Central Florida firm gets invite to conference for its space debris solution


As the U.S. and rest of the world see more satellites launched into space, they face obstacles other generations have not.

As more objects launch, more become space debris, floating around, taking up, well, space.

It’s a problem the U.S. Air Force wants to see more research on.

So it has tapped a Daytona Beach company located at UCF’s incubator at Research Park to pursue it.

Space Domain Awareness participated this week in the Air Force’s AFWERX Space Challenge as the only Florida company to take part.

CEO John Lee said the competition could represent a major accomplishment for his startup.

“It is truly the centerpiece of innovation for the space industry,” he said in a press release.

Space Domain Awareness part of UCF’s Innovation District program at the Research Park.

The innovation districts are incubators that help scalable companies in targeted industries. In particular, the organization has one program that highlights space firms.


The Space Challenge is a part of EngageSpace, an Air Force and U.S. Space Force-sponsored program held this week online.

You can learn more about the program HERE. The event brings government together with industry.

Lee and cofounder Ethan Saxon started Space Domain Awareness last year when they both participated in an entrepreneurship program.

Their solution to the space debris problem includes tagging the objects that are floating in space in what they are calling “the world’s first orbital license plate.”

The company plans to have its first commercial test launch next year.

“The solutions submitted for these space challenges represent the bleeding edge of space innovation,” Brennan Townley, AFWERX Challenge Collaboration Lead, said in a release. “We’re excited to highlight these innovators and connect them with opportunities across the Space ecosystem.”


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