Winning Pitches by Resilient Solutions 21, Starfish Space and Space Domain Awareness Address Three Key Ways to Improve Autonomous Space Operations
December 3, 2020, ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Hyperspace Challenge, a business accelerator run by the Air Force Research Laboratory and CNM Ingenuity for the U.S. Space Force, announced today the first, second and third place winners of its 2020 cohort, which focused on identifying and developing safe and secure autonomous technology for the space domain.
The 2020 cohort’s first place winner was Resilient Solutions 21 (RS21), a data science analytics company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. RS21 is leveraging machine learning and precision oncology techniques to predict satellite systems failures and provide operators with advance warning.
The cohort’s second place winner was Seattle-based Starfish Space, which is building space “tugs” that can transport and service satellites on demand. The company’s autonomous satellite servicing technology enables it to extend the life and use of aging satellites, and remove space debris, more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
Orlando, Florida-based Space Domain Awareness, a tracking service for CubeSats and intentional debris in low earth orbit, took third place. The company’s technology will enable the rapidly growing number of satellite operators to identify and locate their equipment in space using the world’s first “orbital license plate.”
The companies were awarded $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, to help them defray costs associated with continued technology development.
The winners were part of the Hyperspace Challenge’s accelerator cohort that began in September and comprised 13 teams including 11 startups and two universities. The winning pitches culminated two months of direct collaboration between the startups and government agencies, and laid the groundwork for ongoing partnership to explore the potential development of the winning technologies into a working solution for the government. All cohort participant pitches can be viewed here.
“This year we amped up the Hyperspace Challenge to include not only startups, but university teams. As demonstrated by the winners, this year was a tremendous success, and highlighted the value of bringing together a diverse cohort of entrepreneurs and students to demonstrate how cutting-edge innovation in the private sector can be brought to bear for National Security Space autonomy problems,” noted Gabe Mounce, director of the Space Force Accelerator Program. “We’re excited to watch the next steps in each participant’s progress, and to see what that means for space advancement.”
About Hyperspace Challenge
Hyperspace Challenge was created in 2018 by the Air Force and CNM Ingenuity to accelerate partnerships between the government and startups to shift space innovation into hyperdrive. The accelerator, which is now directed by CNM Ingenuity in conjunction with the new U.S. Space Force, runs annually, and cultivates networks in an innovation ecosystem prioritizing connection and community over bureaucracy. To date, the accelerator has supported 37 small businesses and universities from across the U.S. and abroad.