FuseBlox™ — Mission Update


With the space economy at $441 billion dollars in 2020, and the increased commercial activity in space, SpaceWorks is developing FuseBlox™, a new hardware product — a connector technology that could revolutionize how future space stations, satellites, and space telescopes are built.

FuseBlox is a scalable and multifunctional rendezvous and docking connector technology that will enable on-orbit satellite servicing, modular assembly of large space structures, and space-based manufacturing and construction. SpaceWorks was awarded a protective patent on the novel FuseBlox design by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in July of 2021.

About the Mission

SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc. was awarded a Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) award from the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) for the development of a sustainable and evolvable orbital platform to provide persistent payload hosting capabilities in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO).

Phase I was executed from July 2016 to January 2017, with an option period executed from March 2017 to June 2017. Phase II SBIR began June 2017 and lasted until December 2018. Phase III, which commenced in March 2020, has transitioned the FuseBlox™ connector technology from a Phase II SBIR to a flight-ready product (commericialization).

Environmental and Performance Testing

Environmental testing for the FuseBlox flight units included putting them through a battery of tests — thermal (hot and cold temperatures), vacuum, vibration, electromagnetic signals — to prove the device has the durability and workmanship needed to survive launch and space for extended periods.

FuseBlox Testing
FuseBlox Testing

Performance Testing at the AFRL ROC Lab was conducted in realistic, frictionless environment, simulating movement in space, allowing it to simulate in a movement of a satellite operation, along with docking, testing performance to specifications and beyond.