Hello and welcome back to Max Q!
In this issue:
- Voyager Space’s new funding
- Orbital Sidekick’s hyperspectral ambitions
- News from The Exploration Company, Capella Space, LeoLabs and more
Voyager Space, a company developing a private space station, has raised $80.2 million in new capital. The new funding comes as Voyager continues its development of the station, Starlab, which is no doubt an enormously capital-intensive undertaking.
The funding includes participation from NewSpace Capital, Midway Venture Partners and Industrious Ventures, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other documents viewed by TechCrunch. Seraphim Space also participated, TechCrunch has confirmed. The funding was filed with the SEC on January 27.
Historically, oil and gas companies have monitored pipeline leaks using inefficient, expensive methods: workers equipped with handheld optical gas imaging cameras, for example. Or, as Orbital Sidekick CEO Dan Katz put it in a recent interview with TechCrunch, “a young pilot sticking their head out the window of a crop-duster.”
“There’s really no persistent, objective, high-accuracy monitoring service that’s available to operators today,” he said. So he and Orbital Sidekick co-founder Tushar Prabhakar set out to create one. Their startup’s solution is a data analytics product that generates intelligence using a constellation of satellites equipped with hyperspectral sensors — and it’s caught the energy industry’s attention.
More news from TC and beyond
- Axiom Space’s private missions to the International Space Station will be mostly crewed by government customers, rather than privately paying individuals. (SpaceNews)
- Capella Space launched a defense-focused subsidiary, Capella Federal, as demand for satellite imagery heats up. (TechCrunch)
- Embedded Ventures closed a $100 million fund to invest in early-stage startups that can serve commercial and defense sectors, in industries including advanced manufacturing, space operations and digital engineering. (CNBC)
- The Exploration Company closed €40 million ($43.9 million) in new funding as it seeks to commercialize its reusable space capsule. (PitchBook)
- The Indian Space Research Organization released more details on the causes behind the botched launch for the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle last August. (ISRO)
- LeoLabs, a space domain awareness and orbital mapping company, expanded its network of ground-based space radars with a new site in Western Australia. (LeoLabs)
- Relativity Space’s Terran 1 has a static fire test still to complete before its first launch. (Tim Ellis)
- Sierra Space completed a third stress test of its Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) Habitat, with the unit’s pressure shell bursting after over 150 hours, a timescale that exceed’s NASA’s certification requirements. (Sierra Space)
- Virgin Orbit was thrown yet another lifeline from Richard Branson’s Virgin Investments Ltd. (Ars Technica)
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