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Ann Arbor Spark

October 5, 2020

Ann Arbor’s R2 Space re-brands as ‘Orbital Effects’ upon hitting growth commitment to Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan’s small satellite startup, R2 Space, announced that it is now “Orbital Effects”. The company is focused on addressing critical U.S. national security challenges using its cutting-edge radar satellite technologies. The name change celebrates milestones within the company, including meeting commitments to the State of Michigan to add 30 new employees to its Ann Arbor team – a feat accomplished in less than a year.

In late 2019, the company announced its plans to relocate and expand its headquarters in Ann Arbor. CEO and co-founder, Reuben Sorensen, PhD, knew early on that Michigan offered the specialized and highly qualified workforce needed to scale the team, citing Michigan’s unique recipe of remote sensing and radar pioneers, unmatched depth in mass-manufacturing, and world-class engineering programs that span Michigan’s universities. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Ann Arbor SPARK, and Michigan Space Grant were instrumental to the company’s growth, assisting in the establishment of the new office and recruiting a talented team.

For Sorensen, the transition from R2 Space to Orbital Effects — known internally as “OFX”— represents the growth of the company and its future. “R2 Space reflected our original vision: a partnership with people willing to take a risk, people who wanted to build something and believed in a mission bigger than themselves,” shares Sorensen. “OFX is that mission. It represents our team, the work they’ve done, and the path they have set us on for the future.”

Throughout the pandemic, the company has continued to develop its technology and finalize new contracts, including a large award from the Defense Innovation Unit announced in April that accelerated its radar satellite technology. The award was the outcome of an investment by the state in the company’s priority to build a space industry in Michigan. “Our partnership with MEDC and Ann Arbor SPARK is what enabled us to capture a larger share of the Defense market to create jobs and economic growth in the state,” says Sorensen. “Our first year in Michigan was a tremendous success and we look forward to growing our family in many years to come.”

 Learn more about Orbital Effects at www.orbitaleffects.us.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Orbital Effects builds, launches, and operates micro RADAR satellite technology as a service to the US Government. Orbital Effects offers its US Government customers rapid delivery and automated processing of space-based RADAR intelligence to enable timely and more informed decision-making.