Startup Epislon3 hopes to expand Pentagon reach with launch of ‘software service’

ByLance T. Lee

Jun 29, 2022

Vaya Space operators using Epsilon3’s space vehicle test software on their tablets. (Photo: Epsilon3)

WASHINGTON: Los Angeles startup Epsilon3 recently landed its first Space Force subscription for its launch management software, but the small company Is is already launching other applications for military and government users – with company officials saying their bag of software tools can be used for a number of complex missions with multiple moving parts.

“Most of our customers are commercial. But we already have a prime contract with Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 at Cape Canaveral. They pay and use our software for launch operations,” Max Mednik, co-founder of the 18-month-old company, told Breaking Defense.

Mednik spoke in an interview on June 24, along with another of Epsilon3’s three co-founders, Laura Crabtree.

“We are small and our bandwidth is somewhat limited, so we have mainly focused on commercial. But in the long term, we are very excited to pursue and support many more customers in government. There are very clearly many use cases within Space Force and Air Force because the product is very useful for those things,” he added.

Based at Patrick SFB in Florida, Delta 45 is responsible for managing the Eastern launch lineup – including everything from the launches themselves to communications to the financial books.

Mednik said Delta 45 earlier this spring took out a one-year subscription, which includes annual tracking options, to help it automate and track the many complicated ground station processes involved in launching a a satellite.

Creating easy-to-use spacecraft launch and management software tools that would be available to even the newest newbies to the space launch scene was the initial impetus behind the startup, explained Crabtree, who has previously worked for SpaceX.

“The format was designed for space operations,” she said, both “in the case of a launch vehicle, or if they’re already in space” with the goal of “developing a platform -shape to increase efficiency, collaboration, and coordination among members who operate vehicles in space.Since then, it has expanded to adjacent industries.

Additionally, Crabtree said, Epsilon3’s software has also been optimized for use in pre-launch operations such as testing and integration.

“When we think of, for example, the life cycle of a project, you have design, then manufacturing, then integration and testing, then operations. And we were designed for this operating phase” , she explained. “But what we found was that people really liked the platform before operations. So when they get into building hardware, when they get get into hardware testing, they like having the same platform for all these different parts of the program lifecycle.

The company now has around 40 customers, Crabtree noted, including other space startups but also larger launch companies. Epsilon recently completed its Series A funding round, raising $15 million.

“Our main investor was Lux Capital,” she said. “They’re heavy in defense and space, and a lot of our ideal customers, and so they have a very good, deep knowledge of the space industry and can really be a great support. We are therefore very happy to be in partnership with them in this field.

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