Space travel is immensely complicated and dangerous, requiring complex maintenance and monitoring to ensure successful flights. Founded by Eric Ingram in 2019, new Rev member company SCOUT Space is creating out-of-this-world innovation in the form of in-space technology operations. The company’s goal is to make space operations safer and more sustainable which in turn support a prosperous future of space exploration and travel.
We recently discussed SCOUT Space with COO Vladimir Baranov to learn how the company got started and get a glimpse into the future for the startup.
What is the “origin story” behind your company?
SCOUT was founded in 2019 with the mission to enable a new era of space safety and transparency. SCOUT’s in-space products and services, first launched in June 2021, allow spacecraft to see and understand things around them. On-orbit distributed sensing of space by SCOUT will significantly improve Space Domain Awareness (SDA) and ensure responsible use of the space environment. The company is a trusted space sensing and navigation solutions provider, and is Techstars, MassChallenge, and venture-backed startup with ongoing government contracts and commercial paid pilots. SCOUT was the Established® 2021 Startup of the Year®.
What customer need is your company attempting to address?
Our company addresses the need for enhanced local and remote situational awareness on orbit. Right now, spacecraft lack the necessary tools to maintain awareness of its surroundings. This leaves spacecraft vulnerable to complications, such as collisions with debris or other spacecraft. SCOUT is working to provide in-space visibility and awareness to these space exploration systems. Our services include on-board autonomy and vision, in-space observation and insights, and space traffic observations and data.
Do you have any recent company milestones or accomplishments you would like to share?
SCOUT recently won our first commercial contract that involves two missions, and we have multiple LOIs in hand for our products and services. We’ve also been awarded DoD contracts with AFWERX (1), SpaceForce (3) and NASA (1) and have submitted 10 government proposals this year. Our team has grown rapidly in the last few months as we are ramping up to meet customer demand!
Where do you envision your company a year from now? Five years from now?
One year from now, SCOUT will be successfully delivering on our current contracts and delivering on our promise of helping make space a safer and more sustainable environment for all of us here on Earth. We’ll also be working on the launch of our first stand alone spacecraft called OVER-Sat. This in-space observation tool will enhance success for complex missions and, if needed, provide an observational safety net.
Five years from now, SCOUT will be launching a fleet of SSA satellites. Our OVER-Sat in-space observation spacecraft will be widely available, providing the next generation of SDA and streamlining frameworks such as Space Traffic Management (STM). This is especially important as space becomes more crowded, potentially rendering current satellite-tracking systems unusable. In the future, we will also be utilizing on-site satellite inspections to understand and help prevent technical issues that can result in failure.