Tiny satellite launch startup Vector has indefinitely shut down operations “in response a major change in financing,” the corporation confirmed. Co-founder and CEO Jim Cantrell has also been reduce loose as portion of the upset.
The news comes as a surprise to the space startup neighborhood, and apparently to its staff. The corporation lined up $70 million in funding late final year, and lately was announced as a certified contestant in DARPA’s Launch Challenge. It even pulled in a multi-million dollar Air Force contract just final week.
That some thing have to have gone awry with this most current funding is manifest. But just what, or who, is unclear. I’m contacting the venture firms in the round (Kodem, Morgan Stanley Option Investment Partners, Sequoia, Lightspeed and Shasta Ventures) and will update if any individual has any substantial comment.
The corporation presented the following statement, as effectively as confirming that Cantrell is out.
In response to a significant modify in financing, Vector has had to pause its operations. A core group is now evaluating possibilities to total the improvement of the company’s Vector R smaller launch automobile even though also supporting the Air Force and other government agencies on applications such as the current ASLON-45 award.
Vector has been operating on an orbital launch automobile, the Vector-R, with a 60 kilogram maximum payload — a smaller rocket for smaller satellites, for which there is a lot of demand. A heavier version that could lift 290 kg was also below improvement.
Plans have been to demonstrate an orbital launch by the finish of 2019, but as but that has not occurred a suborbital launch was also planned for sometime this summer season, but that also is but to occur.
Possibly the launch delays have been the lead to of the funding issues, or possibly the funding issues led to launch delays. I’ll update this story as quickly as extra specifics are readily available.