Gravitics raises $20M in bid to build next-generation space station modules
by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (SPX) Nov 22, 2022
Gravitics, Inc., an aerospace component manufacturing firm, announced raising $20 million to build large, next-generation space station modules. The seed round was led by Type One Ventures, and included Tim Draper from Draper Associates, FJ Labs, The Venture Collective, Helios Capital, Giant Step Capital (Chicago based), Gaingels, Spectre, Manhattan West, and Mana Ventures.
"The case for Gravitics is simple," said Tarek Waked of Type One Ventures, who has joined the Gravitics Board of Directors. "Having scalable space infrastructure that is 100% made in the United States is good for the space industry, good for the country, and is just the beginning of an effort that the whole world will benefit from as space becomes more and more accessible."
Gravitics is developing the StarMax, a flexible-use space station module. The StarMax module provides up to 400 cubic meters of usable habitable volume - nearly half the volume of the International Space Station in one module. StarMax's family of modules is compatible to launch on any of the next-generation launch vehicles, including SpaceX's Starship, ULA's Vulcan, and Blue Origin's New Glenn.
"We are focused on helping commercial space station operators be successful," said Colin Doughan, Gravitics' co-founder and CEO. "StarMax gives our customers scalable volume to accommodate a space station's growing user base over time. StarMax is the modular building block for a human-centric cis-lunar economy."
Gravitics has assembled an impressive team to deliver StarMax. Dr. Bill Tandy, former Mission Architect for Blue Origin's Orbital Reef space station, and Scott Macklin, former Head of Propulsion at Virgin Orbit are leading the StarMax development team. The Gravitics team has grown to nearly forty, comprised of both full-time employees and experienced contractors.
To support development and early production, Gravitics opened a new 42,000 square foot facility in 2022 north of Seattle. The company has already begun assembly of their first StarMax prototype and is preparing to conduct module pressure tests in early 2023 with plans for an upcoming orbital test mission to be announced soon. Gravitics is taking StarMax pre-orders now for delivery in 2026.
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