts to dispose of the satellites.

And that's all we've got for today's Intelligence Briefing.

Head to the selected reading section of our show notes for further information on all the headlines that we've mentioned.

We've added a few extra for you.

One's an update on Europa Clippers solar arrays, and another's an announcement from Virgin Galactic on awarding stock to new employees.

Hey, Team Miners crew, tune in tomorrow for Team Miners Deep Space, our show for extended interviews, special editions, and deep dives with some of the most influential professionals in the space industry.

Tomorrow we have Maria's extended chat with Lone Star Data Holding CEO, Chris Stott, talking about the first data center on the moon.

Check it out while you're gardening, out weekend shopping, or while you're out celebrating St Patrick's Day, which is such an American thing.

You don't want to miss it.

[Music] Today we have part of my chat with Chris Stott, CEO and co-founder of Lone Star Data Holdings.

Lone Star had one of the payloads on the IM1 mission that recently landed on the moon, and I started by asking Chris what that experience was like.

We sat there, we were watching, we were tied in to watch with Intuitive Machines, and ironically we were watching Intuitive Machines, so we were not watching the news feeds, right?

Red Mission Control, we've got headsets on, we're watching everything, and so we missed all of the speculation that was going on in the media, right?

And so we were just like watching our friends and colleagues and Intuitive Machines.

We were amazing, by the way, incredible group of people, and that was their super strength, wasn't it?

That was the absolute super strength, their superpower was mission operations, and so they pulled it off too, amazingly, right?

And they really came together and did that, in incredibly difficult circumstances, and they made it look easy.

The first ever soft landing on the moon by a private company on their first attempt, right?

I mean, every superpower in history failed, including ours, on their first attempts.

From us in the United States to the Soviet Union to the Chinese, Indians, everyone failed.

Not Intuitive Machines, not entrepreneurs.

Fantastic stuff.

So then we were watching this whole thing, we were like, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh."

And then we were tracking the different ground stations around the world, seeing what was going on, looking at, I mean, just watching the whole thing, and then just that moment of...

And if you watch the eyes of the people in the room at Intuitive Machines, you could see it on their faces.

Calm professionalism, and that's what you want, all right?

And if they'd have looked panic, we'd have panicked, but they'd never looked panic not once, and they were really good.

Tim Crane led that team, amazing team of people.

Michael Leakey and Colonel Fisher, and then Steve Altamus was in the room, it was all, "Woof!"

Daniel Springer and the team, that was fantastic.

Going on and on.

So I was sitting there with James Burns Montante, our Chief Engineer, and Will Hawkins, our Chief Data Officer and Chief Information Security Officer.

We were both glued to having our big projectors and mission control watching everything.

It was a moment.

And then, because the week before we'd had our moment when we tested everything live in CIS lunar space, on the roots of the moon, right?

And then the week later, or a couple of days later, the following Thursday, we got the word through that our tests had been conducted successfully as well from the surface of the moon.

In the last few hours that the lander was getting sunlight, and intuitive machines were able to pull that off for us, and that was fantastic.

I can absolutely believe it.

It's truly amazing.

And hearing about it, second, third hand here, I was just like, "That is just so cool."

The vision that your company has for the long-term future is something I'm super curious about, because to me, it's like the ultimate air gap is to put something on.

Yeah, vacuum gap.

Yeah, vacuum gap, exactly.

It's our Chief Operating Officer, Mark says.


Oh, that's awesome.

It makes a lot of sense to me.

I mean, it is very cool.

We're not just doing this because we can.

There are a lot of really interesting potential use cases.

Can you walk me through some of those?

Yeah, I mean, we'll think of it this way.

We're a vault tool using apes, and we're taking that next step forward, right?

Small steps and giant leaps.

I mean, we talk about a data loss so bad that happened 2,000 years ago, right?

It's still taught in our schools.

We still feel the shock of the loss of the Library of Alexandria.

I mean, burnt down to the ground.

Don't forget, by Julius Caesar's troops in the middle of the Roman Civil War, right?

On purpose.

And so, you look at something like this, and imagine what they have today.

Where would we be?

Hey, you and I wouldn't be able to talk.

There'd be no power.

There'd be no power stations.

There'd be no internet.

There'd be no communications.

There'd be no nothing.

So, where would we be?

And we've come so close so many times to that actually happening.

And you're in cybersecurity.

You know how close we've come a couple of times.

Our customers first came to us in April 2018 after not Petia had gotten loose in 2017, right?

That was the first ever weapon of mass destruction cyber weapon that the Russians unleashed, and it got loose into networks around the world.

Musk, FedEx, lots of articles and books, that sandworm written about that by Andy, and then Nicole's book, "This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends."

Fascinating, right?

And that's why those customers came to us.

They said, "Oh my gosh, what are we supposed to do?

Where do we keep this?

How do we take a proactive step forward and make sure this actually works?"

And that's our goal is twofold.

Number one, that people look out at night and they see the moon and they go, "Oh my gosh, our data is safe."

The moon is such a perfect place, Maria, that if it wasn't there, we'd have to build it for data storage, right?

It's incredible.

The free cooling, it's so environmentally compliant.

The solar power, the legal regime which enables all of this to happen.

And that's a huge thing all the way through to what we really want to do.

And this vision that we see, the second part of that is we want the moon to be global backup, global refresh, global restore, right?

And why not?

It's there.

It's Earth's largest satellite.

Let's put it to use.

