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Looking back to where it all started...

March 2024

For over a decade, we at StarSpec Technologies continue to develop and provide core value in technological capabilities and implementation methodologies. It is heartening to realize how much traction and progress StarSpec Technologies has generated in such a short time, and how this traction is continuing to fuel innovation in next-generation scalable space-based applications. As an appreciative reminder of where it all began, today marks the 10th anniversary for the first complete assembly of what would become the highly successful and technologically prolific Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT). It was from these first initial steps that key technical milestones were surpassed that led to space quality astronomical imaging at a scale and quality matching the famous Hubble Space Telescope, and at a fraction of the total integrated cost and development time from concept to launch. The years that followed showed incredible success with the SuperBIT platform as its capabilities redefined what was possible for space-based imaging at this scale.

It is the seeds of these initial successes that launched StarSpec Technologies several years later, expanding upon and commercially providing this kind of breakthrough value to NASA through the EXCITE and Taurus projects as well as continued innovation with the Canadian Space Agency through StarSpec's InspireSAT Initiative. We at StarSpec Technologies are looking forward to the next 10 years of innovation and space-based scalability as we continue to strive for effective and sustainable use of space-based technologies to contribute to solving some of the big problems here on Earth.

It's Official: 
StarSpec's InspireSAT is a GO!

January 2024

StarSpec Technologies is thrilled to announce that the InspireSAT ADCS 12U MVP project with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is officially a GO! Over the next 24 months, StarSpec will be implementing the detailed LEO satellite design conceived in Phase 1 to demonstrate transformative capabilities in sub-arcsecond stabilization for accessible and scalable low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. With applications from imaging in astronomy to SSA/SDA in LEO to Earth observation of critical infrastructure in monitoring the effects of climate change, StarSpec is looking forward to utilizing these technologies to enable a wide range of current and next-generation missions.

All in all, we at StarSpec are excited to take on this ambitious endeavor, and we wanted to take the time to recognize and give our thanks for the continued support from those that have helped us along the way. There's a lot to do and and more to look forward to, so we also wanted this to be a first step in re-engaging with those that have expressed interest and enthusiasm in continuing to be a part of our InspireSAT journey.
Feel free to reach out if you'd like to learn about our project roadmap or if there is anything about the InspireSAT implementation plan that you'd like to become involved with - we'd be happy to hear from you!

Stay tuned to hear more exciting news about InspireSAT's build and development project over the next 24 months!
Official Notice on CSA's Website
Check out SpaceQ's announcement!

StarSpec kicks off 2024 at AAS 243

January 2024

It's a new year at StarSpec Technologies, and 2024 comes with lots to do and even more to look forward to!

Kicking of 2024 in New Orleans, StarSpec makes a splash at the 243rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, meeting with students, professors, and industry leaders in astronomical observation and instrumentation from across North America and around the world. Promoting the capabilities of StarSpec's flagship project SuperBIT and its successor GigaBIT, StarSpec garnered substantial interest in how space-based astronomy and capabilities can be made accessible and cost-effective outside the auspices of larger (and more costly) space-based telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope or James Webb Space Telescope, but with competitive performance and effective science throughput. Not to mention that StarSpec's booth at the AAS Exhibition was a hit: shiny swag and stellar photos were a great introduction to learning more about how StarSpec's vision of accessible space-based astronomy is becoming a reality with projects like GigaBIT, InspireSAT, Taurus, EXCITE, and many more coming down the pipe.

AAS 243 was also a great opportunity to meet with our partners, clients, and colleagues at Louisiana State University, University of Colorado Boulder, Princeton University, the Balloon Program Office, JPL-NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, and many other institutions and agencies in the US and Canada - truly an amazing event to be a part of and to contribute to!

From AAS 243:
"Visit StarSpec Technologies to learn more about how we are lowering the barrier to access space based resources for astronomy and remote sensing applications."

Check out more info on AAS 243 in NOLA!

StarSpec at Space Bound 2023

October 2023

StarSpec Technologies was excited to meet with space innovators across Canada at Space Bound 2023, further supporting and developing the Canadian space sector by encouraging collaboration and innovation from coast to coast.

