Starfish Space uses magnetism to rescue satellite

Two and a half months after Starfish Space’s first orbital mission teetered on the edge of failure because its Otter Pup satellite docking system took a wild tumble, the Kent, Wash.-based startup says that it has stopped the spin and is moving ahead with preparations to rendezvous with another satellite.

Mission controllers still have to make sure that Otter Pup is in working order, and they still have to identify a satellite they can link up with. But Starfish co-founder Austin Link said the team has gotten over the highest hurdle: “de-tumbling” a spacecraft that had been rotating at a rate of roughly one revolution per second.

“This is the first time that we as a company have gone and done something really unique and really extraordinary in space,” Link told me. “It wasn’t the thing that we set out to do with this mission. We still have that ahead of us. But to do that is, to me, another proof point for how excited I am to get to work with all the incredible folks we have at Starfish.”

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: