Press Release: AFWERX Announces Benchmark Space Systems Among Top Teams Selected to exhibit at EngageSpace

Burlington, Vermont September, 16, 2020 – AFWERX,the catalyst for fostering innovation within the U.S. Air Force, announced Benchmark Space Systems as one of the 178 top participating teams selected from The AFWERX Space Challenge initiative to exhibit at EngageSpace,a virtual two-day event on September 29-30.

The AFWERX Space Challenge initiative is made up of four challenges targeted at creating integrated space operations leveraging the best in technology while maintaining security, being resilient and increasing agility. Four challenges were run concurrently focused on separate topics – Persistent ISR, DoD Commercial Space Partnerships, Global Space Transport and Delivery and Space Asset Resiliency.

Located in Burlington, Benchmark Space Systems is competing in the Global Space Transport and Delivery Challenge alongside a diverse group of teams that represent entrepreneurial startups,small businesses, large enterprises, academic institutions and research labs.

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

The Global Space Transport and Delivery Challenge strives to develop a space resupply and delivery system that can quickly and accurately deploy packages, supplies, and equipment to any location on earth.

The Benchmark Space proposed innovation is an adaptation of the non-toxic Orbit Transfer Vehicle (OTV) engine being developed for their commercial partner, Spaceflight, Inc, targeted at improving USAF, USSF, and broader government in-space logistics capability and responsiveness. The OTV engine is launch-vehicle agnostic, making it compatible with any rideshare launch – and can rapidly deliver spacecraft to specified and distant orbits due to its relatively high thrust compared to alternative emerging technologies. This will play a critical role in reaching the goals of the USSF and USAF mission directorate,as Benchmark Space adds rapid responsiveness and agility at a much lower cost than legacy space suppliers. 

The EngageSpace event will feature highly engaging opportunities to connect, educate and innovate with other like-minded attendees, industry leaders, individual innovators, academia, investors, as well as military and government leaders. The entire event is designed to transform and accelerate the industry and enable government buyers to pursue the most promising innovative solutions to the most pressing and threatening Space scenarios.

Register for the EngageSpace event by visiting

“Benchmark Space Systems is thrilled to partner with Spaceflight to offer our innovative non-toxic chemical propulsion solutions to both commercial and government customers,offering a whole new level of rideshare capabilities and options for faster,safer missions to the most useful orbits,” said Benchmark’s CEO, Ryan McDevitt.

ABOUT Benchmark Space Systems

Our mission is to improve yours. Founded in 2017 and headed for multiple in-space missions in 2020, Benchmark Space Systems is positioned to be your in-space mobility partner. We are focused on improving accessibility to propulsion capability by providing the most cost-effective propulsion solutions for your Small Satellite mission needs: from simple orbit adjustments and regulatory compliance to high-agility maneuvers and RPO. Benchmark Space’s innovations have been specifically designed to improve safety and capability for spacecraft ranging from 1U through ESPA class satellites and OTVs. Our short lead times,ease of integration, and unpressurized launch enabled by our patented On-Demand Pressurization System have been important differentiators for our customers. Our team is eager to explore how one of our several best-in-class products may improve your next mission!



Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the U.S. Air Force, directly envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Her vision of AFWERX — to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration amongst our nation’s top subject matter experts. AFWERX serves as a catalyst to unleash new approaches for the warfighter through a growing ecosystem of innovators. AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen the Air Force, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts.

Fast Company named AFWERX Best Workplaces for Innovators on the 2020 List, honoring the top 100 businesses and organizations that demonstrate a deep commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. AFWERX, U.S. Air Force’s innovation arm and catalyst for fostering innovation within the Air Force, came in at #16 ranking in the top 20 alongside brands such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. Preview the live announcement with Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company, unveiled during the AFWERX Fusion 2020 Base of the Future Event & Showcase.

Media Contacts:

Tracy Skenandore / Makenzie Coombs

Pat Horan