Hosted by Space Canada in the capital, members from across Canada, key industry leaders, and government officials highlighted key aspects of the Canadian space economy requiring industry support and promotion, the manufacturing, space-qualification, and space data utilization aspects for which StarSpec is proud to be a strong and continuing contributor.

Keynote speakers included the Canadian Minister of Science François-Philippe Champagne, the President of the Canadian Space Agency Lisa Campbell, former Canadian astronauts Marc Garneau & David Saint-Jacques, and representatives from the Canadian defense sector.

Check out more Space Bound 2023!

EXCITE: Fully Integrated and Flight Ready at NASA's Ft. Sumner Launch Facility

September 2023

The EXCITE project has passed a major milestone in declaring Flight Readiness with NASA's launch provider, the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.

As part of completing this contract with Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC-NASA), StarSpec Technologies has provide key technical support in integrating the StarSpec-built Gondola and cutting-edge Sub-arcsecond Pointing system with NASA's state-of-the-art optical systems and cryogenic detectors, notably one of the flight spares for the James Webb Space Telescope.

This achievement marks the successful completion of StarSpec's primary contract with EXCITE, opening doors for future collaboration with GSFC-NASA in further preparing EXCITE for its fully operational Science Flight from NASA's Long Duration Balloon facility in Antarctica by 2026.

Stay tuned for more developments on StarSpec's continuing support for EXCITE

Learn more about the EXCITE Project!

StarSpec Completes TARDIGRADE-2 Campaign at TRIUMF

August 2023

StarSpec Technologies has completed another successful campaign of the Targeted Advancement in Robustly Designed Instrumentation for Generic RADiation Environments (TARDIGRADE) program.

As a rapid and streamlined approach to space qualification, TARDIGRADE is a bold approach to the effective utilization of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) devices for space-based applications using StarSpec's proprietary Modified COTS technologies.

This round of radiation based testing at TRIUMF's radiation test facility in Vancouver focuses on COTS motor controllers, servos, and next-generation sub-orbital control boards for missions such as StarSpec's InspireSAT Initiative as well as product development for future StarSpec partners at Raven Aerostar.

Building on the success of this campaign and previous TARDIGRADE results, StarSpec has demonstrated effective use of its Modified COTS of space-based applications while showcasing a viable pipeline to space rapidly qualify technologies for StarSpec and its customers.

Successful NASA launch of the SuperBIT payload

April 2023

StarSpec Technologies is proud to announce the successful launch of the Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT)!

With liftoff from Wanaka, New Zealand at just after 2300h on April 15, 2023, the 1500 kg (3300 lbs) SuperBIT instrument was deployed in the stratosphere at 30-40 km altitude above 99.5% of the atmosphere via a football-stadium-sized balloon.

As a founding enabler of the SuperBIT instrument, StarSpec Technologies commissioned the state-of-the-art stabilization platform that provides imaging capabilities that exceed those of the famous Hubble Space Telescope.

StarSpec Technologies has since taken this image stabilization technology to market for balloon-borne and satellite instruments alike, offering components and systems that provide unprecented imaging capabilities at a fraction of the cost and time of a traditional space-based mission.

Follow SuperBIT on Instagram and with NASA!

Check out extra SuperBIT content!

News Archive

Kicking off StarSpec's InspireSAT Initiative

December 2022

StarSpec Technologies is proud to announce the official commencement of the InspireSAT Initiative: a bold approach to unprecedented, next-generation space-based imaging capabilities intended to economically viable scaling on an industrial and constellation scale. InspireSAT represents an encapsulation of the unrivaled space-based imaging capabilities for which StarSpec continues to demonstrate robustness and reliability from the modular components to standardized platforms. StarSpec has received support from the Canadian Space Agency to enable the Phase 1 Design for the InspireSAT MVP, to be demonstrated on-orbit by 2025.

