Will accelerate RAFTI refueling port production, integration to build in-space fuel delivery service infrastructure
Also secured $21 million in defense contracts, tens-of-millions more in commercial programs
Lafayette, Colorado – April 17, 2023 – Orbit Fab, the leading provider of on-orbit refueling services, today announced it has completed a successful Series A round of $28.5 million in funding during an up-round that will allow the company to accelerate fuel sales and the deployment of fuel delivery and storage infrastructure in GEO, LEO, and VLEO orbits.
The milestone funding round is led by 8090 Industries, with major investments by Stride Capital, Industrious Ventures, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Tribe Capital, Good Growth Capital, and Massive Capital Partners enabling Orbit Fab to drive the integration of its RAFTI™ refueling ports aboard more satellites and servicing vehicles. Orbit Fab’s on-orbit fuel shuttles can dock with and replenish spacecraft equipped with its RAFTI refueling interface, significantly extending mission life and return on investment versus expensive, inefficient one-and-done satellite missions and servicing and debris removal operations.
“Orbit Fab is the in-space refueling category-definer. We’ve invested in Orbit Fab because of their unique ability to capitalize on the growing demand for in-space servicing, and their strong positioning as a key provider of critical infrastructure to the entire space economy,” said Kerem Ozmen, Co-Founder and CEO, 8090 Industries. “Extended in-space assembly, manufacturing, rendezvous, and proximity operations simply aren’t possible without refueling, and Orbit Fab has fueling capabilities in space that enable a wide range of propellant inventories.”
Orbit Fab also announced it has doubled its team over the last year, including the establishment of a U.K. office, and looks to continue the trend throughout 2023, with plans to ramp up technical and production capabilities in the U.S. and U.K. to meet increasing orders for in-space fuel delivery. The company expects to make at least another 25 key hires this year, which include additions to the senior executive and engineering teams. Orbit Fab has booked at least four fuel shuttle missions set to launch over the next three years, including three defense contracts valued at $21 million for dynamic space operations that allow the government to refuel, reuse, and maneuver spacecraft around debris, theaters of military engagement, and adversarial threats.
The trio of government missions feature SpaceWERX-funded rendezvous and proximity operations scheduled for early 2024, a four-year Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) contract to replenish Space Force satellites with hydrazine in GEO, and a STRATFI initiative to develop docking depots. Orbit Fab also inked a major commercial GEO-orbit refueling agreement last year to replenish Astroscale’s fleet of Life Extension In-Orbit (LEXI™) service vehicles, which will feature built-in RAFTI refueling interfaces. The contracts represent key steps along Orbit Fab’s revolutionary roadmap to build the refueling infrastructure that makes the bustling space economy possible.
“The emerging space economy cannot grow without adequate refueling infrastructure. Orbit Fab is now executing on a compelling business model to provide mission critical refueling gasses in space,” said Steve Angel, Chairman of Linde plc and Advisor at Industrious Ventures. “I will follow the company closely as it continues to execute the fuel architecture that will unleash the industrialization of space.”
“Our highly successful Series A funding round reflects the commitment, confidence and excitement leading investors have in space, and serves as a greenlight for Orbit Fab to accelerate our mission to fuel virtually every facet of the space economy,” said Daniel Faber, Orbit Fab Founding CEO. “We will leverage the funding to drive fuel sales and intensify the production and integration of our RAFTI refueling ports aboard government and commercial spacecraft to power the engines of the industrial revolution in space. As rockets have become reusable over the past decade, Orbit Fab has made satellites reusable to enable the bustling space economy.”
Orbit Fab’s in-space fuel shuttles and depots will allow satellite and mission operators to launch smaller, more powerful satellites that can get to revenue-generating orbits faster and more cost effectively since fuel is no longer a constraint. The company has contracts and collaborative agreements in place to develop and deliver chemical, electric and green propellants to support and enable dynamic space operations and extended missions aboard a broad range of spacecraft in GEO and LEO.