Prospective American launch provider ABL Space Systems announced the closure of an extension to its previously successful Series B funding round (which closed in March) on 25 October. The original Series B funding round raised US$170 million for the company. This newly announced extension adds US$200 million to that total. Reportedly, Series B investors returned to contribute to this “opportunistic and insider driven” additional funding. A result of these additional funds is an increase in company value from US$1.3 billion to US$2.4 billion.
ABL reportedly remains on course to conduct the first orbital attempt of its RS-1 launcher vehicle by the end of the year. These new funds are set to be used by the company to fuel its “medium-term roadmap”. Despite not yet having conducted a launch the company reports 75 launches on its backlog – 58 of these may be from a multi-launch booking made by Lockheed Martin for missions over the course of this decade.
Hedron (formerly known as Analytical Space)
Another American company has secured further funding. Hedron (which has announced a name change from Analytical Space along with its new funding) has secured US$17.8 million in Series A financing. The newspace company from Boston, Massachusetts, is planning a hybrid optical/RF data relay network in low Earth orbit. With this new money the company intends to launch the first plane of its eventual constellation in late-2022.
ispace, a Japanese firm developing a Lunar lander, has reportedly received investment from Airbus Ventures, the investment arm of multinational aerospace and defence company Airbus. The first ispace lander is booked to fly to the Moon on a SpaceX Falcon 9 mission in the second half of 2022.