SpaceX has acquired parachute vendor Pioneer Aerospace for $2.2 million after Pioneer's parent company went bankrupt
This marks SpaceX's second known acquisition, following the purchase of small satellite startup Swarm in 2021.
Pioneer Aerospace provides drogue parachutes for SpaceX's Dragon capsules, used by NASA for transporting cargo and astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
Drogue parachutes are sophisticated components designed for high velocity and deploy after the capsule reenters the atmosphere to stabilize and slow it down.
The acquisition saved Pioneer from dissolution, which seemed likely due to its parent company's bankruptcy.
SpaceX, known for vertical integration, sometimes outsources based on supplier competence and trust in meeting schedules.
SpaceX was heavily involved in engineering the drogue parachutes for Dragon but turned to external vendors like Pioneer and Airborne for manufacturing.
The correction notes that the drogue chutes deploy after atmospheric reentry, not when the Dragon is moving at orbital velocity.
The acquisition cost SpaceX $2.2 million, following Pioneer's parent company's bankruptcy.
Balancing insourcing and outsourcing, SpaceX strategically collaborates to overcome challenges and ensure mission success.