Lonestar Data Holdings Inc., which is preparing for a mission to place data centers on the Moon, is growing its presence in St. Petersburg.
The data analytics company is occupying additional space inside the newly established Maritime and Defense Technology Hub, which houses multiple companies working with the U.S. government that require secured spaces.
“We are placing our mission control and global HQ at the Hub and are building our team,” said Lonestar founder Chris Stott, who lived in Houston over the past 20 years. “St. Pete anchors what people in our industry call the Interstate I-4 space corridor. One on end, you have Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center, an Air Force base and companies such as Blue Origin, SpaceX, L3 Harris, and more. In St. Pete we are building an aerospace cluster.”
Another contributing factor is that Stott’s wife, Nicole, who is a retired NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) astronaut and serves on the advisory board, wanted to move back to the area as she grew up in Clearwater.
The firm now has official offices inside the Hub and while the team currently consists of less than 10 members who have experience in the space data industry, Stott said over the next several years, he expects to ramp up the team to 120-140 employees.
He has recently hired industry IT veteran Will Hawkins as the Chief Data Officer. Lonestar will be announcing additional hires in the near future.
The company is currently focused on establishing data centers on the Moon through Houston-based Intuitive Machines, which has contracts from NASA to put robotic landers on the Moon.
The missions are starting this December; another will follow in June.
“We are taking existing tech, much like satellite companies do, and placing them on the Moon to provide a service. The Moon is somewhere where we will not lose sight of Earth, we can provide global coverage and we are better protected than most satellites as we will use existing landers and put computer storage on the lunar surface,” Stott said.
“Think of us as the data backup. It’s creating a new epoch for the human race. We have the ability to safely store our premium mission-critical data outside of the biosphere somewhere that is green that can protect what is the most valuable for us – our information.”
Today, threats such as cyber terrorism and issues with power grids jeopardize our data.
The group has contracted orbital vehicle developer and operator Skycorp to build its first-ever data center payload.
Lonestar is able to establish the data centers as it’s raised $3.5 million to date with investors, due to investor backing from Scout Ventures, Seldor Capital, 2 Future Holding, Iron Gate Global and the Veteran Fund.
Stott is wrapping up the seed round and will likely start to raise a Series A round following the missions.