Lafayette ‘space gas station’ developer raises $28.5M
LAFAYETTE — Orbit Fab Inc., a Lafayette aerospace company developing technologies to refuel spacecraft in orbit, has closed on a $28.5 million Series A fundraising round that will help it scale up its workforce and production of its Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI) refueling ports.
“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,” the company said in a news release.
Orbit Fab, which recently opened an office in the United Kingdom and plans to add 25 new workers this year, says its efforts will lead to the development of the first gas station in space.
The company had raised more than $17 million in previous investment capital in advance of the Series A round, media reports show.
The round was led by 8090 Industries, with participation from Stride Capital, Industrious Ventures, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Tribe Capital, Good Growth Capital, and Massive Capital Partners.
“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,” 8090 Industries CEO Kerem Ozmen said in the release. “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, founded in 2018 by Jeremy Schiel and current CEO Daniel Faber, was awarded an advanced-industries grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in 2022.
“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 company said.