SpaceX is back in the patent and moon race

SpaceX filed seven patent applications of February 2019; requesting early publication. Six of these are for antenna systems and one for a network application.  SpaceX only filed three patents between 2005 and 2018, so this is a big change in strategy. Maybe they are trying to ensure they get any future contract for returning to the Moon, as they are now working with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to advance their technology to vertically land large rockets on the Moon. This includes advancing models to assess engine plume interaction with lunar regolith (soil). SpaceX will also work with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to advance technology needed to transfer propellant in orbit. This latter will be needed for the company’s Starship space vehicle.