Vector Space Systems gobbles Garvey nanosat launch vehicle design firm in friendly takeover

by | Jul 21, 2016 | commercial launch services, Launches, Technology | 0 comments

Vector Space Systems, a microsatellite space launch company, has announced the acquisition of its small space launcher competitor, the Garvey Spacecraft Corporation. Garvey was working on rocket engine technology for its Nanosat Launch Vehicle (NLV) – a two stage rocket for cubesat launches to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Garvey Spacecraft of Long Beach, California was working on a two-stage pressure-fed LOX-densified propylene vehicle liquid fuel NLV which is designed to carry payloads of up to 10 kg into orbit.

The firm was receiving NASA funding via a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award for the technology. Having been CEO of Garvey, John Garvey, who had been working with Vector on their Vector P19 Engine, now joins Vector Space Systems as their Chief Technology Officer. The Tuscon, Arizona-based Vector has recently been set up by ex-Space X employee Jim Cantrell to produce a new small two-stage LOx/Hydrocarbon powered launch vehicle called Wolverine whose first stage will eventually be made reusable. The Vector 1 (Wolverine) launch vehicle aims to put 45 kg into a 28 degree inclination LEO, or 25 kg into a sun-synchronous LEO at US$2-3 million per launch. The first orbital launch is set to take place in 2018, with some suborbital test flights being made the year beforehand.

Post Script: Vector appears to be wanting to call its new rocket Vector 1 now rather than its original Wolverine name.  A wolverine is, of course, a type of weasel, or alternatively, a mutant super hero in film and comic fiction. The name was previously used, albeit unofficially, for the M-10 tank destroyer (a lighter armoured version of the M-4 Sherman tank with a roofless turret but more powerful gun) which gave good service to the Allied armies of World War II including during D-Day/Normandy campaign in June 1944.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Vector gets five launch booking from Open Cosmos

The nanosatellite launch vehicle provider Vector Space Systems and space mission provider/spacecraft manufacturer Open Cosmos have signed an agreement for Open Cosmos to Read more

Vector goes for M-A-R-S launch site at Wallops Island

Vector Space Systems (not to be confused with the UK aircraft maintenance firm Vector Aerospace) has decided on its launch site for its Read more

Axiom Space to produce new NASA lunar space suits

NASA has selected Axiom Space to deliver a moonwalking-capable spacesuit for the planned Artemis III human landing mission. This will Read more

Second “suborbital” spaceplane test for China hints at reusable two-stage launch system or one for fractional orbital bombardment

Details are sketchy but during late August, China mounted a launch of its suborbital/fractional orbital spaceplane from the Jiuquan launch Read more

Firefly to help build Antares 330 stage after Russian engine supply halted

Northrop Grumman Corporation and launch vehicle manufacturer Firefly Aerospace have joined forces to provide an American-built first-stage upgrade for the Read more

India’s quick response SSLV small launch vehicle fails on first mission

The maiden flight of India’s latest rocket, the SSLV, has gone wrong. After an apparently successful launch from the Satish Read more

Raytheon buys UK Space Situational Awareness specialist NORSS but looks to Star Wars lasers to counter drone menace on Earth

The US defence firm Raytheon which is moving away from what it was most famous for air launched missiles - Read more

The Great British race to reach orbit from UK (Updated)

The final flight in 1971 of Black Arrow, a British satellite carrier rocket developed in the 1960s, remains the first Read more