SAIC to build small satellites with startup Rogue Space
SAIC is partnering with startup Rogue Space Systems to develop small satellites for in-space services, the two companies announced on Sept 20th.
Based in Reston, Virginia, SAIC is a $7.4 billion government services technology contractor. Rogue Space is a two-year-old startup based in Laconia, New Hampshire. The company designed a cubesat known as Orbital Robot for in-orbit services such as inspection and repairs.
According to the agreement announced Tuesday at the Air, Space & Cyber conference, SAIC will integrate two Rogue cubesats for a planned 2023 mission. Going forward, SAIC will help develop Rogue’s fleet of Orbital Robots for space situational awareness, in-space services, assembly and manufacturing.
“SAIC and Rogue bring unique skills and expertise that will support the growing demand for services in Earth orbit, the cislunar domain and beyond,” said David Ray, senior vice president of SAIC’s space business unit.
Part of SAIC’s space business strategy is to partner with smallsat developers that need access to integration and testing facilities.
Jeromy Grimmett, CEO of Rogue Space, said SAIC’s government expertise will help reach new customers. “We are excited to partner with SAIC as we serve the growing demand for in-space services and space situational awareness,” he said. “SAIC will also help Rogue identify business development opportunities.”
Rogue is one of dozens of small businesses selected by the U.S. Space Force’s SpaceWERX organization for a program known as Orbital Prime. The company submitted 13 proposals and 11 of them won Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I awards, adding up to about $2.75 million in funding.
Also last year, SAIC joined Space Foundation in announcing the first inclusive space cohort of six companies representing small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses for a joint Space Commerce Entrepreneurship Program. The six companies were selected based on diverse capabilities and ability to meet the mission-critical needs of SAIC Space sector customers.
The announcement was made at the Space Commerce Entrepreneurship Program luncheon held at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs in conjunction with the 36th annual Space Symposium, the premier assembly for the global space ecosystem, hosted by Space Foundation. The luncheon featured presentations from SAIC, Space Development Agency (SDA), and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on high-level objectives and capabilities required for future missions.
The Space Commerce Entrepreneurship Program helps small businesses and individuals navigate the global space ecosystem through its Workforce Development Roadmap. The program was first successfully piloted in 2019 in workshops across the continental U.S. by Space Foundation’s Center for Innovation and Education under a U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency grant and today offers live workshops and online programs in collaboration with public and private enterprises, government agencies, universities, accelerators/incubators, and local communities. Entrepreneurs gain key insights that address the most common challenges in conducting business in the space industry. A complementary Junior Space Entrepreneur Program, offered for teachers and students, was recognized by Fast Company with a 2020 World Changing Idea award.