And I know that there's more that's coming.

I mean, you all are busy.

You must be in the middle of a lot of work for the next mission.

Oh, we are.

We're just waiting on the timing on the next mission.

Our payload is built.

So this is this first one was our independence payload where we transmitted the Declaration of Independence and pulled back, refreshed restore, pulled back the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as the first ever documents in human history transmitted off planet for disaster recovery storage, right?

Not just in flights in the middle of the moon.

And well, thank you.

Because a lot of people said, "Why are you doing that?"

And I'm like, "You're kidding me.

I'm an American citizen."

Yeah, we're American.

That's why.

Shine a light in the darkness.

The world's not exactly in a great place right now.

Let's remind everybody what free men and women can do, what American entrepreneurs can do, right?

I mean, let's just get out there and just remind everyone, you know, kind of why we have these republics and democracies around the world just a little bit.

And then our next one is our freedom mission.

And that is eight terabytes of storage.

That's a polo fighter built for us by a company called Skycorp.

And that has been fully tested, thermal VAC, EMI testing, vibration testing.

It is literally sitting on a shelf at Intueta Machines in Houston waiting to be integrated onto their second lunar mission.

Both of these missions were sold out, by the way, with customers.

I believe it.

And ready to serve.


Yeah, I mean, I'm so eagerly looking forward to seeing what happens when a physical data center on the moon is, I mean, that's just, again, like it makes my geek side go, "Wow, that's just, like, it blows my mind."

What's fascinating, isn't it, Ram?

People think, "Oh, because it's nothing like a terrestrial data center.

It'll be equivalent in its capabilities.

But of course, we've been, for the last 60 years, we've been building and putting things in space that don't need people to go fix them.

And everything from helicopters on Mars, running Snapdragon chips and Ubuntu and FIZON SSDs, all the way through to what we do at geostationary satellites that operate in a really awful radiation belt up in the Van Allen's geostationary orbit.

And so, yeah, these are super efficient, no moving parts.

I mean, our next payload runs at peak power of all of eight watts.


The space, we're really good at that.

We have to.

And so, we're bringing the best of space and the best of Silicon Valley to actually tackle this huge problem that humanity has.

And how did we know it's a problem?

Because they're telling us, the customers are going, "Please help, help, help.

How soon can you get this done?


And so, yeah, so, and, but doing it under sovereignty laws, which is tremendous, which is why the moon works.

I mean, under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the moon is not sovereign.

But when you land something, as we just did, that lander and its activities are under American jurisdiction, American regulation and American supervision under the 1967 treaty.

The state of Florida has been a tremendous customer.

And think of that.

One of the fastest-growing states in our great union, in our great republic, taking the very avant-garde step, having the plan to go out and say, "Okay, we're going to try this.

We're going to do this."

In our big data centers in Miami, our backups are in Winter Park.

And we've got a huge amount of data in the state that makes the state run from city to county to our state level.

And for them to say, "Right, we need to do something.

We need to be forward-looking.

We need to be the first state in the union to do this."

And they did it.

And they were our first customer.

And a fantastic group of people to work with, too, up in Tallahassee.

And the guys at Space Florida who made that happen, wow.

Imagine that.

Sometimes, government does work.

Join us tomorrow for our Deep Space episode for my full chat with Chris.

We'll be right back.

Welcome back.

A bit of meta-story to close things out today.

Yesterday, SpaceX's Starship had its third flight test.

I don't know if you heard.

And if you tuned into our show, you'd notice that we were pretty excited about it.

Same with probably you and anyone else you know who's in the space industry.

To those of us in the so-called space bubble, the successful test flight was fantastic progress in the iterative design of Starship.

I mean, look how far they've come in less than a year.

This pace of innovation is astounding.

Meanwhile, the view from the less space-concerned was sometimes different.

The focus was often on what didn't go right.

And the booster didn't land.

Starship broke up on re-entry.

Yes, well, that is true, of course.

But does that mean that the program is a failure and that Starship is a boondoggle?

Well, this is a lot of what's being discussed pretty broadly right now, especially when many people think that every launch needs to go perfectly or that every rocket launched has people on board.

I know I've had to clarify that point for people many times.

Now, folks are very welcome to their opinions and certainly there is room for healthy debate and disagreement here.

But clearly, there's also a lot of work to do for educators, advocates, and communicators to convey that these flight tests are a very necessary part of the learning process, not just for SpaceX or for space organizations, but for any advanced engineering endeavor, really.

Yeah, really, this is your call to action as part of the space industry to spread that word.

Now, that's it for Team Miners for March 15, 2024.

For additional resources from today's report, check out our show notes at space.intuk.com.

We'd love to know what you think of this podcast.

You can email us at space@intuk.com or submit the survey in the show notes.

Your feedback ensures that we deliver the information that keeps you a step ahead in the rapidly changing space industry.

We privilege the N2K and podcast site Team Miners as part of the daily routine of many of the most influential leaders and operators in the public and private sector, from the Fortune 500 to many of the world's preeminent intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

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We make you smarter about your team while making your team smarter.

Learn more at N2K.com.

This episode was produced by Alice Caruth, mixing by Elliott Peltzman and Trey Hester with original music and sound design by Elliott Peltzman.

Our associate producer is Liz Stokes.

Our executive producer is John Iben.

Our VP is Brandon Karp and I'm Maria Varmausis.

Thanks for listening and have a wonderful weekend.

Team Miners.


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