Orbit Fab

Orbit Fab envisions a thriving in-space market for products and services that support both existing space businesses (communications and Earth observation) and new industries like space tourism, manufacturing, and mining.

Created: 2018-11-01

Updated: 2022-09-18

Company - Orbit Fab

Founded
Country
2018
USA
Funding
$16.3M
Website
Orbit Fab
Social
Orbit Fab

Service

Classification
In-Space Transportation
Category
Propellant Refuel Station
Fields
Refueling Station
Status
3) Development
First launch
2018

The first step is achieving ubiquitous availability of satellite propellant in Earth Orbit, expanding the operational potential of new and existing space assets and providing unprecedented business model flexibility for satellite owners. The future for satellites is no longer restricted to the fuel they are launched with. It is about getting the fuel and other materials they need, where and when they need it, to accomplish things never before thought possible.
Selected by U.S. Air Force to develop an in-space xenon pumping system, which is a key technology for servicing satellites and spacecraft on orbit.
Designed a system that consists of what are essentially in-space tugs that can guide spacecraft on-orbit to refueling depots, to which they connect with the company's custom fueling interface. It's designed to be relatively easy to incorporate into new satellite designs, providing a way to easily refuel in space without requiring any special robotic systems for capture and docking.
First operational fuel depot to orbit, Tanker 001 Tenzing, which will provide fuel for the fast growing in-orbit servicing industry, is expected to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than in June 2021.

First operational fuel depot to orbit, Tanker 001 Tenzing, which will provide fuel for the fast growing in-orbit servicing industry, is expected to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than in June 2021.
Orbit Fab Announces $12 million AFWERX STRATFI Program.
Orbit Fab, the Gas Stations in Space™ refueling service provider, and Astroscale U.S. Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings Inc., have signed a commercial agreement to refuel Astroscale’s Life Extension In-Orbit (LEXI™) Servicer in GEO; LEXI is the first satellite designed to be refueled. Under the terms of this initial agreement, Orbit Fab’s GEO fuel shuttle will resupply Astroscale’s fleet of LEXI Servicers with up to 1,000 kilograms of Xenon propellant. With this purchase, Astroscale has greatly expanded LEXI’s scope and flexibility to perform on-orbit servicing missions — a benefit for every customer. Astroscale’s LEXI spacecraft is slated to launch to GEO by 2026, where it will perform life extension services for commercial operators, the U.S government and partner governments around the world. LEXI’s key services for customers include station keeping and attitude control, momentum management, inclination correction, GEO relocation and retirement to graveyard orbit.

Sources


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News, Research, Projects and Patents

Title Type Date Summary
Orbit Fab, AFRL Sign R&D Agreement News 2021-10-15
Orbit Fab and Benchmark Space Systems to partner on in-space refueling technologies News 2021-02-23
Orbit Fab gets award to test satellite refueling technology News 2020-03-31 Orbit Fab, which previously tested refueling technology on the ISS, has won an NSF award to test a cooperating docking system needed for in-space satellite refueling
Orbit Fab’s First Operational Gas Station In Space To Launch In 2021 News 2020-10-16
Business Case for Innovative Commercial In-Orbit Satellite/Debris Removal (1 of 6) Whitepaper, Study 2019-08-30 Whenever a satellite launches into space, propellant typically makes up half of the launch mass. Orbit Fab is developing the technologies and infrastructure to facilitate propellant supplies and the necessary logistics for refueling in space, with the goal of significant cost reduction among other benefits.
Orbit Fab Selected by U.S. Air Force to Develop In-space Xenon Pumping System, Key for On-orbit Satellite Servicing Ecosystem News, Project 2020-12-19 Orbit Fab builds and operates gas stations in space and has proven its in-space fluid transfer system as the first private company to resupply the International Space Station with water. Its Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface (RAFTI) has been adopted by multiple spacecraft manufacturers and is quickly becoming the industry’s common refueling interface. It was developed in cooperation with 30 companies and organizations, and is intended to be a drop-in replacement for existing satellite fill and drain valves as it is equivalent in size, mass and cost.
Orbit Fab’s First Operational Gas Station In Space To Launch In 2021 News 2020-11-16
Deep Space Gas Stations Prepare for In-Space Market News 2019-04-15
Orbit Fab Selected by U.S. Air Force to Develop In-space Xenon Pumping System, Key for On-orbit Satellite Servicing Ecosystem Project 2020-08-12

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