Launcher awarded U.S. Space Force SpaceWERX Orbital Prime Contract

Illustration: Orbiter performing an engine burn while holding the target satellite debris to lower its orbit.
Launcher has been awarded a Phase 1 STTR under the SpaceWERX Orbital Prime Program

Launcher, together with its partner Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced it had been selected by SpaceWERX for a STTR Phase I in the amount of $249,000 to investigate how its orbit transfer vehicle, Orbiter, might enable In-space Service Assembly and Manufacturing (ISAM) capabilities being explored by the Department of the Air Force (DAF) and United States Space Force (USSF) through the Orbital Prime program.  

Orbital Prime was created to accelerate the commercial ISAM market toward a use case of Active Debris Remediation.  The Air Force Research Laboratory and SpaceWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through a faster proposal-to-award timeline, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and reducing bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The DAF began offering ‘The Open Topic’ SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded, and now, under contract as of September 7, 2022, Launcher will start its journey to provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

Illustration:  Orbiter equipped with robotic arm and sensors enabling it to perform In-space Service Assembly and Manufacturing (ISAM) or Active Debris Remediation.
Illustration:  Orbiter on final approach to target satellite debris for Active Debris Remediation.

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