WASHINGTON — Colorado-based startup True Anomaly, which develops satellites and software for military space customers, revealed a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing facility Aug. 17.
The building, called GravityWorks, will host the production for the company’s Jackal spacecraft. With the new facility in place, True Anomaly expects to be able to produce a “mission-ready” satellite every five days.
“GravityWorks was built to meet any volume of spacecraft our customers will require and to turn tactical problems into innovative solutions at the powerful intersection of hardware, software, and [artificial intelligence],” CEO Even Rogers said in a statement.
The company’s Jackal spacecraft are designed to perform rendezvous and proximity operations, meaning they can conduct close approaches that are useful for satellite-servicing missions like in-orbit refueling or repair.
During a grand opening event at the Centennial, Colorado, factory, Rogers announced True Anomaly received authorization from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as the Federal Communications Commission to perform rendezvous and proximity missions with its Jackal vehicle.
The agencies also approved the spacecraft to use its onboard sensors to collect various forms of imagery of the space environment, a function referred to as non-Earth imaging.
“This variety of sensor phenomenology will enable Jackal to collect data even in poor lighting conditions such as when the spacecraft is in Earth’s shadow,” the company said.
The new authorizations and factory space follow a series of milestones for True Anomaly. In April, the startup came out of stealth mode — the largely secretive phase before a company launches — and announced it had raised $30 million in private capital.
In June, True Anomaly announced it would launch two Jackal spacecraft to provide simulated and live training range services to customers. The satellites are slated to launch in February 2024 as part of SpaceX’s Transporter-10 mission.
The U.S. Space Force is crafting plans for a national space test and training complex that will include in-space and simulated capabilities to prepare operators to control satellites and to validate new systems. The company plans to offer the capability to the service, according to Rogers.
Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.