AFWERX Announces Phoenix Launch Systems, Inc. Among Top Teams Selected to Exhibit at EngageSpace

AFWERX, the catalyst for fostering innovation within the U.S. Air Force, announced Phoenix Launch Systems, Inc. as one of the 178 top participating teams selected from The AFWERX Space Challenge initiative to exhibit at EngageSpace, a two-day virtual event on September 29-30.

Download the press release HERE.

The AFWERX Space Challenge initiative is made up of four challenges targeted at creating integrated space operations leveraging the best in technology while maintaining security, being resilient and increasing agility. Four challenges were run concurrently focused on separate topics – Persistent ISR, DoD Commercial Space Partnerships, Global Space Transport and Delivery and Space Asset Resiliency.

Located in Las Vegas, NV, Phoenix Launch Systems is competing in the DoD Commercial Space Partnerships Challenge alongside a diverse group of teams that represent entrepreneurial startups, small businesses, large enterprises, academic institutions and research labs.

“The solutions submitted for these space challenges represent the bleeding edge of space innovation,” stated Brennan Townley, AFWERX Challenge Collaboration Lead. “We’re excited to highlight these innovators and connect them with opportunities across the Space ecosystem.”

The DoD Commercial Space Partnerships Challenge strives to identify cutting-edge commercial satellite technology and uncover new payload ideas, designs, and prototypes to expand the DoD’s capabilities.

The Phoenix self-contained, mobile nanosatellite launch system addresses the growing need for space launch on extremely short notice, including multiple rapid launches, from both friendly as well as contested territory – such as during times of conflict, geopolitical uncertainty or other unforeseen events. Phoenix utilizes a unique propellant that is non-toxic, environmentally friendly, safe to handle and indefinitely storable. The reusable first stage may be mated with a new payload, checked out and be ready for relaunch within a matter of hours. Designed for responsive launch, we are able to rapidly deploy multiple vehicles on compact mobile launch infrastructure to any location, including conflict zones, and conduct launch operations using a single, minimal crew. The system may be deployed on short notice, conduct launch operations in or near hot zones and leave the area just as rapidly to ensure the safety of personnel.

The EngageSpace event will feature highly engaging opportunities to connect, educate and innovate with other like-minded attendees, industry leaders, individual innovators, academia, investors, as well as military and government leaders. The entire event is designed to transform and accelerate the industry, and enable government buyers to pursue the most promising innovative solutions to the most pressing and threatening Space scenarios.

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“AFWERX EngageSpace is the premier event in the DoD community where the most innovative companies can present their solutions to unique and emerging challenges facing the modern warfighter,” explained Matthew Travis, CEO at Phoenix. “Phoenix Launch Systems is honored to be included in the select group of prestigious enterprises offering their ideas to the Department of Defense and other government and civilian stakeholders. We are extremely excited to share our concepts and vision of the future of responsive space launch with the world during the EngageSpace Showcase in September 2020. I hope everyone visits our virtual booth to learn more about Phoenix.”

Phoenix Launch Systems, Inc. is a space transportation company on a mission to operate a dedicated nanosatellite launch service that allows for both on-demand and regularly scheduled orbital access with unprecedented mission flexibility and price. The company’s technologies enable a complete end-to-end solution for low-cost space access without depending on unrealistic technologies or concepts.
For Phoenix, simplicity is what drives down cost and drives up reliability. The launch system is the first in the U.S. to utilize the company’s proprietary non-toxic and environmentally-friendly propulsion system in an operational launch vehicle. This enables very low system cost, minimal infrastructure requirements and drastically reduced launch costs. Phoenix also offers commercial avionics and autonomous flight safety systems as well as cubesat component hardware as part of the objective to offer end-to-end cubesat launch services and support to customers across industries.

Media Contacts:

Matthew Travis

Aneesh Goel


Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the U.S. Air Force, directly envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Her vision of AFWERX — to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration amongst our nation’s top subject matter experts. AFWERX serves as a catalyst to unleash new approaches for the warfighter through a growing ecosystem of innovators. AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen the Air Force, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts.

Fast Company named AFWERX Best Workplaces for Innovators on the 2020 List, honoring the top 100 businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. AFWERX, U.S. Air Force’s innovation arm and catalyst for fostering innovation within the Air Force, came in at #16 ranking in the top 20 alongside brands such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. Preview the live announcement with Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company, unveiled during the AFWERX Fusion 2020 Base of the Future Event & Showcase.

Media Contacts:
Tracy Skenandore / Makenzie Coombs