Astrobotic Announces the Acquisition of Masten Space Systems

Astrobotic Announces the Acquisition of Masten Space Systems

Astrobotic has announced the acquisition of Masten Space Systems, a pioneering space technologies company with industry-unique suborbital payload testing services, which include a heritage of more than 600 vertical takeoffs and landing (VTVL) rocket flights. The acquisition also includes Masten’s portfolio of advanced space technology development programs advanced over 18 years of operations.

Astrobotic and Masten’s combined workforce of more than 200 employees will continue operations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The combined company will maintain suborbital flight operations at Masten’s test sites at Mojave, with plans to continue offering the space industry a key testing site for hot fire rocket tests.

Masten established itself as a leader in VTVL innovation in 2009 when it won first prize in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGE. That win helped lay the foundation for Masten’s one-of-a-kind VTVL flight program, which has demonstrated industry-leading landing precision and rapid reusability over its 600+ VTVL flights to date. Since 2011, Masten has served NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, providing flights to NASA-sponsored payloads to prepare them for spaceflight. Masten rockets have flown payloads for current and future lunar and interplanetary missions, including Astrobotic’s OPAL terrain relative navigation system, Honeybee Robotics’ PlanetVac system, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s lander vision system for the Mars Curiosity mission.

 At Astrobotic, the former Masten team will continue to offer and develop its unique test capabilities, including providing VTVL test flights for commercial and government customers. Astrobotic plans to expand these test flight offerings with the development of the next-generation Xogdor rocket, which will offer higher altitudes, longer missions, and supersonic flight for suborbital payload testing.

Beyond VTVL flights, Masten’s propulsion test stands will advance rocket technology for both external customers as well as Astrobotic departments. This testing infrastructure, which ranges from single-element injector testing to 25,000-pound thrust rocket engine testing to landing simulation testing will provide a variety of hot fire solutions to support Astrobotic and its customers. Astrobotic will also continue to advance Masten’s space technology portfolio, which includes innovations in lunar night survival, instant landing pad construction, lunar water mining technology, and lunar infrastructure construction technologies. These new technologies are highly complementary to Astrobotic’s landers, rovers, and surface system product lines.

“Masten’s suborbital launch vehicles and propulsion test centers are national assets for the space industry. We are excited to operate and expand these services for companies, governments, and space agencies internationally,” said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton. “Bringing these services to Astrobotic is a natural fit for our mission to make space accessible to the world.”

“I started Masten with the goal of tearing down barriers to space,” said David Masten, Masten’s founder, and president. “On behalf of the Masten team, I am excited to join Astrobotic in our shared mission to make space accessible to the world. This combined organization will let us continue to provide important services to our customers and help us make a bigger impact on humanity’s future in space.”

 “There is still more to iron out, but Astrobotic is confident in the value Masten’s team and capabilities add to Astrobotic’s already strong portfolio,” added Thornton.

Click here to learn about Launch Vehicle Engines from Masten Space Systems.

Click here to learn about Astrobotic Space Tech.

Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  SatelliteLaunch

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013