Starship is Misunderstood, with Casey Handmer (Terraform Industries)


Our episode today brings Casey Handmer to the hot seat. Casey is the founder of Terraform Industries, a startup focused on scaling technologies to produce cheap natural gas with sunlight and air. He also happens to be one of the leading experts on the impact Starship will have on the world.


Our guest this week not only has a PhD in theoretical astrophysics but is also a pilot, musician, entrepreneur, language enthusiast, and a thought leader on how humanity can create a better future for itself.  No, we’re not constructing a dating profile, but describing Casey Handmer, the founder of Terraform Industries, a startup focused on scaling technologies to produce cheap natural gas with sunlight and air. 

Today, Casey joins us not to talk shop about his company’s innovations but to share his vast knowledge on a subject he’s deeply passionate about—Starship, Starlink, and the future of space exploration. Casey has been a prolific writer on these topics, sharing his insights and analyses on his blog since first discussing Starship in 2019. He has a very clear message: the industry significantly underestimates what Starship is capable of and the impact it will have on society at large.

Additionally, Mo and Casey chat:

  • The Artemis program and NASA’s future
  • The role of Starlink in society
  • Mars exploration and humanity’s future
  • Energy production beyond fossil fuels
  • The future of science fiction

And much, much more…this is one of the most special discussions we’ve had, so don’t miss it.

• Chapters •

00:00 – Intro & Epsilon Ad

02:45 – Career arc and Terraform Industries

06:33 – Humanity will move beyond fossil fuels by 2040

09:33 – Everyone must read Casey’s blog

10:13 – Is Starship still misunderstood?

16:12 – In what ways does Starship challenge traditional design philosophies

19:33 – Launch capacity

22:25 – $10m launch costs

25:14 – Epsilon Ad Break

25:43 – HLS & why Artemis hasn’t been redesigned

28:24 – Thoughts on Blue Moon

29:43 – Why does a non-Starship Artemis program not move the needle?

34:18 – Mars & NASA

36:47 – Is Mars a business?

37:55 – Startups building in this new regime

41:09 – Starship IFTs

42:36 – When will we see the first payload deploying Starship launch?

43:18 – Does the Starlink model work without Starship?

44:28 – Is the Falcon enough to replenish Starlink satellites?

45:24 – Will there be political support for a future with Starship?

52:05 – How will Starship affect the science fiction genre?

• Show notes •

Casey’s blog —

Terraform’s website —

Casey’s socials —

Mo’s socials —

Payload’s socials — /

Pathfinder archive — Watch: Pathfinder archive — Listen: