Vector to stay in Tucson to restart micro-satellite launch work

Vector Launch Inc., a Tucson-based micro-satellite launch company that filed for bankruptcy in 2019, will restart operations and remain in Tucson.

The company that bought Vector’s rocket-launching assets plans to remain in the failed company’s former quarters near downtown to further develop of small rockets designed to carry micro-satellites into orbit, Sun Corridor Inc. and the new owners said Tuesday. Vector filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and laid off about 150 employees in December, after a major investor pulled its funding.

After a bankruptcy auction, Vector’s rocket-launching assets were purchased by TLS Bidco, a California investor group that said it would restart the company’s development of small rockets to carry micro-satellites into space. Vector’s satellite assets, called GalacticSky, were acquired by Lockheed Martin in February for $4.25 million. The new Vector Launch, led by retired Air Force brigadier general and national-security expert Rob Spalding, decided to restart operations in Tucson after a competitive, multistate site selection process, Sun Corridor said. Vector’s operations will stay at 350 S. Toole Ave. under a new, market-based lease with Pima County, which purchased the building in August and negotiated a new lease with the company.

“We actually came to Tucson to close up shop, so to speak, and move the assets out of Southern Arizona,” said Spalding, who is acting CEO of Vector Launch. But Spalding said that Sun Corridor, the local economic-development agency, convinced the company that Tucson has the right workforce and talent the company needed to stay.

“We are committed to manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and it’s clear we have a strong path forward in Tucson,”

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David Wichner

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