Space startups need to start preparing for a post-Starship world

SpaceX’s super-heavy launch system Starship is poised to fundamentally reshape the space economy. The 394-foot-tall vehicle, 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 with 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 think through Starship’s super-heavy implications.

While the trio diverges on many fine points, they all agreed that founders should be thinking now about how Starship could affect their operations, for better or worse.

“Starship has such high importance to the space sector that probably almost everyone who has a space company has to war game what that means for their business,” Roettgen said.

Changing the face of launch …

The most obvious way in which Starship is likely to revolutionize the industry is by continuing the trend SpaceX firmly established with the debut of Falcon 9: further lowering the cost of launching mass to space. Starship will be capable of carrying 100 to 150 tons of stuff to orbit, a paradigm-shifting quantity that far outstrips the payload capacity of any rocket that humans have ever designed.

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