Morpheus Space developed a space mission design platform so intuitive even I could use it

Space propulsion developer Morpheus Space today unveiled its first software product, a mission simulation and design platform called Journey.

The product has been in development for almost two years, Morpheus product manager Jim Gianakopoulos said in a recent interview (and recent product presentation). It grew out of the typical thruster sales process: customers coming to Morpheus and asking if the startup’s line of electric propulsion systems could meet their mission requirements. But this process is highly technical, disaggregated and manual.

“We realized it was an inhibiting factor,” Gianakopoulos said. “It can be empowering for our users to just give them the locus of control to simulate their entire mission themselves, analyze it, refine it and see what the propulsion system responds to. [their] needs.”

Journey brings together all the data typically spread across Excel sheets, Python, and other systems and quickly generates a mission and system design. In the software, customers can enter custom system measurements, maneuvers, launch date and other requirements. The software is designed to be user-friendly even for non-technical users, with templates for common attributes like satellite size.

Notably, the Journey platform not only offers customers Morpheus’ own propulsion systems. Depending on mission requirements, it can also recommend third-party chemical propulsion systems, as well as different subsystems such as attitude determination and control systems and communications.

The platform’s first product is called Preliminary Mission Design (PMD) and the company also plans to roll out higher fidelity Advanced Mission Design (AMD). The platform is designed to support the customer from mission ideation to end-of-life deorbiting operations.

Morpheus has an initial five to six customers using the PMD product to inform their early missions and systems design; AMD will launch in the next two weeks in closed beta. Morpheus, which has offices in Germany and El Segundo, California, was founded in 2018. Last September, the startup closed a $28 million Series A round led by Alpine Space Ventures.

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