Xplore Inc., a commercial space company providing Space as a Service®, today announced it has received a $2M contract from National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) within the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the Department of Defense (DoD). This funding will accelerate the development of the Xcraft® spacecraft platform, culminating with launch in 2023.

Lisa Rich, Founder and COO of Xplore said, “The significant funding NSIC has provided ensures U.S. government and commercial customers will have speedy access to our affordable Xcraft platform. This $2M award will expedite component acquisitions and accelerate our flight program. We appreciate this investment in Xplore and are proud to be a trusted non-traditional defense contractor for NSIC.”

Xplore’s standard Xcraft high-performance, high reliability ESPA-class platform provides hosting and other services for a wide variety of customers and payloads. The Xcraft was purposefully designed for use in low Earth orbit, cislunar space and beyond, to destinations including Venus, Mars and the asteroids. The company’s first Xcraft LEO (XLEO) mission in 2023 will directly benefit from NSIC funding.

Xplore invites payload customers to discover hosting opportunities on its XLEO missions. The XLEO service is designed to host a wide variety of customer payloads – from as small as 1U to as large as 50U or more. This service allows customers to focus on their primary business goals without the added time and expense of procuring, launching and operating dedicated satellites. Xplore currently has a Memorandum of Understanding with Accion Systems for XLEO to host TILE, Accion’s next generation ion thruster.

Other impacts of this funding will be evidenced by the company’s recent collaboration with W. M. Keck Observatory, enabling Xplore to accelerate its timeline for the Xplore Space Telescope (XST) missions. These operations will begin soon after the XLEO launches. The Xcraft platform will form the basis for the family of XSTs with missions planned in LEO and the cislunar space region. Commercial space-based telescopes will offer the astronomical community many more options to perform their observations than currently available, and these services will reach market sooner due to the support NSIC has provided to Xplore.

In addition to accelerating the Xcraft, this award is notable for the accelerated pace at which the contract was negotiated. Lisa Rich said, “We were thrilled to negotiate this contract from start to finish in just 21 days. NSIC is clearly committed to Xplore’s success; we are impressed with their ability to expedite and operate at the speed of business.”


Xplore is a commercial space company offering Space as a Service®. Xplore provides hosted payloads, communication relay services and exclusive datasets to its customers via solutions provided by its Xcraft® and LightCraft™ multi-mission platforms. Xplore’s mission is to expand robotic exploration via commercial missions at and beyond Earth, to the Moon, Mars, Venus, Lagrange points and near-Earth asteroids, for commercial companies, national space agencies, national security agencies, sovereign space agencies and non-profit entities. Visit: https://www.xplore.com

Xplore’s team is rapidly moving toward flight programs and is currently recruiting space professionals. Employees at Xplore enjoy competitive benefits and a friendly work environment. Openings at their 22,000 square foot Redmond campus include operations and engineering roles. Applicants may visit Xplore’s career page for details. Visit: https://www.xplore.com/careers.html

Companies are welcome to email payload_hosting@xplore.com for more information on payload accommodations on the Xcraft’s LEO mission.


Housed within the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) is a new Department of Defense (DoD) initiative that provides funding to early-stage hardware startups commercializing dual-use technologies critical to national security and economic competitiveness. NSIC enables such startups to advance key milestones in their product development plans by addressing the shortfall of private investment from trusted sources.