SAN FRANCISCO, 18 Aug. 2016. Vector Space Systems, a space systems company focused on micro launches and micro space platforms, has launched its Galactic Sky software-defined satellites business unit. Vector Space Systems is comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, and VMware.
Galactic Sky is building a new business platform to provide startups, innovators, and entrepreneurs with unprecedented access to satellite capabilities, satellite-derived Big Data, and constellation infrastructures.
Headquartered in San Jose, California, the division will open the door for a new wave of companies to explore and experiment with satellites without the traditional costs and time to market associated with paying for a rocket launch and mastering the complexities of creating a satellite. Space startups can now innovate on what is most important to them: their unique software applications and the data that they acquire.
Using a truly Software Defined Satellite Platform, startups will be able to use completely virtualized satellites already in orbit to access what was before beyond their fiscal and technological reach. Companies will be able to leverage powerful micro satellites which can change their role dynamically and in near real-time for the purposes of developing and testing unique commercial, government and industrial applications, officials explain.
Galactic Sky's focus will be on customers which require tailored imagery, onboard analytics, ultra-secure data storage and transfer, and high-speed communications. This capability will make space assets accessible to a broad array of entrepreneurs and innovators and in the process will unleash new uses of space platforms.
Galactic Sky will be a satellite virtualization platform that includes: satellite design tools, space application lifecycle and container management, cloud-based space simulation services, including a full suite of SDKs and APIs for quick development as well as a satellite optimized distribution of Linux named GalacticOS. This capability, in conjunction with a frequent and reliable launch system, will offer a vertically integrated solution ready for innovators and entrepreneurs to bring their unique ideas, payloads, and applications to a space ready platform, officials say.
"We started Vector with the goal of creating a development platform that would foster and bolster the micro space innovations currently underway and bring the promise of space based technologies to a much larger pool of entrepreneurs who don't need to be space experts," says Jim Cantrell, co-founder and CEO, Vector Space Systems. "Our new Software Defined Satellite division furthers this mission of removing the barrier of entry for space with a unique focus on a new generation of software startups, innovators and space entrepreneurs in mind."
"I first invested in Vector because I saw the opportunity to extend innovation into space with an advanced concept of an affordable launch vehicle," says Shaun Coleman, vice president and general manager of Space Data Systems. "This vision has continued to grow, as we have realized that there is an even larger opportunity to extend our capabilities beyond just launch. Through virtualized satellites, we have the opportunity to impact the whole space industry by turning it on its head and opening up an entirely new market to innovators who aren't rocket, satellite or even space experts. Providing this flexible and elastic infrastructure to entrepreneurs will be the great equalizer to finally help democratize access to space."
The announcement comes on the heels of Vector's first customer payload contract, a 21-launch agreement with Finnish-based Iceye. Vector remains on track for its first orbital launch in 2018, with a number of pathfinding ground operations planned at candidate launch sites early this fall.
Galactic Sky will be available to early access customers and strategic partners in the first half of 2017.
About Shaun Coleman
Before investing in Vector Space, Shaun co-founded CloudVolumes an application virtualization company acquired by VMware in 2014, prior to that Shaun was the director of product management at Citrix Systems, he was also an early employee at VMware where he was the first hire in the desktop virtualization group in 2006, where he managed VMware's initial remote desktop platforms. He founded the security startup company Reconnex that was acquired in 2008 by McAfee and has held senior management positions at Proofpoint, RSA Data Security, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, and Sandia National Labs. Shaun holds six issued patents in the software virtualization, computer security, and cryptographic subject areas.
About Vector Space Systems
Vector Space Systems is a disruptive space innovator that connects space startups with affordable and reliable launch enabling platforms and vehicles at a cost point never before possible for accessing space.
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