Aerostar acquires Near Space

On March 25, Aerostar International LLC and TCOM Holdings announced the acquisition of Near Space Corporation of Tillamook, OR. This strategic move marks a significant milestone in Aerostar’s journey toward innovation and expansion within the aerospace and defense sector, the company said.

Near Space Corporation has operated since 1996 as an expert in high-altitude flight testing and complex Aerospace soft goods designs. Examples include drop testing the Boeing Starliner parachute systems from altitude, prototyping planetary balloon systems with NASA JPL to explore the atmosphere of Venus, and fabricating the air barrier for the Bigelow BEAM inflatable module on the International Space Station. In addition, Near Space manages the Tillamook Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Test Range, one of seven FAA-designated UAS Testing locations in the United States.

The Tillamook facility and team bring synergy to Aerostar’s customers and operations. A new launch location on the West Coast is geographically strategic for Pacific high-altitude balloon operations and is located near key customer facilities. The test range provides an advantageous location for Aerostar’s integration partners in the radar and stratospheric platform markets to test combined concepts of operations. Near Space has experience in operations for larger balloon launches, as well as a unique capability with their NS3 high-altitude gliding UAS. Pairing these technologies with Aerostar’s Thunderstorm mission planning and command and control software will benefit customers of both companies on day one. NSC’s Space Materials expertise will open up new markets for Aerostar and TCOM.

“I’m excited to bring Near Space’s technology, location, and team members into the Aerostar team. They are well aligned to our culture and will drive forward our mission to connect, protect, and save lives,” said Jim Nelson, president of Aerostar. “Our combined experience in the stratosphere will further strengthen Aerostar’s position as a world leader in high-altitude lighter-than-air solutions.”

Tim Lachenmeier, chief executive officer of Near Space Corporation, said, “I started this company almost thirty years ago to do high altitude flight testing, and we’ve grown to be so much more than that. I couldn’t be more proud of what our team has accomplished in recent years, and I can’t imagine a better home for our future!”

TCOM CEO Ron Bendlin spoke about the significant impact this acquisition has on the portfolio’s future, “The enabling capabilities we have brought together will greatly enhance our ability to offer responsive and reliable solutions for persistent elevated awareness and deep sensing. As we continue to grow, we look forward to the future and how we can continue to adapt and help meet the needs of the modern warfighter.”

Source: Aerostar

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