Gravitics Secures $125 Million Deal to Expand Axiom Space’s Station

Gravitics Secures $125 Million Deal to Expand Axiom Space's Station

Key Points:

  • Washington-based startup Gravitics secured a $125 million contract to expand Axiom Space’s planned space station.
  • The startup designs modular space station components for various rockets, including SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Blue Origin’s New Glenn.
  • Its space station modules vary in diameter from 3 to 8 meters. Gravitics is part of NASA’s CLD program and has agreements for testing large spacecraft.
  • The Axiom deal will drive workforce expansion and fundraising. By 2026, Gravitics plans to test components on the ISS and launch a subscale spacecraft.

Washington-based startup Gravitics secures a $125 million contract to contribute to Axiom Space’s forthcoming space station, marking a significant milestone in the expanding private market for orbiting habitats. Gravitics CEO and founder Colin Doughan enthusiastically stated, “Working with the station operator that will have hardware on orbit soonest is an exciting development.”

Axiom Space is among several companies developing private space stations as NASA prepares to decommission the International Space Station (ISS). Currently, Axiom has modules under construction by Italian aerospace contractor Thales Alenia. The Gravitics deal will add another “pressurized spacecraft” to Axiom’s station, set for launch in two years.

Founded in 2021, Gravitics has previously raised $20 million in venture funding and aims to establish itself as a key manufacturer of private space station modules. The nearly 50-employee company, located in a northern suburb of Seattle, designs modular space station components intended as plug-and-play products compatible with various rockets, including SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and future rockets like Blue Origin’s New Glenn.

Gravitics’ space station modules vary in diameter from 3 meters (9 feet) to 8 meters (26 feet). The largest module, named StarMax, is designed to offer the “largest interior volume in a standalone spacecraft.” Doughan explained, “We started by looking at Starship and saying, ‘Someone is going to maximize that payload volume.’”

As part of NASA’s Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) program, Axiom was the first to secure a NASA contract for building space station modules. Gravitics will integrate its modules with Axiom’s space station later this decade. However, Doughan emphasized that the deal with Axiom is not exclusive. “We hope to be on multiple teams for the [second phase of CLD], not as the prime [bidder] because we have zero interest in operations… But I do anticipate that you’ll start seeing some of the architectures reflect some [of our space station modules] built into some of these designs moving forward,” he said.

Gravitics has been actively developing and testing prototypes, including test-firing its propulsion system and pressure-testing module prototypes. The company plans to fly some components to the ISS for testing later this year and aims to launch a subscale spacecraft by 2026.

Gravitics has secured an agreement with NASA to test large spacecraft and an early development contract with the Space Force. Doughan highlighted the Space Force’s growing budget, noting, “Space Force’s budget is already ballooning beyond NASA’s, and it won’t stop.” The Axiom contract is expected to drive significant growth for Gravitics, with plans to double its workforce in the coming months and initiate a new fundraising round.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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