Astrobotic acquires Masten Space after the latter filed for bankruptcy

Astrobotic, the Pittsburg-based robotic company, has reportedly acquired the California-based aerospace firm Masten Space Systems, which went bankrupt at the end of July.

The takeover comes after the successful $4.5 million proposal for Masten’s holdings in a Delaware-based bankruptcy court at the beginning of this month.

According to credible sources, Masten’s wide range of space technologies, such as its propulsion test facilities, vertical take-off as well as landing rocketry, are included in the deal.

After the buyout, the combined workforce stands at more than 200 employees some of whom will stay on at Masten's HQ in Mojave, California. Meanwhile, David Masten, the CTO and founder of Masten will be joining Astrobotic as the company's chief engineer.

In addition to continuing to work on the Xogdor rocket, Astrobotic claimed that it would continue its suborbital flight operations at Masten's facility, located in Mojave.

The latest of Masten's terrestrial landers, the Xogdor rocket can be used by both commercial and government clientele to test the new payload integration as well as landing system technology. Propulsion test stands are another service that Masten maintains, which will keep operating under the new owners.

Masten is also working on a line of lunar landers.  So, Astrobotic, which has agreements with NASA to launch two landers to the moon, will surely profit from the inflow of related technology.

As per Astrobotic, this includes ongoing research into advancements in immediate landing pad development, lunar night survival, lunar infrastructure construction, and lunar water mining.

It is yet unknown if Astrobotic will complete the first lunar mission by Masten, the Masten Mission 1.  This mission is a part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program of NASA, which is expected to launch in 2023.

On September 6, the assets of Masten were put up for auction by the Delaware bankruptcy court. Additional bids were received from two firms; Intuitive Machines, which offered $2.7 million for a SpaceX launch credit, and Impulse Space, which bid $750,000 for Masten’s testing equipment.

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