Space News reports that Saturn Satellite Networks has reached a deal to acquire NovaWurks, a California company that builds modular satellites.
Saturn and Novawurks did not disclose the terms of the transaction. Tom Choi, Saturn co-founder and executive chairman, told SpaceNews by email that the deal is “well into seven figures in U.S. dollars.”
Saturn, a firm founded by former executives of fleet operator ABS of Bermuda to build Nationsat, a digital platform for small geostationary satellites, signed a definitive agreement to acquire NovaWurks, a company that has conducted demonstrations of its Hyper Integrated Satlets (HISats) including a 2018 spaceflight demonstration for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Saturn plans to acquire NovaWurks over three years for cash and stocks. Once the deal is completed, NovaWurks will become a wholly owned Saturn subsidiary and its shareholders will become minority shareholders of Saturn.
Through the acquisition, Saturn seeks to accelerate its Nationsat program.
HOUSTON (NanoRacks PR) — NanoRacks successfully deployed NovaWurks’ SIMPL satellite via the Company’s Kaber Microsatellite Deployer (KABER) from the International Space Station (ISS) early this morning. This is the second Kaber-class deployment that NanoRacks completed this week.
SIMPL went beyond standard satellite deployment from the Space Station. For this program, NovaWurks Inc. pioneered the Hyper-Integrated Satlet (HISat™) technology, a concept to assemble larger satellites from small independent “cells” called satlets. Specifically, SIMPL was delivered to the ISS via NanoRacks in a few larger groups, and then assembled this week by the astronaut crew utilizing some smaller components.
Frustrated over delays with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, DARPA is considering launching an innovative experimental satellite on India’s PSLV rocket, SpaceNewsreports.
Jeremy Palmer, program manager for DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, told attendees at the Milsatcom USA conference that officials are hoping to launch the eXperiment for Cellular Integration Technology (eXCITe) satellite during the second half of fiscal year 2018, i.e., from April to September 2018.
The eXCITe spacecraft consists of 14 small satlets aggregated together into a single payload weighing 155 kg. The satlets, which are supplied by NovaWurks, have autonomous capabilities and are capable of operating individually or being aggregated into larger, more capable satellites.
eXCITe was originally scheduled to fly as a secondary payload aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9. It would have been deployed from a Spaceflight-supplied Sherpa payload dispenser, which aggregates smaller secondary payloads.
However, repeated slips in SpaceX’s launch schedule required Spaceflight to seek alternative rides to space for payloads that would have been deployed by the Sherpa dispenser.
DARPA would need a U.S. government waiver to fly eXCITe on the PSLV. The government has been granting an increasing number of waivers to American satellite manufacturers who say there is a shortage of domestic launch opportunities.
U.S. launch companies have pushed back agains the waivers, saying India’s PSLV and GSLV launchers are subsidized by the nation’s space agency, ISRO. A number of U.S. companies are developing launch vehicles specifically aimed at the small satellite market, but none has yet made a succesful flight to orbit.
Second Mission for HISats Is Designed to Explore Experimentation of Cellular Integration Technology
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., NovaWurks — NovaWurks™ Inc., a provider of high-technology space products and services, announced today that the company’s flagship technology, the Hyper-Integrated Satlet (HISat™), is scheduled for launch into space through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Phoenix program. As part of Phoenix’s goal to develop new satellite architectures, DARPA plans to launch its eXperiment for Cellular Integration Technology (eXCITe) spacecraft to validate the concept of an aggregated satlet system cluster in low Earth orbit (LEO).
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., May 2, 2016 (NovaWurks PR) – NovaWurks™ Inc., a provider of high technology space products and services, today announced it has signed a licensing agreement with Arkisys, a forward-thinking provider of large space platforms and innovative spacecraft solutions.
