Astrobotic acquires Masten House Techniques for $4.5M

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Astrobotic’s acquisition of Masten House Techniques brings the corporate heritage of over 600 vertical take a look at flights and landings.

Astrobotic has acquired Masten House Techniques together with its whole portfolio of superior area expertise developed over 18 years of operation for $4.5 million. Masten has accomplished greater than 600 vertical takeoff and touchdown (VTVL) rocket flights since its founding in 2004.

Masten has testing infrastructure for a spread of various rocket applied sciences, from single-element injector testing to 25,000-pound thrust rocket engine testing to touchdown simulation testing. It additionally has a portfolio of area expertise, which incorporates applied sciences for lunar night time survival, prompt touchdown pad development, lunar water mining expertise and lunar infrastructure development applied sciences. 

The corporate has aided in NASA’s Flight Alternatives Program by offering flights to NASA-sponsored payloads to organize them for spaceflight since 2011. Masten has additionally flown payloads for present and future lunar and interplanetary missions, together with Astrobotic’s OPAL terrain relative navigation system, Honeybee Robotics’ PlanetVac system and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s lander imaginative and prescient system for the Mars Curiosity mission.

The mixed corporations’ greater than 200 staff will proceed working in Pittsburgh, the place Astrobotic is headquartered, and on the Mojave Air and House Port in California. Astrobotic plans to keep up suborbital flight operations at Masten’s testing websites at Mojave. It additionally plans to proceed providing the area business a testing web site for decent hearth rockets. 

The Masten workforce will proceed to offer VTVL take a look at flights for its industrial and authorities clients, which embody huge names like NASA and SpaceX. Astrobotic even plans to increase its take a look at flight choices with the event of the Xogdor rocket. With this rocket, the mixed corporations plan to supply increased altitudes, longer missions and supersonic flight for suborbital payload testing. 

“I began Masten with the aim of tearing down limitations to area,” David Masten, Masten’s founder and president, mentioned. “On behalf of the Masten workforce, I’m excited to affix Astrobotic in our shared mission to create space accessible to the world. This mixed group will allow us to proceed to offer essential providers to our clients and assist us make an even bigger impression on humanity’s future in area.”

Masten House Techniques filed for Chapter 11 chapter safety in July 2022. The area firm declared chapter as its money owed ballooned, tracing again to a NASA contract awarded to Masten two years in the past. As soon as seen as a serious win for the small enterprise, the NASA deal left Masten over funds, and it was unable to lift funds or pay staff.

“Masten’s suborbital launch autos and propulsion take a look at facilities are nationwide belongings for the area business. We’re excited to function and increase these providers for corporations, governments, and area businesses internationally,” Astrobotic CEO John Thornton mentioned. “Bringing these providers to Astrobotic is a pure match for our mission to create space accessible to the world.”

These new applied sciences complement Astrobotic’s present applied sciences, which embody landers, rovers and different area expertise. The corporate is at the moment getting ready its Peregrine Lunar Lander for launch in late 2022. The lander contains a number of payloads, together with CMU’s Iris Rover, which might be the primary American rover on the moon, and 5 micro-robots from the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico, which can make it the primary Mexican mission to the moon.

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