Exos Aerospace

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EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc
Privately held
HeadquartersGreenville, Texas
Key people
David Mitchell - President
John Quinn - COO
Russell Blink - CTO
ProductsRocket vehicles
RevenueNot disclosed
Number of employees

Exos Aerospace Systems & Technologies is an aerospace manufacturer and developer of reusable launch systems intended to support unmanned orbital spaceflight launches, and is based in Caddo Mills, Texas.


Exos Aerospace is based on both technologies and people from Armadillo Aerospace, a company founded by video game developer John Carmack.[1] Armadillo had competed for the Ansari X Prize for commercial human suborbital spaceflight in the early 2000s and later developed a series of suborbital vehicles.[1] In August 2013, Carmack placed Armadillo in "hibernation" following the crash of their STIG-B rocket and began "actively looking for outside investors to restart work on the company’s rockets".[2]

Exos Aerospace was founded in May 2014; former employees of Armadillo Aerospace were a significant part of the founding team. Exos was created to carry on the reusable commercial space craft started by Armadillo Aerospace.[3] Exos even set up their operations in one of Armadillo's former facilities at the Caddo Mills Municipal Airport, in Texas.[3] In 2015, the assets of Armadillo Aerospace were formally sold to Exos Aerospace.


Exos Aerospace is focused on suborbital research rockets with an intent of initially launching micro satellites and eventually progressing to autonomous spaceflight. Exos Aerospace is developing the SARGE family for its suborbital vehicles. All research and development is based at the new manufacturing facility in Greenville, TX. This is inclusive of rocket design, fabrication, assembly, storage and testing. Engines up to 5,000-lbf nominal thrust can be tested on a static test skid at the hangar complex. The company is a NASA REDDI provider and is targeting to qualify to be a NASA IDIQ provider under the Flight Opportunities program.[1] Due to its re-usability, Exos intends to leverage the reusability of the SARGE rocket in development of its orbital technology program that will be manufacturing their Orbital vehicle in a new State of the Art facility in the Basilicata region of Italy.


The SARGE vehicle is based on the STIG B platform developed as part of Armadillo Aerospace's lunar lander program. The SARGE vehicle employs a LOX-ethanol propulsion module based on the LE23000FC series engines, producing approximately 5500 lbs of thrust.[4] The airframe is a reusable sounding rocket with a 20 inches (51 cm) diameter, and is 36 feet (11 m) tall. Helium pressurant cold gas thrusters provide attitude control for pitch-roll-yaw and pointing capability. Payload must fit inside a 20 inches (51 cm) diameter cylinder, be no more than 36 inches (91 cm) tall (in its standard configuration) and weigh no more than 50 kilograms (110 lb). Exos plans to use this technology as the design basis for a reusable (first stage) launch vehicle capable of carrying 100kg to low Earth orbit. EXOS Aerospace continues to launch From Spaceport America and the next flight is scheduled for March 02, 2019. On 14 February 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration issued Exos Aerospace a Reusable Vehicle Mission Launch License. On August 25th 2018 Exos flew a successful Pathfinder Mission proving SARGE as a Reusable Launch Vehicle.


  1. ^ a b c "Exos Aerospace prepares for first suborbital launch - SpaceNews.com". 23 March 2018.
  2. ^ Foust, Jeff (1 August 2013). "Carmack: Armadillo Aerospace in "hibernation mode"". NewSpace Journal. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Armadillo Aerospace Vets Start New Space Company - SpaceNews.com". 19 May 2014.
  4. ^ "EXOS Aerospace Launches from Spaceport America – Parabolic Arc". www.parabolicarc.com.