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Starship set for launch; SpaceX IPO

November 16, 2023

SpaceX’s giant Starship has received all the necessary approvals for launch on November 17th. The FAA, as well as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, issued their approvals on November 15th.

The launch window opens at 0n 13.00 pm GMT on November 17th.

The launch is insured for $500 million. The sum is reportedly the largest sum allowed for 3rd-party liability insurance as specified by the Commercial Space Launch Act.

The flight, designated Orbital Flight Test 2, is not in truth a full orbital flight given that the plan is to ‘land’ off the coast of Hawaii about 90 minutes after lift-off.

Separately, Bloomberg has reported that Elon Musk is planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for SpaceX during 2024. However, various observers have suggested that much depends on the Starship rocket and its regular use by SpaceX.

Bloomberg says in order to get ready for the IPO, SpaceX has been moving the satellite unit’s assets to a wholly owned subsidiary that would ultimately be spun off in the IPO, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations are private.

The IPO could include both divisions of SpaceX, that is the rocket side of the business as well as the broadband Starlink service. Alternatively, the IPO could just focus on Starlink itself.

A Starlink IPO will help reward the company’s existing long-term investors but also raising additional funding and provide a driver for the industry’s consolidation: it could enable the use of listed shares for scrip bids, meaning the issuance of new Starlink shares to take over competitors.

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