A Mass Abundant World, with Karan and Neel Kunjur (K2 Space)


A single Starship launching three times per week would be capable of delivering more mass to orbit in a single year than humanity has launched to date. In a post-Starship world, will mass and design constraints change for the space industry? Brothers Karan and Neel Kunjur believe it will.With their startup K2 Space, the Kunjurs hope to take advantage of a mass-abundant future. The company emerged from stealth last month with an $8.5M seed round co-led by First Round Capital and Republic Capital.


Today, the Pathfinder podcast brings on its first sibling/cofounder duo. Before founding K2, CEO Karan spent a decade at Boston Consulting Group and helped lead Text IQ, an artificial intelligence company, through to a nine-figure exit. CTO Neel spent 6 years at SpaceX developing avionics systems for the Dragon spacecraft and then went on to become a senior electrical systems engineer at electric aircraft company Kittyhawk. 

Mo, Neel and Karan discuss K2’s origin story, optimizing for mass-scale, a post-Starship world, and much more… 

Today’s episode is brought to you by SpiderOak Mission Systems, a US-based software company that builds space cybersecurity products and solutions for civilian, military, and commercial space operations. Learn more at https://spideroak.com/ 

• Chapters • 

00:00 Intro 

00:30 SpiderOak Ad 

01:15 K2 Space overview 

05:00 The problem K2 is looking to solve 

06:34 A mass constraint vs mass abundant world 

10:56 Other manufacturers optimizing for mass scale? 

12:48 How the cost of JWST skyrocketed because of mass constraints 

18:12 How is K2 going to drop costs? 

22:04 Learnings from SpaceX 

23:44 Sizing the demand-side of large-scale buses 

26:03 SpiderOak Ad 

26:51 Defense, commercial, and scientific use-cases 

30:22 Customer traction 

32:15 The future of large-scale buses in LEO 

34:00 The K2 advisory board & team 

38:45 Predicting the success of the first Starship launch 

46:50 Starship launch costs 

48:30 Where does the K2 name come from? 

49:37 Favorite sci-fi book or movie? 

51:55 Another space startup that really excites you 

53:15 When do you think we’ll land on Mars?