Solar Systems Express
this summer plans to launch its first product, a software platform that works with open-source hardware to support manned space missions. The Baltimore startup expects the product, called a gravity development board, to be the first in a series of products to support deep space exploration.
The gravity development board is a reconfigurable system that allows individuals and small technology firms to create real-life space hardware for a variety of tasks. "The board has the building blocks for any electrical and mechanical system. You can make an arm for a robot or develop solar uses," says Blaze Sanders, CEO and chief technology officer.
Solar Systems Express is currently located in the Emerging Technology Center @ Johns Hopkins Eastern in Charles Village. When it graduates from the incubator at the end of this month, the startup is moving to Mohave, Calif., which has become a hub for small businesses involved in the deep space industry, says Sanders.
While the company will no longer be located physically in Baltimore, it will maintain its connection to the city. The American Technology Corp
. in Baltimore will assemble the gravity development board and it will be sold from Baltimore, says Sanders, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration employee.
Sanders co-founded the startup in 2010 with Emily Moser, chief communications officer, and Kunal Ajmera, chief business development officer. The company spent a year in the incubator.
The company is marketing the product, which cost $105 each, to undergraduate engineering and other college students and sold via the company’s website.
Sanders says Solar Systems Express joins a growing number of small businesses in the burgeoning deep space industry. Over 300 space-related businesses have been formed in less than a decade, he says.
Besides its own product, Solar Systems Express offers electrical engineering consulting services for other space industry companies. Among its clients is Juxtopia, a Baltimore startup that is developing augmented reality goggles
The company has about $50,000 in private funding. In Baltimore, the staff consists of the three co-founders and two part-time employees. It is planning a financing round after the move to California.
“We have enough money to get the first boards out. After that, sales will keep us going,” says Sanders.
Source: Blaze Sanders, Solar Systems Express
Writer: Barbara Pash