Research Company Targeting Outer Space
According to a recent analysis from Merrill Lynch, the commercial space industry could soon be worth $3 trillion.
Hudson Space Systems is a research company targeting this market. Its focus is on enabling space-related companies to engage in “Microgravity” research. And in the space industry, this research is critical.
That’s because, when it comes to research, gravity can be disruptive. It can morph underlying physical processes, and prevent accurate research. By using a weightless, microgravity environment, researchers can better observe, control, and test products and services intended for outer space.
The problem is that gaining access to a microgravity setting — i.e., testing products in outer space — can be expensive. And opportunities are few and far between.
Because of these challenges, some companies have begun relying on alternative microgravity platforms. These leverage unique technologies and business models to broaden access to space-like testing conditions.
Hudson Space Systems is one of these companies. Essentially, it offers those in the space industry — universities, private companies, and other researchers — access to a microgravity testing environment. This is what it calls Microgravity-as-a-Service.
To offer this, the startup has built a unique, reusable rocket vehicle. This rocket is packed with customers’ products and equipment — also referred to as “payload” — and provides three minutes of sustained microgravity.
Hudson Space Systems’ rocket includes features like:
Nose Cone: Designed to minimize aerodynamic resistance.
Recovery System: This dual-chute system ensures a safe recovery in the event of failure or a crash.
Avionics Package: Custom avionics handle navigation, telemetry, and flight control.
Custom Composite Tanks: These tanks enable the ship to fly higher, carry more payload, and operate at peak efficiency.
Engine: A fully 3D-printed engine enables maximum efficiency and minimum complexity.
Some of these features are what enable the company’s ship to be reused. For example, its engine is quick to manufacture. Its multi-stage parachute system enables faster recovery and re-launching. And its pressure-fed design innovations lower manufacturing costs.
This ship was designed to help space companies test their products and ideas. A few potential use cases include:
• Conducting an experiment that utilizes the benefit of microgravity.
• Deploying specific instruments to observe phenomena in the atmosphere at varying pressures.
• Or simply seeing if a product could be relevant for customer application in space.
Hudson Space Systems launched in August 2019, and built its first prototype the same year. The company then received a grant from Stevens Institute of Technology, and has since filed a provisional patent.
Preliminary testing is underway, and the company is targeting a full launch in February 2021.
Once available for customers, Hudson Space Systems will charge for each customer’s payload. Current projected pricing is around $12,000 for every 1.25kg of payload. At this price point, a full launch would bring in around $100,000 of gross income for the company.
Nathan has experience in manufacturing, prototyping, and project management.
Prior to starting Hudson Space Systems, he was Co-Founder & CEO of CP Rocketry, an aerospace company building suborbital rockets.
Before that, he was CEO of TecRepair, a business repairing phones and providing IT services.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and is completing his Master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering, from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Monica’s experience includes propulsion design, fuel delivery systems, and instrumentation.
Prior to Hudson Space Systems, she was a propulsion engineer and safety coordinator with CP Rocketry. Before that, she worked for NASA in the company’s Propulsion Technology Division.
She began her career performing technical analysis with BASF, a chemicals company. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Will’s background includes manufacturing and testing fluid control systems. He also has experience in numerical analysis, rapid prototyping, and element analysis.
Most recently, he was an aerospace valve design engineer with Valcor Engineering Corporation, a defense and aerospace company. Before that, he was an aerodynamic design and machining specialist with CP Rocketry.
He earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Dakota joined Hudson Space Systems after four years at Stevens Institute of Technology. In addition to earning his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, and his Master’s in Materials Science, he served as an engineering graphics teaching assistant.
Early in his career, he led “boot camps” at Northwestern Polytechnical University, where he helped design, simulate, and launch rockets.
Ben has extensive experience in software development.
He was a software engineer at Flow, a software developer. And he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.