The agreement serves to leverage NovaWurks’ Hyper-Integrated Satlet (HISat™) technology in applying Arkisys’ vision for the next wave of in situ assembled space elements and platforms. As a biologically inspired technology enabling unlimited configuration and aggregation of flexible and reliable satlets, NovaWurks’ HISats are radically changing the way spacecraft are designed and deployed. Forged from decades of experience with spacecraft systems engineering and architecture, Arkisys merges flight experience with the Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s ability to execute. By leveraging both companies’ expertise and leveraging advanced robotics technology the future of scalable, assemble-able, ‘right sized’ space is here.
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., Feb 9, 2016 (NovaWurks PR) —NovaWurks™ Inc., a provider of high technology space products and services, announced today that Bill Crandall has been named the company’s new Chief of Advanced Projects. Crandall, previously a senior program manager at NovaWurks, will manage the growing commercial division for space-based services and technologies at NovaWurks. With more than 25 years of experience working in all aspects of aerospace-related hardware design, building and product testing, Crandall will be responsible for business development and project management in his latest role.
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. & SEATTLE, June 24, 2015 (NovaWurks/Spaceflight Services PR) – NovaWurks™ Inc. and Spaceflight Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Spaceflight Industries, Inc. offering commercial rideshare launch services, today announced a signed launch contract for a NovaWurks Payload Test Bed (PTB) mission planned for the third quarter of 2017. PTB-2, the second of the company’s Payload Test Bed missions, is scheduled to launch into a sun-synchronous orbit on Spaceflight’s SHERPA in-space transportation platform aboard a U.S. commercial launch vehicle.
Flown on NovaWurks’ Hyper-Integrated Satlet (HISat™) enabled satellite bus, the PTB-2 mission will carry customer demonstration payloads, experiments or subsystems to enable organizations to test capabilities in space at a fraction of the cost of dedicated missions. The PTB-2 mission will provide hosting services such as power, attitude control and communications for up to 75 kg of customer payloads.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has proposed spending $126.7 million on 10 space programs in FY 2016, including two initiatives designed to radically reduce the cost of launching payloads into space and a number of programs focused on in-orbit satellite servicing.
The budget is $53.2 million less than the $179.9 million will spend in the current fiscal year. While three programs would see major reductions in funding, DARPA would also start three new programs, including one focused on advanced propulsion technologies. (more…)
DARPA’s ambitious Phoenix program, which aims to transform the way satellites are built and operated, will get an orbital test next year in a satellite launch that will combine the efforts of two up and coming NewSpace companies.
NovaWurks, of Los Alaimos, Calif., has signed an agreement with Spaceflight Inc., of Seattle, to launch the eXCITe spacecraft during the third quarter of 2015. NovaWurks’ tiny “satlet” will be part of approximately 2,650 lbs. (1,200 kg.) of other rideshare spacecraft that will aboard Spaceflight’s SHERPA in-space transportation platform.
DARPA has awarded a contract worth up to $42.6 million to NovaWurks of Los Alamitos, Calif., for work on the Phoenix project, an ambitious effort to recycle parts from dead satellites now in orbit.
The company’s Phoenix Phase 2 contract has a base value of $30.7 million and four options that if exercised would raise the total to $42.6 million, according to the contract award document. Last year, Novawurks received a $2.8 million Phase 1 contract.
Jonathan Goff’s Altius Space Machines is among five companies and a NASA field center sharing about $36 million in contract awards in DARPA’s Phoenix Technologies program, which aims to harvest components from dead satellites for reuse.
Space News reports that Goff’s Louisville, Colo., company will build an extendable boom for the Phoenix spacecraft. DARPA would not reveal how much Altius will receive under the contract.
Other winners of Phoenix contracts include: Space Systems/Loral; Intelsat; MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates; NovaWurks; and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Los Alamitos CA (NovaWurks PR) — The DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TTO) has announced that NovaWurks, Inc. has been awarded a portion of the Phoenix Technologies contract to develop and demonstrate technologies to copperatively harvest and re-use valuable components from retired, non-operating satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO). The project will also demonstrate the ability to create new space systems at greatly reduced costs.
The $2.8M contract is the first of many such projects that NovaWurks will receive in this the companies first year of operation.