I mentioned last week that Altius Space Machines signed its first contract, and I wanted to give a few details now that I’m no longer on travel. Altius will probably eventually start doing the traditional “press release” thing, but for now a simple blog post should suffice.
This first contract is for developing a small-scale avionics box and GN&C solution for a DARPA-funded project underway at Ventions LLC, of San Francisco, to develop, integrate, and flight-test small-scale propulsion technologies suitable for use in eventual nanosat launchers. The lightweight compact avionics box, including GN&C hardware and software, would provide all the electronic control and communication capabilities necessary to operate and guide a nanosat launcher upper stage to orbit. In many ways this is similar to the control boxes done by Armadillo and Masten, but on a much smaller, more compact and minimalist scale.
I’m really pleased with the opportunity to work with Adam London and his crew at Ventions. They’ve been mostly staying below the radar for the past few years, developing and testing innovative small-scale rocket propulsion hardware. They’ve got a very talented group, and I was really impressed to see the engine and pump solutions they’ve been coming up with. I look forward to working with them on this project as well as potential future efforts.
The other reason why I’m very excited about this contract is because it means that Altius is now able to bring on-board a key member of its technical team: my former MSS-colleague, Ian Garcia. Ian will be heading up this Ventions contract, and will also be leading other GN&C efforts here at Altius. Ian has been an amazing guy to work with over the years, and his talent and drive will be a great addition to Altius’ rapid prototyping team.