Hello, November skies!
We’ve been quiet. Probably too quiet! It seems that’s what happens when you’re really busy… Here’s a glimpse inside what’s going on at Masten.
I wanted to take half a second and pull back the curtain to show you a bit of what’s happening inside the black box that is Masten Space Systems. We get a lot of questions on where we’re at on our CRuSR flights and the answer there is “we’re still cooking.” We’ve been flying Xaero a lot. As in multiple days a week, multiple flights per day. We’ve been doing lots of tweaking GN&C algorithms before we take the leash off. We’re getting close, but there are still some variables to isolate and test.
We’ve also been flying Xombie quite frequently as we work to expand her capability. Video of a recent free flight to follow
And now, without further ado, here’s an incomplete smattering of what’s unfolded over the last four months:
- We were awarded a contract with NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program that will allow us to compete for up to $5M of flights in three different levels.
- We continue to receive interest in our vertical landing capability.
- We added a second building and started a number of infrastructure improvements. No, you can’t see the second building if you show up for a tour. We do have an official front door now on our main building. If you’re coming for a visit, it’s on the side of the building facing Sabovich with a mailbox, a Masten logo, and a doorbell.
- We wrapped up our Phase I SBIR with Kennedy Space Center on the development of a Plume Impingement TestBed, and (of course) turned in a Phase II proposal.
- We added three full-time employees, including bringing in Joel full-time as our CEO. We’re at 12 full-time now.
- We have nearly completed engine qualification testing on the engine now dubbed “Scimitar” – and it’s a beauty. Throttles between 1100lbf and 300 lbf, is flight weight, and incorporates a number of new technologies.
- We are closer to seeing fire out of our 3000lbf Katana engine. Significant progress has been made on the design and testing infrastructure fronts; we’ll have more updates soon.
- We signed additional contracts with non-governmental entities. Other than that, I can’t say much other than we’re thrilled, we’re busy, and we’re making steady progress on our client projects.
- We made some significant headway on a number of internal things like IT, HR, business development capability, and intellectual property.
So there ya go – that’s a little bit of an idea of what we’ve been doing. We haven’t stopped innovating on rocket technology – sometimes the going is just a little slower than we’d all like! We’ll have some more interesting stuff in the near future that can talk about.
As for the business stuff, I want to touch on that point. Though a lot less exciting (on video, at least) than rocket fire, it’s the stuff that makes us a sustainable company with revenues, happy investors, and a path to really making an impact on lowering the barriers to space access. A lot has changed since the Lunar Lander Challenge days, and there’s much opportunity for Masten to expand and grow in the coming months and years.
Now, we’re back to testing, writing, growing, and working with our customers. Y’all have a fantastic November!
As promised, here’s video of a Xombie free flight from yesterday: