WASHINGTON — Kentucky Space LLC announced April 16 the creation of Space Tango, an early stage venture capital fund and business accelerator specifically for entrepreneurial space ventures.

The Lexington, Ky.-based nonprofit consortium of universities and public and private organizations said it created Space Tango to assist businesses in developing innovations, novel applications and diverse markets.

“The successful development of a commercial and sustainable space marketplace is in large part dependent on disruptive thinking and novel experimentation outside of the traditional boundaries,” Kentucky Space President Kris Kimel said in a statement.

Space Tango initially will select up to six U.S. companies to participate in 12-week on-site program in Lexington “that will provide a complete constellation of services, advisors and networks necessary to successfully start and grow a space-driven business,” Kentucky Space said in a statement. “Companies will be selected primarily on the basis of their idea, science, technology, market fit, customer understanding, management team, and readiness level.”

Selected companies will have access to a team of technical and business advisers and various university and government facilities, including a 21-meter tracking station at Morehead State University Space Science Center in Morehead, Ky., the University of Kentucky Space Systems Lab in Lexington, and offices at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.

Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. He was named senior staff writer in 2004, a position he held...