April 27, 2016

SpaceX founding team launches Vector Space Systems to redefine space commerce

TUSCON, Ariz.–Vector Space Systems, a Micro Satellite space launch enterprise comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, announced April 26 it has secured more than $1 million in angel funding at Space 2.0 in Silicon Valley.

Vector Space Systems, which sports a roster of technology and aerospace giants to provide industry insight, expertise and leadership, was formed to fundamentally change the dynamics and economics of the space launch industry.

“I am truly honored and thrilled to be leading a team of industry veterans on such an important and pivotal space startup,” said Jim Cantrell, Vector Space Systems CEO and founding member of SpaceX. “ We see innovation and value creation being the strongest in the Micro Satellite sector and Vector Space Systems will create a development platform that will foster this innovation and bring the reality of space to a much larger pool of entrepreneurs who don’t need to be space experts. I am likewise honored to have such an influential group of seed investors who will bring much needed Silicon Valley DNA to the space business and will deeply influence our business, sales, marketing and product development strategies.”

More than just another satellite launch company, Vector Space Systems connects space startups with affordable and reliable launch-enabling platforms and vehicles at a cost point never before possible for accessing space. Featuring the only launch system dedicated to serving the rapidly growing Micro satellite market, Vector Space Systems aims to foster innovation throughout the market segment to spark space commerce growth through reliable and frequent launch opportunities.

In addition, Vector Space Systems is developing a platform approach to broaden the access of space technology to non-experts, extending the traditional launch vehicle only model to include space systems that permit anyone to innovate and create space applications without the need for hiring an entirely new satellite development team. 

“Space is an expanding economic frontier that is drawing the collective creativity and innovation of the commercial industries,” said Nick Karanglean, CEO of Trident Systems. “What we need are technologies like those Vector Space Systems is bringing in order to lower the barrier of entry to space and to enable our technologies to fly and build profitable enterprises around the space technologies we possess. I’m investing in Vector Space Systems because it is the right team to make this happen and its technical approach is clearly heads and shoulders above the rest!”

The space industry as a whole, and micro space developers in particular, need a platform that not only provides the frequent and low cost access to space, but also lowers the technology barriers and need for specialized expertise to do what they do best — create applications and commerce in space. Vector Space Systems gives space startups a solution to the slow launch rates and fixed infrastructure of the large launch vehicles, providing platform products that will broaden the appeal of space commerce to both app builders and innovators.

Micro Satellites weighing less than 50 kg are forecast to account for 75 percent of all satellites launched by number by 2020 (Space Intelligence Report 2015).  The growth of the market is already here with 175 of these satellites launched in 2015 alone. This Micro Satellite market is perceived as filler to the larger launch vehicles, treated much like excess cargo that gets manifested where extra space is available. Vector Space Systems will specifically service the Micro Satellite market with low cost and frequent orbit launches that organizations can choose rather than force Micro Satellites onto orbit “bus rides” based on someone else’s schedule and destination.

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