NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — SAIC is partnering with startup Rogue Space Systems to develop small satellites for in-space services, the companies announced Sept. 20.

Based in Reston, Virginia, SAIC is a $7.4 billion government services technology contractor. Rogue Space is a two-year-old startup based in Laconia, New Hampshire. The company designed a cubesat known as Orbital Robot for in-orbit services such as inspection and repairs. 

According to the agreement announced Tuesday at the Air, Space & Cyber conference, SAIC will integrate two Rogue cubesats for a planned 2023 mission. Going forward, SAIC will help develop Rogue’s fleet of Orbital Robots for space situational awareness, in-space services, assembly and manufacturing.

“SAIC and Rogue bring unique skills and expertise that will support the growing demand for services in Earth orbit, the cislunar domain and beyond,” said David Ray, senior vice president of SAIC’s space business unit.

Part of SAIC’s space business strategy is to partner with smallsat developers that need access to integration and testing facilities.

Jeromy Grimmett, CEO of Rogue Space, said SAIC’s government expertise will help reach new customers. “We are excited to partner with SAIC as we serve the growing demand for in-space services and space situational awareness,” he said. “SAIC will also help Rogue identify business development opportunities.”

Rogue is one of dozens of small businesses selected by the U.S. Space Force’s SpaceWERX organization for a program known as Orbital Prime. The company submitted 13 proposals and 11 of them won Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I awards, adding up to about  $2.75 million in funding.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...