Ad Astra Rocket Company (AARC) is a leading spaceflight technology company dedicated to the development of advanced plasma rocket propulsion. The company is developing the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR®) technology.
Through one of its subsidiaries in Costa Rica, AARC is also currently developing an integrated “turn-key” solution of distributed renewable energy systems, relevant to many niche applications worldwide. One of these involves the hydrogen energy cycle (production, storage and use).
Franklin Chang Díaz serves as company President and CEO. Franklin Chang Díaz invented the VASIMR® concept, and has been working on its development since 1979. The VASIMR® technology began in The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge Massachusetts and continued at the MIT Plasma Fusion Center before the project moved to the Johnson Space Center in 1994.
Ad Astra Rocket was incorporated on January 14th, 2005 when the VASIMR® concept was privatized from NASA. AARC is headquartered 3 miles to the west of the NASA Johnson Space Center and about 25 miles south of the city of Houston.