WASHINGTON — An interactive simulation of the space environment developed by Slingshot Aerospace for military satellite operators is now being offered commercially, the company announced Sept. 29.

The company last year won a Small Business Innovation Research contract from the U.S. Space Force and received additional private funding to develop Slingshot Laboratory. It delivered an initial version in July. 

In response to a broader demand in the space industry and academia, the company is offering Slingshot Laboratory as a commercial product, the company’s co-founder and CEO Melanie Stricklan said in a statement. 

“The growing space industry needs top talent but many are not trained in fundamental spaceflight astrodynamics, which creates a barrier to entry,” she said. “We’ve created a tool that enables companies to incorporate astrodynamics into their training curriculum.”

The web-based orbital laboratory also helps students who are interested in space more easily understand complex methodologies through visual and collaborative learning, said Stricklan.

Commercial companies are struggling to fill roles that require an astrodynamics background, she said. “With Slingshot Laboratory, companies can now incorporate the curriculum into their in-house training programs. Users can learn about satellites and their behavior within the platform, and quickly gain the knowledge and skillset to explore space fundamentals and easily build their own orbits based on accurate mathematical properties.”

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...