The Spaceport Company, a startup focused on developing floating launch pads for space rockets, is among the 17 companies selected to receive funding from the National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) program. Administered by the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), the NSIC program has allocated $35 million in funding for 2023 to support early-stage companies from various technology sectors.
The NSIC program was established in response to concerns that U.S. startups working on technologies with national security implications were facing challenges in securing capital from trusted domestic sources. As a result, some of these startups were turning to foreign investors, potentially risking the loss of their intellectual property to adversaries.
By providing funding and support to early-stage companies, the NSIC program aims to address these challenges and foster the development of cutting-edge technologies in the United States, while also safeguarding national security interests.
The inclusion of The Spaceport Company in the NSIC program indicates the government’s interest in supporting innovative space-related ventures and enhancing the domestic space industry’s capabilities.
The Spaceport Company’s recent prototype demonstration of a sea-based launch platform in the Gulf of Mexico has caught the attention of the Department of Defense (DoD). As a result, the company has been selected as one of the recipients of funding under the National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) program.
The NSIC funding will support the “design and development of its first full platform for sea-based rocket launches.” The DoD sees mobile launch pads that can operate at sea as a potential solution to the increasing congestion at major launch sites. By utilizing sea-based launch platforms, companies like The Spaceport Company can enable more rocket launches in diverse locations without posing environmental risks to populated areas or shore-based assets.
The NSIC program has been actively providing funding to various ventures in the space industry, aiming to support innovative technologies and services with national security applications. Notably, previous NSIC funding recipients include Xplore, a space infrastructure services startup, Starfish Space, a satellite-servicing company, and Nuview, an Earth observation startup.