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Norwegian space startup tops crowdfunding target ahead of time

Trondheim-headquartered Orbital Machines, an inventor of a standardized electric propellant pump for space launch vehicles, has reached its minimum 300,000 euros target on Seedrs with two weeks of crowdfunding still remaining.

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“We are dependent on the equity crowdfunding campaign to respond to our customer traction. The campaign lasts for 14 more days, and as we overfund, more projects and faster development is realized,” founder and CEO Eivind Liland said in a statement.

Orbital Machines has previously had two successful Norwegian crowdfunding campaigns on the Norwegian platform folkeinvest.no.

“We know there’s a broad interest for space investments in the UK and in many European countries. This is why we believe we have great chances for another successful campaign,” said Liland.

“I am proud to have crowdfunded the company successfully three times. Orbital Machines wants to democratize space, be supplying standardized and affordable systems and components to the launch industry.”

Founder and CEO Eivind Liland

Earlier this year Orbital Machines said it signed up its first commercial customer, French firm Venture Orbital Systems to to develop a propellant pump for its nano-launcher Zephyr, with the first project phase underway since January 2021.

An orbital space launch vehicle contains more than 90% fuel and oxidizer, which is burned off in just a couple of minutes. This requires a very powerful and light pump, where a gas turbine has been the most feasible option until recently. However, due to rapid improvements in battery technology and electric motors in the last years, electric propellant pumps are now a viable solution for several space applications including nano-launchers. Electric propellant pumps are more flexible, more affordable, and inherently safer. Most importantly, the technology can be standardized and easily adapted to new rocket engines, creating a huge commercialization opportunity.

Orbital Machines specializes in electric propellant pumps for small satellite launchers, a newly viable alternative to the traditional gas turbopump.

Orbital Machines aims at using the technology’s standardization abilities to effectively supply the small
launcher industry, a market that has skyrocketed due to the growing demand for launching small satellites into orbit. Orbital Machines spins out of Copenhagen Suborbitals, the world’s only manned amateur space program.

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Tarmo Virki
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