InspireSAT Constellations On-Demand: Direct Commercialization through 12U Attitude Determination and Control Systems (ADCS) Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The recent reduction in launch costs has opened up potential for cost-efficient, high-performance, rapidly-deployable low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations. StarSpec Technologies specializes in high-precision high-accuracy Attitude Determination and Control Systems which are critical to the advancement of scientific, commercial, and military applications in space. StarSpec is directly addressing burgeoning demands in this sector through its InspireSAT Constellations On-Demand Initiative. This technology and related industrial capabilities will enable rapidly-deployable, high-precision and high-accuracy 12U to SmallSat-class constellations uniquely suitable for next-generation sustainable applications in high-resolution Earth-imaging/Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR), Space Situational Awareness (SSA)/ Space Domain Awareness (SDA), military surveillance, and research.This project will enable rapid commercial access to LEO while fostering growth through training of a critical mass of highly qualified personnel (HQP), thereby increasing Canadian space technologies prevalence and market share. StarSpec has received significant interest in this technology from Universities to collaborate on their projects, and is continuing to gain solid traction from the commercial sector.

StarSpec Announces Technology Collaboration
with Litepulse

November 2022

StarSpec Technologies, Inc., and Litepulse, Inc.,are pleased to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent. The transaction involves the integration and/or mutual collaboration between Litepulse’s mesh network and StarSpec ADCS InspireSAT sub-arcsecond ADCS products. StarSpec ADCS InspireSAT’s unique design and capabilities will enable the sub-arcsecond Low-Earth Orbit platform stability at a level suitable for Litepulse’s development. The techniques and methodologies utilized for StarSpec’s InspireSAT are of particular interest for Litepulse power distribution components and subsystems. This includes hardening off the self-components for radiation, thermal vacuum, and dynamic vibration.

Litepulse / StarSpec partnership
“Litepulse’s vision is to build, space’s first remote power grid and this agreement with StarSpec is instrumental to making that vision a reality. We are excited to work with StarSpec to make space more accessible for everyone,”

Karl Stedman
Litepulse Founder and CEO.
StarSpec founders open new facilityStarSpec Testing EXCITE on sky

Canada's First Space-based Manufacturing and Testing Facility

September 2022

StarSpec is proud to announce the commissioning of our new space technology site: Canada's first fully commercial suborbital and space-based assembly, manufacturing, and testing facility.

Located in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, this facility will serve as a primary base for integration and real-time operations of StarSpec's large NASA-contracted suborbital payloads, as well as technology development and manufacturing of space-based imaging hardware for LEO SmallSats.

From this facility, StarSpec also looks forward to the launch of its InspireSat product line, which will enable fast and at-scale access to critical components used for high-res Earth-imaging satellites in support of emerging critical infrastructure, surveillance, and climate monitoring applications.

More updates on tooling up our new facility coming soon - stay tuned!

Year 1 Update

May 2022

StarSpec is pleased to announce the successful completion of Year 1 for NASA's EXCITE project!

This state-of-the-art payload is designed to have the same imaging stability as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in order to be able to perform detailed analyses of exoplanet atmospheres that could possibly be very similar to Earth.

Set to for integration to begin at NASA in Spring of 2023, EXCITE will launch it's first Test Flight in Fall 2023 with the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) from Ft. Sumner, NM.

After successful recovery, EXCITE is queued to launch from McMurdo, Antarctica in Winter 2024 on a football-stadium sized balloon capable of lifting all 3000 lbs of scientific hardware into the stratosphere at three times higher than a typical jet (40 km altitude), during which StarSpec systems will allow EXCITE to collect highly precise exoplanet data.

Click below, to get a sneak peak at some of operational behind-the-scenes capabilities:

Sub-Arcsecond Balloon-borne Payload First-look Technology Demonstration

Press Release

October 2021

StarSpec is celebrating an amazing press release from one of our core founding projects, SuperBIT - the Super-pressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope!

Based on and supported by StarSpec's core suborbital technology, SuperBIT is looking to fly on NASA's super-pressure balloon system from Wanaka, New Zealand with imaging capabilities rivaling the famous Hubble Space Telescope.

Click below to learn more about how StarSpec is enabling projects like SuperBIT to realize space-based capabilities faster, cheaper, and more effectively.

