WASHINGTON — Voyager Space Holdings announced Nov. 19 that it plans to acquire The Launch Company, an Alaska-based provider of rocket and spacecraft components, and ground equipment for launch sites.

Denver-based Voyager Space Holdings, founded in October 2019, owns satellite servicing company Altius Space Machines and the space technology firm Pioneer Astronautics. Once approved by regulators, the acquisition of The Launch Company will be Voyager’s third. 

The Launch Company designs mobile launch sites that could be used by multiple small launchers. “We can help customers get to space faster and more affordably by streamlining the launch process in part through automation,” said CEO and founder Ben Kellie.

Matthew Kuta, president and chief operating officer of Voyager Space Holdings, said the acquisition support Voyager’s long-term plan to be a vertically integrated space company.

Kuta said there are more than 100 launch companies that need infrastructure and could be potential customers for The Launch Company’s services and mobile launch sites.

Kellie said The Launch Company has no plans to build rockets. “We want to support the companies that are building rockets by transforming the way they launch. We also build hardware such as ground support equipment for these companies as well as quick disconnect fueling fittings for rockets and spacecraft,” he said. 

The company’s vision is to create multi-user launch sites. There is a limited number of “on-ramps” to space in the form of available launch pads and active spaceports, said Kellie. “As the launch industry grows, it will be a major competitive advantage for launch vehicles to be compatible with our multi-user launch system.”

Customers could lease time on launch pads as needed, which would save them money and prevent them from “re-inventing the wheel trying to launch,” said Kellie. “The same way that airlines do not build airports, we believe that by building leasable launch pads and autonomous launch equipment, we can lower the cost of access to space and help more of those 100 teams building rockets get to orbit.”

Kuta told SpaceNews that the company has been able to press on with acquisitions during the coronavirus pandemic. “We have had to be creative in on-site diligence while maintaining proper social distancing but overall it has not hindered our acquisition process.”

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...