Monday, October 18, 2021

Starfish Space raises $ 7 million for satellite service tug

Must Read

The seed funding round was co-led by NFX and MaC Venture Capital, with participation from PSL Ventures, Boost VC, Liquid2 Ventures and Hypothesis. Starfish Space was founded in 2019 by Austin Link and Trevor Bennett, two veterans of Jeff Bezos’ Kent-based Blue Origin space venture. The company’s senior roboticist, Ian Heidenberger, also came to the venture from Blue Origin.

The centerpiece of Starfish’s business plan is the Otter space tug, a small satellite that would be capable of capturing and moving other objects in orbit. Such a capability could address two of the emerging challenges in the satellite industry: extending the operating life of large, expensive geostationary spacecraft; and disposing of obsolete spacecraft and other space debris. Last month, Starfish was one of 19 winners of Phase II SBIR contracts at a virtual Space Force Pitch Day. Starfish’s $1.7 million contract will go toward advancing the Cephalopod software development effort.

In addition to hardware development for the Otter, Starfish has been working on a software package for performing rendezvous, proximity operations and docking. The software, known as Cephalopod, is currently undergoing on-orbit testing in connection with the thruster system on Orbit Fab’s Tanker-001 Tenzing prototype refueling satellite. Similarly, the fresh infusion of $7 million in private investment will go toward doubling Starfish’s team of eight full-time employees and accelerating the development of technologies for the Otter space tug. The company said it will focus on increasing confidence in operations around a client spacecraft, which it sees as a critical step toward building an off-world economy.

Other companies, including Northrop Grumman, are further along in tests of satellite servicing spacecraft, but Fenty said “we believe the team at Starfish and their Otter space tug will be able to do this better than anyone else in the market, thanks to their novel technology.” “As space becomes more crowded and more regulated, we see a massive need for companies like Starfish to provide satellite services and deorbiting,” Adrian Fenty, MaC Venture Capital’s managing general partner, said today in a news release.

“At Starfish Space, we’re trying to change the way humans interact with the universe around us,” Link said. “There’s still a lot to do, but we’re now in a position to build on our early successes.” Starfish acknowledges that it’ll have to raise more funds to get Otter off the ground.

News Highlights Space

  • Headline: Starfish Space raises $ 7 million for satellite service tug
  • Check all news and articles from the Space news information updates.
Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit this article then please visit our help center. For Latest Updates Follow us on Google News

More Articles Like This

Latest News