It’s kind of crazy to realize that a year ago today was the day when I formally “took the plunge”, and left my old company to start Altius Space Machines. While it was a very scary decision at the time–I only had a tiny bit over $10k in the bank, no contracts setup in advance, no sure idea of what our first product was going to be, etc–it turned out to be exactly what I needed to do.
We’ve still got a long way to go, but here were some of the highlights that have happened since after I made the plunge:
- We’ve found, signed, and fulfilled over $200k worth of contract engineering work
- I invented Sticky Boom™ which has the potential of changing the way rendezvous, docking, and space servicing are done (and which got us mentioned in New Scientist today).
- We took that idea, won a NASA contract to mature it, and also raised about $50k to accelerate its development
- We built two generations of prototypes, got invited by NASA to show one of them off in Washington DC at the US Capitol Visitors Center, and took the other one and flight demonstrated it on a Zero-Gravity aircraft.
- And just today we got invited to present our business plan as one of the finalists at the 2011 New Space Business Plan Competition later this month.
It’s been a pretty spectacular year, and we’ve gotten a lot accomplished in a short time, especially considering that I’m still learning the ropes. That said, I don’t at all miss the 13,000 miles worth of driving I did in the second half of last year, or spending six months crashing on friends couches bouncing back and forth between California, Colorado, Utah, and Oregon.
Hopefully I’ll soon be able to start getting more active in the space technology and policy blogging scene again here on Selenian Boondocks. Thanks for the patience and support.