The Federation Adds Two New Associate Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is excited to announce two new members have joined at the Associate Level: Deep Space Industries and Parabilis Space Technologies.

“Our newest members represent the diversity of the rapidly growing U.S. commercial space industry,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “CSF’s growing membership is a testament to the benefits of combining American ingenuity and private sector capital to enable new innovations and expand the United States’ leadership in space. We are excited to add these two new and unique voices to our team.”

Deep Space Industries is a space transportation company developing and building technology that dramatically lowers the cost of access to deep space, according to CEO, Bill Miller. Deep Space Industries is developing a unique, low-cost spacecraft capable of conducting deep space science, exploration and commercial missions from GEO to anywhere in the inner solar system, at a fraction of today’s cost. A key component of the strategy is the development of high performance, launch safe rocket engines, which are already being sold to satellite manufacturers around the world.

Parabilis designs, develops, tests, and flies small spacecraft solutions and affordable propulsion systems (including thrusters and small launch vehicle stages). Parabilis has offices in San Marcos, CA and a propulsion test facility in Lakeside, CA.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, CSF and its 80+ members are laying the foundation for a sustainable space economy and democratizing access to space for scientists, students, civilians, and businesses. CSF members are responsible for the creation of thousands of high-tech jobs driven by billions of dollars in investment. Through the promotion of technology innovation, CSF is guiding the expansion of Earth’s economic sphere, bolstering U.S. leadership in aerospace, and inspiring America’s next generation of engineers and explorers.

Deep Space Industries Raises $3.5 Million

SAN JOSE, Calif. (DSI PR) — Deep Space Industries (DSI), a leading space technology company, announced today the closing of the first tranche of its Series A funding round. The company raised just over $3.5M from private investors. The funding will be used to develop MeteorTM, the company’s new launch-safe bipropellant rocket engine, and continue the ongoing development of the XplorerTM spacecraft, the company’s deep space exploration platform scheduled for launch in 2020.

“Deep Space Industries has rapidly developed a leadership position in the space technology market”, said Eric Uhrhane, one of several private investors in this round. “The propulsion and spacecraft technologies this team have developed over the last few years will dramatically lower the cost of access to deep space, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

The company recently announced two significant contracts for its water-based Comet propulsion systems for small satellites, and plans to release Meteor, its second-generation propulsion system, later in 2018.

“With the growing interest in our green propulsion systems, this funding round ensures that we’ll be able to meet customer demand, while also moving forward with our more advanced systems and spacecraft,” said Bill Miller, chief executive of DSI. “Our continued investor support is appreciated as we work to lower the cost of high performance missions in Earth orbit, and beyond.”

Deep Space Industries plans to launch the first private deep space mission in 2020, using its Xplorer spacecraft. This funding round allows the company to accelerate the development of this compact, affordable, and versatile exploration spacecraft that can be used for a wide range of scientific and commercial missions in Earth orbit, and throughout the inner solar system.

About Deep Space Industries

Deep Space Industries (DSI) is a Silicon Valley-based space technology company dedicated to making space resources available to fuel humankind’s expansion into space. DSI is developing a suite of technologies intended to dramatically lower the cost of undertaking high-performance missions in both Earth orbit and deep space. Its first commercial offerings have been low-cost, launch-safe propulsion systems, which are a key missing piece for a wide range of low-cost missions. DSI is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in Florida and Luxembourg. For more information, visit: www.DeepSpaceIndustries.com

Deep Space Industries to Provide Comet Satellite Propulsion for BlackSky, LeoStella

SAN JOSE, Calif. (DSI PR) — Deep Space Industries (DSI) announced today that it has signed a contract to provide its Comet water-based satellite propulsion systems for the BlackSky Earth observation constellation of smallsats. DSI will provide an initial block of 20 water thrusters for the BlackSky satellites which are scheduled to start launching later this year.

This announcement comes on the heels of Spaceflight Industries’ recent $150 million funding and the development of LeoStella LLC, a joint venture between Spaceflight Industries and Thales Alenia Space. LeoStella is developing a Seattle-based facility to manufacture the low-cost, high-performance BlackSky satellites and is tasked with building the next 20 spacecraft with the Comet propulsion technology between now and 2020.

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Last of XCOR’s Founders Leaves Company

Doug Jones

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — Deep Space Industries is pleased to announce that Doug Jones, formerly chief test engineer at XCOR, is joining the company’s growing team as director of propulsion systems.

“We see Doug as one of the top rocket engineers in the country, and a great addition to our first-class team of small-spacecraft engineers,” said Bill Miller, the chief executive officer of Deep Space Industries.  “He will be helping us develop the high performance, inexpensive propulsion that is critical to radically lowering the cost of deep space exploration.”

Mr. Jones has designed, built and tested over a dozen different rocket designs for a wide range of customers, including two manned vehicles. Doug has decades of aerospace engineering experience ranging from liquid rocket engine design to vehicle system optimization, and has flown aboard a rocket aircraft multiple times while serving as flight test engineer during the development of the XCOR X-Racer.

