Orbex secures 40M pounds in Series C Funding round
by Staff Writers
Forres UK (SPX) Oct 18, 2022
UK-based spaceflight company Orbex has secured 40.4 million pounds for its Series C funding round, led by a new investor, the Scottish National Investment Bank. The new round of funding will allow the company to scale up its resources as it counts down to the first vertical launch from UK soil, as well as unlocking additional funding to support future projects.
Orbex recently revealed its "Prime" rocket in its final form, making this the first full orbital micro-launcher to be unveiled in Europe. Prime is a 19-metre long, two-stage rocket designed to transport small satellites weighing up to 180kg into low Earth orbit.
Orbex's rocket will launch from the Space Hub Sutherland spaceport near Tongue on the North coast of mainland Scotland, which is expected to be the UK's first operational spaceport. Orbex applied for a space launch licence from the UK's Civil Aviation Authority in early 2022.
This latest funding round saw a renewed commitment from existing investors BGF, Heartcore Capital, High-Tech Grunderfonds and Octopus Ventures. New investors include:
+ The Scottish National Investment Bank, which was created to deliver economic, social and environmental returns for Scotland through strategic investments in innovative companies and projects, such as Orbex.
+ Jacobs, the global technology-forward solutions company, which provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector. Jacobs is NASA's largest services provider, delivering mission-tailored solutions and full lifecycle aerospace capabilities including the Mars Perseverance Rover and the Artemis deep space human exploration program. It also supports key decommissioning and remediation projects at the Dounreay nuclear site in Caithness.
+ The Danish Green Future Fund, a special investment fund designed to support the transition to green solutions both in Denmark and the rest of the world through the development of sustainable technology. The investment will be managed on behalf of the fund by Vaekstfonden - the sovereign investment fund of Denmark.
+ Verve Ventures, a network and technology-driven venture capital firm headquartered in Switzerland. Founded in 2010, Verve Ventures has become one of the most active venture investors in Europe with over 140 technology and science-driven startups in its portfolio. Verve Ventures provides its pan-European network of selected private and institutional investors access to top-tier investment opportunities across Europe.
"The innovative Prime rocket will be the first orbital rocket to be powered by a renewable bio-fuel, Calor's Futuria Liquid Gas, a form of bio-propane which will play a part in reducing the carbon footprint of space launches by up to 96 per cent when compared with similarly-sized launch vehicles powered by fossil fuels. The sustainability credentials extend to the company's 'home' spaceport of Space Hub Sutherland, which aims to become the world's first carbon-neutral spaceport explained," British entrepreneurs Phillip and James Chambers, founders of Peakon and Hazport respectively.
Orbex is currently performing a wide variety of integration tests, including the testing of the main propellant tanks and engines, as well as testing launch procedures including rollout, strongback erection and fuelling procedures in advance of the first launch, which will carry a payload developed by one of the world's largest small satellite developers, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited.
Chris Larmour, CEO, Orbex said "We're delighted to have closed this new funding round led by the Scottish National Investment Bank. Orbex has made significant progress to get to this point, with the invention of ground-breaking, innovative technology, the rapid development and testing of the launch vehicle, the expansion of our manufacturing footprint in the UK and Denmark, the creation of the UK's first orbital spaceport in mainland Scotland, and the growth in customers from the UK, Europe and America signing up to launch dedicated payloads with Orbex.
"These results have only been made possible by the maturity and dedication of the entire Orbex team, who bring a huge amount of skill and experience to their tasks from a wide variety of industries, launch systems and spacecraft. This significant new funding round is testament to the work of that team and will allow us to continue to build Orbex towards our long-term goal of establishing a reliable, economically successful and environmentally sustainable European space launch business," added Larmour.
NASA's Mars mission shields up for tests
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Oct 13, 2022
Micrometeorites are a potential hazard for any space mission, including NASA's Mars Sample Return. The tiny rocks can travel up to 50 miles per second. At these speeds, "even dust could cause damage to a spacecraft," said Bruno Sarli, NASA engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. Sarli leads a team designing shields to protect NASA's Mars Earth Entry System from micrometeorites and space debris. Recently, he traveled to a NASA lab, designed to safely recreate dangerous ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.