SEOUL, South Korea — Indian house startup Bellatrix Aerospace stated June 1 that it had raised $8 million in a Collection A funding spherical to pursue the event of in-space propulsion programs. Together with $3 million raised in pre-Collection A in June 2019, Bellatrix has raised $11 million since its institution in 2015. Buyers embody StartupXseed, Pavestone Capital, Mankind Pharma household workplace, Survam Companions and Karsemven Fund. A number of angel buyers and household places of work joined the newest funding spherical, the corporate stated in a June 1 assertion.
“Up to now ten years, the variety of satellites in house has elevated nearly tenfold and primarily based on introduced private-sector missions is more likely to multiply quickly within the subsequent ten years,” the corporate stated within the assertion. “In-space propulsion programs that save prices and use extra environmentally pleasant applied sciences are more and more related to the rising satellite tv for pc market.” The corporate added orbital switch autos have gotten a “new technique of reaching orbit on rideshare missions for micro and small satellites.” Bellatrix is growing an orbital switch automobile primarily based on its in-space propulsion applied sciences as a part of its efforts to turn into a full-fledged house transportation expertise firm.
Within the assertion, Rohan M Ganapathy, Bellatrix’s co-founder and CEO, stated the pre-Collection A funding helped the corporate develop “quite a few important applied sciences in-house.” The newest funding will assist his firm broaden the product portfolio, rent new workers and validate its merchandise in house. The chief government stated the corporate plans to finish the event and take a look at of 4 home-developed thruster modules by the top of the yr. The corporate can also be planning to finish house qualification testing of its under-development orbital switch automobile “within the coming months.”
Whereas Bellatrix didn’t elaborate on how the house qualification take a look at will probably be carried out, it’s seemingly that the automobile will probably be launched aboard a rocket developed by one other Indian house startup Skyroot Aerospace. The 2 corporations signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2021, beneath which Bellatrix’s orbital switch automobile is meant to launch on a rocket that Skyroot is growing. The latter, based in 2018 by former scientists on the Indian Area Analysis Organisation (ISRO), is growing a small satellite tv for pc launcher named Vikram 1. It’s a solid-fueled, three-stage satellite tv for pc launcher designed to ship as much as 500 kilograms of payload to low Earth orbit, and 500 kilograms to sun-synchronous polar orbit, based on the corporate’s web site.
Skyroot efficiently carried out a full-duration take a look at of Vikram 1’s third stage in Could, which lasted 108 seconds with a peak thrust of 100 kN. Check firings of the rocket’s first and second levels are anticipated within the coming months as a result of the corporate targets Vikram I’s maiden flight by the top of the yr and the primary business orbital mission early subsequent yr.