Orbit Fab Closes $28.5M Series A to Expand On-Orbit Refueling Capabilities
  • April 17, 2023
  • Thomas Waner
  • 0

Orbit Fab, a Colorado-based startup that aims to establish a network of refueling stations in orbit, has successfully closed a Series A funding round, securing $28.5 million in investment. The company plans to utilize the funding to expand its fuel delivery capabilities and infrastructure missions in space.

At the core of Orbit Fab’s technology is the Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI), a refueling port that can be integrated onto satellites and orbital servicing vehicles. The company envisions launching on-orbit fuel tankers, often likened to gas stations, that can dock with any spacecraft equipped with a RAFTI interface.

The ability to refuel satellites in space has the potential to significantly extend the useful life of spacecraft, which is currently limited by the amount of fuel they carry at launch. Refueling in space could reduce the weight and cost of satellites, as well as enable more extensive satellite servicing missions, in-space assembly, rendezvous and proximity operations, and other spacecraft maneuvers that require longer lifespans. This could ultimately drive down the overall cost of operating satellites.

In August of last year, Orbit Fab announced plans to deliver up to 100 kilograms of hydrazine, a commonly used rocket propellant, to satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) for $20 million, starting in 2025.

Orbit Fab has already secured four launches over the next three years, including three missions for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). One of these missions, scheduled for early 2025, will involve integrating Orbit Fab’s RAFTI port on military satellites, allowing them to be refueled by on-orbit hydrazine tankers. To date, Orbit Fab has closed over $21 million in DOD contracts.

In addition to its government contracts, Orbit Fab is also making progress in the commercial sector. The company recently signed an agreement with Astroscale to replenish its orbital service vehicles in geostationary orbit (GEO), indicating its growing presence in the private space industry.

The successful Series A funding round, which Orbit Fab described as an “up round,” was led by 8090 Industries, with additional investments from Stride Capital, Industrious Ventures, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Tribe Capital, Good Growth Capital, and Massive Capital Partners. This funding will enable Orbit Fab to further expand its operations and accelerate its development of on-orbit refueling capabilities.

Over the past year, Orbit Fab has doubled its team, growing to sixty employees, and the company has plans to hire at least another 25 employees in the coming year, highlighting its commitment to growth and innovation in the space industry. The company’s achievements and ambitious plans for the future have garnered significant attention and support from investors, positioning Orbit Fab as a leading player in the emerging field of on-orbit refueling.

Thomas Waner

A writer interested in artificial intelligence fields with good experience in programming. He is currently working for us as a writer, manager, and reviewer, with a strong CV.
from India. You can contact him via e-mail: [email protected]

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