VICE -- Scientists Are Launching a Massive Helium Balloon to Measure Dark -- SuperBIT: A low-cost, balloon-borne telescope to rival HubbleThe Guardian -- Enormous balloon could help astronomers get clear view of spaceForbes -- The Hubble Space Telescope Is Alive But Could Soon Be Replaced By Cheap Balloons Say ScientistsIFL Science -- A Balloon-Borne Telescope Could Rival Hubble For A Fraction Of The Cost

StarSpec Secures Sole Source Status for NASA GSFC Project

September 2021

StarSpec has passed a critical milestone in securing sole-source status with a new high-profile sub-orbital project out of NASA Goddard.

This milestone vets StarSpec's space-based technologies and solutions as the most viable compared to other traditional commercial vendors on the basis of cost, timeline, and overall performance capabilities.

More news to come on StarSpec's support of this high profile NASA project!

StarSpec & New Space: 
A Cover Piece

July 2021

StarSpec is thrilled to be featured in Betakit's cover piece on how our technology is shaping the way future "new space" applications are approaching space. Click below to read the full article.


StarSpec's NASA Projects Update

March 2021

In addition to breaking ground on NASA's EXCITE project, StarSpec has been officially contracted to join a second high-profile NASA-led project as part of the 2021 NASA Pioneers program.

StarSpec's primary role on this project (official details to be released) will be the design, fabrication, integration, and in-field operational support for a first-of-its-kind suborbital platform to be launched and operated from McMurdo, Antarctica as early as 2025 and Kiruna, Sweden in the following year.

Though in the early stages of development, this project promises to not only be a welcome engineering challenge for the StarSpec team, but an incredible opportunity to strengthen ties with technology development leaders and science innovators at NASA and research institutions across North America.

StarSpec Expanding Technology Development

January 2021

We have hit the ground running in the first month of 2021, completing critical development for the AVIN project—a partnership with Aposys to develop high-definition three-dimensional maps for self driving car applications.

StarSpec and Aposys hope to continue development of this project, fusing StarSpec satellite imagery with data collected from AVIN to develop the necessary mapping infrastructure for fully autonomous self driving car applications in urban and suburban environments. More updates on this exciting project and more to come soon!

StarSpec 2020: End of Year Update

December 2020

StarSpec is finishing off a busy year having received an incredible amount of interest from research and technology development groups across North America.

With nearly half a dozen high-value commitments from academic institutions and high-profile research groups at NASA, StarSpec is looking forward to providing suborbital gondola hardware and software for a broad spectrum of scientific diversity, from exoplanet atmospheres to observing intricate properties of the galactic interstellar medium to probing the fundamental mechanisms of the universe itself.

We are excited to break ground and provide StarSpec technology and expertise to enable exploration of these new frontiers starting as early as Spring 2021.

StarSpec and NASA's Pioneers Program

December 2020

StarSpec Technologies has been contracted to take part in a critical design study for a state-of-the-art suborbital gondola as part of NASA's new Pioneers program.

As part of an ongoing partnership with academic institutions across Canada and the United States, StarSpec's primary role on this project (details to be released) will be to design, manufacture and integrate the primary gondola pointing and scanning system while providing critical in-field operational support and training throughout and up to the project's at-float commissioning stage.

When funded, this multi-institutional project will be the first-of-its kind balloon-based remote research facility to be launched via NASA's Super-Pressure Balloon capabilities out of Wanaka, New Zealand as early as Spring 2025.

StarSpec Secures EXCITE Contract with NASA GSFC

May 2020

We are excited to announce that StarSpec is part of the winning EXoplanet Climate Infrared TElescope (EXCITE) proposal team, headed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. StarSpec will develop, construct, and integrate the suborbital balloon-borne platform for the project.

Based on the high-precision telescope and image stabilization systems developed by our core team, StarSpec will enable EXCITE to make spectrographic measurements of planets outside our solar system (exoplanets) with unparalleled accuracy and precision. Scheduled to launch from McMurdo, Antarctica in 2025 to near-space via a football-stadium-sized balloon as part of NASA's Long Duration Balloon program, the EXCITE project aims to use these high fidelity measurements to better understand the atmospheric content of these exoplanets at a level not achievable with current ground, sub-orbital, or space-based instrumentation.