“Doug Jones is joining DSI at the perfect moment to lead our in-house development of the high-performance propulsion system for our Prospector series of deep space missions,” said Grant Bonin, DSI’s chief technology officer. “We couldn’t be more excited.”

Editor’s Note: And then there were none. Jeff Greason, Dan DeLong and Aleta Jackson preceded Jones out the door. There are no more founders at XCOR.

DSI Delivers Space Dirt to NASA

Containers of asteroid simulant are stacked up and ready for delivery to NASA. (Credit: Deep Space Industries)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Deep Space Industries recently delivered 3.5 gallons of dirt to NASA. But this wasn’t ordinary dirt; it was developed to simulate the material found on an asteroid or moon.

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Questions Raised Over Brian Cox Documentary on Virgin Galactic & Commercial Space

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By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Back in February, Professor Brian Cox traveled here to Mojave with his friends Richard and Sam Branson to watch the third glide flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity.

Bowled over by what he saw even before the suborbital tourism vehicle glided overhead, Cox gave what amounted to a rousing endorsement of Virgin Galactic and SpaceShipTwo to a gathering of company employees.

“People ask me a lot because I’m a space geek and I’m obviously an evangelist for space, ‘Would you fly to space?” Cox said with Richard Branson seated beside him. “And I’ve always said, ‘Well yes and no, because in some sense it’s a dangerous thing to do.’ However, the moment I walked in this hangar and saw that aircraft, I thought, I want to get on that aircraft. So the answer is now is 100 percent yes.”

What was not widely known at the time was that Cox was filming a BBC-commissioned documentary about commercial space. And the company the corporation commissioned to co-produce it, Sundog Pictures, is owned and run by none other than Cox’s good friend, Sam Branson.

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Smallsat 2016: A Closer Look at DSI’s Prospector-1 Mission

Prospector-1 mission (Credit: DSI)
Prospector-1 mission (Credit: DSI)

Deep Space Industries’ Grant Bonin provided more details this week about the company’s Prospector-1 asteroid mission at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah.  Below is a summary based on the tweets of Jeff Foust ‏(@jeff_foust) and David Hurst ‏(@OrbitalDave).

Enjoy!

Grant Bonin
Deep Space Industries

  • Prospector-1 will be the first commercial spacecraft sent to an asteroid
  • Prospector-1 is a 50-kg spacecraft whose main objective is to look for extractable water
  • Water will be key to the cis-lunar economy
  • Company examining 6 “very attractive” asteroids to explore
  • There’s a lot we still don’t know about asteroids – two asteroids that appear similar can be very different
  • Prospector-1 will attempt to soft land on asteroid at the end of its surveying mission to study regolith
  • Landing will also validate policy regime for commercial asteroid resources
  • Prospector-1 has midwave and visible infrared imaging for imaging asteroid and neutron spectrometer to study subsurface hydrogen
  • Spacecraft will launch as a secondary payload, use its own chemical rocket stage to leave Earth orbit for the asteroid
  • DSI will use super heated water for spacecraft propulsion

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DSI, UTIAS Demonstrate Autonomous Spacecraft Maneuvering

CanX-4 and CanX-5 are a pair of identical nanosatellites built by the Space Flight Laboratory, and launched in June 2014. (Credit: UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory)
CanX-4 and CanX-5 are a pair of identical nanosatellites built by the Space Flight Laboratory, and launched in June 2014. (Credit: UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — The world’s first demonstration of autonomous spacecraft maneuvering was recently completed by Silicon Valley-based Deep Space Industries (DSI) and the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) of Toronto, Canada. Using their highly-successful CanX-4 and CanX-5 pair of nanosatellites, SFL operators executed a DSI-defined experiment on-orbit, in which the world’s first spacecraft-to-spacecraft orbit maneuver was commanded by one satellite and executed by the other.

In this experiment, one of the two spacecraft (CanX-4) autonomously programmed the other (CanX-5) to perform an orbit change using its on-board propulsion system, over a shared S-band Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) radio. CanX-5 subsequently executed the maneuver, raising its orbit, as confirmed by operators at SFL’s Mission Control Center (MCC) in Toronto and data from the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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DSI Forms Strategic Partnership With Solid Prototype, Inc.

 Deep Space Industries is planning a series of reconnaissance spacecraft which will be sent in search of mineral-rich asteroids.  (Credit:  Bryan Versteeg, Deep Space Industries)
Deep Space Industries is planning a series of reconnaissance spacecraft which will be sent in search of mineral-rich asteroids. (Credit: Bryan Versteeg, Deep Space Industries)

Houston, TXDecember 1, 2014.  Deep Space Industries and Solid Prototype Inc. today announced a strategic partnership to revolutionize spacecraft design and production through Solid Prototype’s 3D printing services, targeted at reducing fabrication costs, speeding turnaround times for new designs, and eliminating mass from spacecraft structures.

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