Addressing the issue of space sustainability is a must for businesses across the sector, Melanie Stricklan, CEO and co-founder of Slingshot Aerospace, said.

Speaking at the Space Comm Expo 2022, Stricklan said: “Space sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, with the geopolitical activity that’s going on, with the ever increasing number of satellites on orbit, and the debris events that have happened over the last couple of years.

“[They] have just made it not a wish list anymore, but a mandatory thing that every space operator from launch to satellite operations has to take into account.”

Coordinating across the ecosystem

Commenting further, she said: “I think a single source of knowledge is imperative, where every operator whether you’re launching rockets or operating a satellite in any orbit, has to understand what is around that satellite or that rocket, and the ability to coordinate across the entire spacefaring ecosystem.”

Space Force contract

Stricklan also highlighted a deal with the US Space Force, which saw Slingshot awarded a $25.2 million, 39-month contract from the US Space Force’s (USSF) Space Systems Command.

The contract will facilitate delivery of two key Slingshot Aerospace products: the company’s Digital Space Twin, and the deployment of the Slingshot Laboratory training product for USSF.

Funding was provided by Space Systems Command and SpaceWERX, the recently established venture arm of the Space Force, as part of its Strategic Financing (STRATFI) programme.
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