WASHINGTON — Rogue Space Systems, a three-year-old startup developing small satellites for in-orbit servicing, launched its first demonstrator Nov. 11 on the SpaceX Transporter-9 rideshare mission.

SpaceX launched more than 100 satellites on a Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. 

Rogue’s spacecraft, named Barry-1, will test the company’s on-board computing software and its ability to aggregate data from multiple sensors and process that data in real time, Rogue Space said. The data compute platform was developed with funding from the U.S. Space Force’s Orbital Prime program

The pocket-size Barry-1 payload was built on a platform provided by EnduroSat, a Bulgarian cubesat specialist and integrated into an Exolaunch EXOpod Nova deployer.

Rogue Space, based in Gilford, New Hampshire, has won several Space Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts for technologies in support of satellite-servicing vehicles, such as a cubesat dispenser and a magnetic system for stabilizing tumbling space objects.

During the Barry-1 deployment, Rogue will test internal and customer-developed algorithms as it collects data on various aspects of spaceflight. It also will test customer payloads from the propulsion startup IVO. The company is developing so-called IVO Quantum Drive electric propulsion technology for low-Earth orbit spacecraft.

Rogue Space is planning to launch more demonstrations in 2024 under a partnership with defense contractor SAIC.

SAIC will integrate two Rogue cubesats and will support the startup’s development of a fleet of satellite-servicing robots. 

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...