Vestigo Aerospace Awarded Phase II-Sequential SBIR
Vestigo Aerospace has received a NASA Phase II-Sequential Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) award, which will provide nearly $3.8 million in funding for a flight demonstration mission. The mission will flight qualify two versions of Spinnaker dragsails: Spinnaker2, an 8 m2 dragsail sized for small satellites, and Spinnaker3, an 18 m2 dragsail sized for orbital transfer vehicles and launch vehicle stages. Vestigo Aerospace will be partnering with Firefly Aerospace and Astro Digital during the Phase II-S contract.
Astro Digital will provide a Corvus-Micro spacecraft bus. Firefly will provide launch services for the Corvus-Micro, and will also host Spinnaker3 to deorbit the orbital transfer vehicle. Firefly will launch to an approximately 500 km orbit where Corvus-Micro will be deployed. From there, the Spinnaker dragsails will deorbit both Corvus-Micro and the orbital transfer vehicle. Imagery and telemetry will be sent from the host vehicles to track the performance of the Spinnaker dragsails.
The NASA Phase II-S contract is awarded to companies that have successfully completed Phase II-E of the SBIR program and have demonstrated the feasibility of their proposed technology. The program provides funding for the development of technologies that have the potential to benefit NASA and the broader aerospace industry.
Vestigo's dragsail technology is an innovative solution for deorbiting space debris, which is becoming an increasingly urgent issue as the amount of debris in Earth's orbit continues to grow. The company's dragsails are designed to attach to spacecraft and use atmospheric drag to deorbit the host vehicles in compliance with the FCC's 5-year deorbit rule.