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Astrobotic acquires Masten Space Systems

A prototype vertical takeoff/vertical landing demonstrator undergoing testing at Masten Space Systems. Credit: Masten Space Systems

Edinburgh / Pittsburgh, 14 September 2022. – Astrobotic has acquired space technologies company Masten Space Systems, providing suborbital payload testing services, including a heritage of more than 600 vertical takeoff and landing (VTVL) rocket flights, Astrobotic said.

The two companies have a combined workforce of more than 200 employees, who will continue operations at two sites. One of these sites is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the other at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The merged company will maintain suborbital flight operations at Masten’s test sites, offering to host hot fire rocket tests as well. 

According to Astrobotic, VTVL test flights for commercial and government customers will continue. In the future, the company is planning to expand these offerings with the next-generation Xogdor rocket. The launch vehicle will offer higher altitudes, longer missions, and supersonic flight for suborbital payload testing, Astrobotic said. The acquisition also includes Masten’s portfolio of advanced space technology development programs.

Masten rockets have flown payloads for lunar and interplanetary missions, including Astrobotic’s OPAL terrain relative navigation system. They also launched Honeybee Robotics’ PlanetVac system, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s lander vision system for the Mars Curiosity mission.

Astrobotic will aim to advance Masten’s space technology portfolio, comprising innovations in lunar night survival, landing pad construction, lunar water mining- and infrastructure construction technologies.

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