Orbit Fab, a company that wants to build a network of gas stations in orbit, closed a $28.5 million Series A to launch more fuel and infrastructure delivery missions.
The Colorado-based startup has developed a refueling port called the Quick Connect Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI), which can be integrated into satellites and orbital service vehicles. Orbit Fab wants to launch fuel tankers into orbit (which the company sometimes compares to gas stations) that can be attached to any spacecraft equipped with a RAFTI interface.
Without a way to refuel satellites in space, the lifespan of any given spacecraft is limited by the amount of fuel it is carrying at launch. This can make a satellite heavier and more expensive, and each maneuver costly. Orbit Fab says that refueling could enable longer satellite servicing missions, rendezvous and proximity operations, in-space assembly, and other spacecraft maneuvers that could require longer lifespans, while lowering the total cost of ownership. satellite operation.
Last August, Orbit Fab said it would deliver up to 100 kilograms of hydrazine to satellites in GEO for $20 million, starting in 2025.
The company already has four launches booked over the next three years, including three missions for the US Department of Defense. One of those missions, scheduled for early 2025, will see the Orbit Fab’s RAFTI port integrated into military satellites so that can be resupplied by hydrazine tankers in orbit. Overall, Orbit Fab has closed more than $21 million in DOD contracts.
Orbit Fab is also beginning to close commercial customers: The company signed an agreement with Astroscale to resupply its orbital service vehicles in geostationary orbit (GEO).
In addition to Series A, which Orbit Fab said was an ascending round, the company announced that it has doubled its team to 60 people over the past year and plans to hire at least 25 more this year.
The upstream 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.