We Started in the Stars

FreeFall antenna technology is based on research in high-frequency radio astronomy conducted at the University of Arizona.

The initial concept for FreeFall Aerospace began in the summer of 2016 when the two founders, Doug Stetson and Dr. Chris Walker, worked together on a proposal for a NASA balloon-borne high-energy astronomy telescope called GUSTO. Together, they realized that the systems Dr. Walker was studying to improve his observations could significantly benefit small spacecraft communications. Dr. Walker had already been awarded grants from the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and the Naval Research Laboratory to study specific aspects of the technology. After forming their company, Doug and Chris continued developing ideas on space science. They established FreeFall Aerospace as an LLC and officed at the UA Center for Innovation. FreeFall was awarded its first grant in early 2017 by the National Reconnaissance Office. After exploring the concepts with colleagues at NASA and in the “NewSpace” community, they determined significant commercial and DOD potential for the technology. In mid-2018, FreeFall hired the first employees and began to move toward prototype development.