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Sierra Space Axelerator Prime

Orbital Missions & Services

A New Era of

National Space Security

“Commercial space companies now have a profound responsibility to help lead the way in an entirely new era for National Space Security”

Tom Vice, CEO, Sierra Space

Developing a next generation product line of small, high performance, affordable satellites for on-orbit servicing missions

Sierra Space is a commercial space company with a legacy of nearly 30 years of experience designing, manufacturing and successfully delivering space systems, components, and spacecraft on-orbit in support of National Security.

Our Orbital Missions and Services (OMS) business area has designed, produced, and launched 23 space vehicles and supported over 400 successful space and interplanetary missions with our subsystems and components.

Building on this expertise, we are developing a next generation product line of small, high performance, affordable satellites designed from the ground up for on-orbit servicing missions.

Spacecraft Product Line

Using commercial business models, Sierra Space is delivering capabilities faster, with a set of on-orbit commercial services including Inspection, Deorbit, Refueling, Tug/Transfer, Repair, Augmentation, Return and Connectivity.

Our goal is to deliver orbital services to commercial, DOD and national security organizations, expanding production capacity to meet the needs of constellation programs.

OMS offers turnkey on-orbit services and satellite solutions ready to integrate customer payloads. 

The SN series of satellites come in a wide variety of form factors with high power, high thrust, and high reliability flight heritage.

The SN-50 ESPA class commodity buses are the baseline for purpose-built LEO/GEO Spacecraft using modular mission payloads. Sierra Space offers microsat capability with its SN-50 ESPA class LEO/GEO spacecraft platform. This product is ideal for flying smaller payloads and hosting technical demonstration missions.


  • Fully ESPA – compatible
  • Adaptable to all LEO orbits/inclinations
  • Reconfigurable payload accommodation interfaces
  • Robust multi-tiered fault protection system
  • Green propulsion capability
  • Optional GEO version supports payloads up to 65 kg with high delta-V choices

The SN-100 ESPA Grande class commodity buses are the baseline for purpose-built LEO/GEO Spacecraft using modular mission payloads. The SN-100 design-for-manufacturing enables large-scale productions and increased flexibility for missions with payloads up to 150 kg.


  • 3-5-year mission life with end of mission (EOM) disposal
  • Common bus provides the building blocks for multiple missions and growing adversarial threat solutions
  • Support payloads up to 150 kg with optional high-power versions for peak power needs
  • Configurable communications packages, OSILs in/cross plane, uplink/downlink, and Link 16 supporting secure mesh networking
  • Standard pointing is better than 10 arcsec knowledge, 3σ
  • Flexible payload accommodation capability
  • 3-axis reaction wheel control
  • Optional proximity operations sensor suite and high thrust divert thrusters

The SN-200 ESPA Grande class commodity buses are the baseline for purpose-built LEO/MEO/GEO spacecraft using modular mission payloads.


  • Supports payloads up to 500 kg
  • 5-7-year life with EOM disposal
  • >1,500 W power generation
  • Standard pointing performance better than 10 arcsec knowledge, 3σ
  • 3-axis reaction wheel control, optional high thrust divert thrusters
  • Partial or full redundancy with optional proximity operations sensor suite
  • Very high delta-V capability, >2,000 m/s with 200 kg payload

The SN-1000 LDPE class platform can host six rideshare payloads and adds an auxiliary platform for on-orbit demo payload assets in either MEO or GEO orbits. The SN-1000 spacecraft features support refueling operations, rideshare missions, GTO to GEO transfer, multi-rendezvous and cislunar applications.


  • Integration standardization support the maximum flexibility for late manifest and port allocation decisions
  • Advance rideshare capabilities on future LDPE flights
  • Simplify payload integration, extend mission life, and add additional integrated payload capability that allow new LDPE missions such as on-orbit test range activities, while preserving the baseline six-port rideshare mission
  • Expand core capabilities provide improved propulsion delta-V and provide a new re-docking capability
  • Increased redundancy can optionally extend life beyond 5-year requirements
  • Design includes command, telemetry, and power services to all six payload ports

National Security Leadership

Rusty Thomas Headshot Sierra Space
Rusty Thomas

Rusty Thomas is the SVP & General Manager of Sierra Space’s Space Applications Sector and Chief Technology Officer, driving the development and operations of our team. With nearly 34 years of experience in the space industry, Thomas has spent his career leveraging commercial approaches for on-time, zero-defect, delivery of spacecraft and launch vehicles. 

Thomas joins Sierra Space from Amazon where he led the Kuiper Government Solutions team, responsible for leading Kuiper Government engagement and advanced project teams. Prior to Kuiper, Thomas led the Project Blackjack and Pit Boss teams for DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office that are demonstrating the military utility of proliferated LEO small satellites, including autonomous operations and direct tactical communication links from space assets to warfighters. Prior to DARPA, Thomas was Senior Director of Dragon Production at SpaceX, where he led the team that built the first commercial spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station. His team also manufactured the Falcon9 landing legs and actuators. 

His military background includes twenty years of service in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Thomas is an Iraq veteran and Navy Intelligence Officer trained to deploy with Naval Special Warfare teams.

Erik Daehler
Erik Daehler

Erik Daehler is the Vice President of Orbital Systems and Services for the Sierra Space Corporation. In this capacity, he is responsible for the development, production and innovation of satellite products and services for the Applications Team at Sierra Space. He brings 23 years of aerospace and defense experience, with a broad background in program management, business development and product innovation.

Daehler has a background in physics and space systems engineering with applications in communication, space protection, re-entry vehicles and remote sensing. This mission experience shaped his strategies for new technology development at Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Daehler led commercial business development and the protected communications mission at Lockheed Martin Space as well as research and development for Boeing’s unmanned satellite systems, worked as a chief system architect and systems engineering manager on large-scale satellite and network systems for commercial and government customers.

Wes Collier

Wes Collier is Sierra Space’s Vice President for Proliferated Systems. He joined Sierra Space in 2020 and has held positions of increasing responsibility within the company’s National Security Space portfolio. He is responsible for the design, procurement, and operations of Sierra Space’s constellation satellite systems for both government and commercial applications.

Prior to joining Sierra Space, Wes worked for Northrop Grumman where he held key leadership roles in program management and product development including Director of Engineering and Chief Engineer for the B-2 Spirit Bomber, Chief Architect for Airborne ISR, and IPT Leader on a number of classified air and space programs. In these roles he was responsible for developing, testing and fielding critical capacities for our national defense.

Wes started his professional career as an engineer at a number of innovative and entrepreneurial space companies including SpaceX and Scaled Composites working on a variety of concept studies performing modeling and simulation for a variety of systems including reusable space.

Contact us for more information about your National Security needs.