OSAM Companies: Drastically Transforming the Space Economy

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc.

The fourth on-week of the On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (OSAM) Accelerator was a great success thanks to each of the subject matter experts who donated their time to speak with the cohort. Tyler Sweatt, the Vice President of Growth at Second Front Systems, kicked off the week with insights on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding. He offered wonderful advice to the OSAM cohort and all small businesses when he mentioned, “The key takeaway from my POV would be to not ignore the importance of understanding the entire influence chain as it relates to your technology and products. Understanding who in Congress, the Department of Defense, and your customer organization has interest (both positive and negative) in your focus area is a critical step to building an effective growth and commercialization strategy.” After speaking to the OSAM cohort about AFRL CRADAs, Melissa Ortiz, Tech Transfer Agreements Specialist from AFRL RD & RV, mentioned, “My greatest inspiration is being part of the implementation and execution of tech transfer mechanisms i.e., CRADAs, CTAs, etc. that involves the AFRL S&E’s mission, Industry, Academia and other entities to leverage Technology Transfer and commercialization. It builds a collaboration to accelerate technology transition while having access to facilities and capabilities as well as sharing resources. It is definitely a Win-Win!” One of the OSAM Sherpas, Carolyn Belle, donated her time to give an incredible briefing about Astroscale and offer direction to the cohort by stating, “As you build out your own technologies and capabilities, keep the broader ecosystem of players and stakeholders in mind. Collaboration with your fellow cohort companies and existing OSAM providers will be critical to the adaptation of an integrated on-orbit servicing and manufacturing mindset within the space economy.” Robert Wright and Jeff Matthews from Deloitte spoke to the cohort about what their company is doing in space and Deloitte’s perspective on the current problem statement. The Catalyst Accelerator is grateful that Astroscale and Deloitte are Sherpas for the OSAM cohort.

Jason Aspiotis, Business Development Manager at Axiom Space, has a passion for supporting the development of humanity’s first commercial Space station. He gave some brilliant recommendations to the OSAM cohort by stating, “OSAM companies will drastically transform the Space economy; from extending the life of commercial and government orbital assets, to enabling new National Security capabilities, or to facilitating the construction of large-scale human habitation infrastructure otherwise limited by launch vehicle sizes. In their roadmap from prototyping to operationalization of services, OSAM companies and entrepreneurs ought to consider a) how their OSAM solution could service multiple customers, both government and commercial, and b) how their OSAM solution could stimulate derivative economic transactions across the larger commercial Space ecosystem. The perspective of Axiom Space is that humans are a unique driver of economic activity in Space. Market demand for human activity in Space could be a core market driver for OSAM capabilities, which in turn provides for further increase in lower-cost and more reliable human-rated infrastructure and logistics, which in turn further increases market demand for OSAM services, thus creating a positive feedback loop of sustainable economic growth for the OSAM sector.” The Catalyst Accelerator was so lucky to have Stephanie VanDine, Senior Contracting Officer for the United States Space Force, and Autumn Krill, Senior Acquisition program Manager for the United States Space Force, brief about SBIR’s from their perspective. Stephanie is also completing her Education with Industry Fellowship at Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation (CCTI). Stephanie and her team offered three insights to the OSAM cohort and startup community: “1) Space Operations Command (SpOC) re-engineering design effort is guided by a set of core principles such as a warfighting culture and enabling faster decision making. 2) There are several resources available for startups to leverage such as US Air Force/US Space Small Business Specialists and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). They provide free counseling sessions and conduct industry outreach to help small businesses compete in the government marketplace. 3) For companies who are currently navigating the SBIR/STTR process, continue to work with organizations such as AFWERX, RapidX, and acquisition offices to develop the best strategy to meet the end users’ needs.”

The week wrapped up with a presentation about SpEC OTA’s (Other Transaction Agreements) by Rich Glover, Director of Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) at NSTXL. Rich offered fantastic guidance to the space small business community by stating, “Being a small business in the space industry is tough. Take advantage of every resource that is at your disposal to help you grow and perform successfully. Feel free to reach out to us at SpEC if you have any questions or need some advice on how to optimize your interactions with the government customer.” Thank you to each of the speakers who donated their time to speak during the fourth on-week of the On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing Accelerator.

OSAM Cohort Company Spotlight:

Orbital Composites Co-Founder and CEO, Amolak Badesha, was very excited to announce, “We are on track to have record revenue this month/quarter and year, enabling us to become cash flow positive, a very important milestone for us!” Amolak also made the journey all the way from California to spend this week of programming at Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation. The Catalyst Accelerator team is so proud of Orbital Composites for all their hard work. Keep it up!

The Orbit Fab team shared some incredible news as well. The Orbit Fab team followed their Tanker-001: Tenzing to Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to perform refueling operations, filling it with a green monopropellant. They are so excited for its launch as the first-ever dedicated on-orbit depot late this June! The Catalyst Accelerator team is so happy for you and looks forward to seeing your future successes!

Neutron Star Systems had another wonderful accomplishment! They participated in the SelectUSA Summit and ended up winning first place for the aerospace industry pitching sessions. Congratulations Neutron Star Systems team! Keep up the amazing work.