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A European startup receives $44 million for space station transportation vehicles.

The Exploration Company, a company in Europe, said on February 1 that it has received $44 million to construct reusable orbital vehicles for transporting cargo and people into space.

The Exploration Company, a company in Europe, said on February 1 that it has received $44 million to construct reusable orbital vehicles for transporting cargo and people into space.

The business plans to begin a series of experiments and demonstrations on the first flight of Europe's Ariane 6 rocket later this year with the aid of the Series A funding.

Ariane 6 is scheduled to launch a tiny reentry demonstration for the startup dubbed Bikini that weighs around 40 kilos and has a diameter of 60 cm, according to Hélène Huby, co-founder and CEO of The Exploration Company.

The Exploration Company wants to use the information from this trip to test thermal shields, an in-house built onboard computer, and confirm the geometry of larger capsules.

The startup has reserved a SpaceX Falcon 9 flight for the next year that, according to Huby, will transport a larger 1,600-kilogram, 2.5-meter demonstration capsule. This spacecraft would carry payloads for customers, such as European space agencies, on a brief voyage in low Earth orbit. It would also feature propulsion and a parachute for a more controlled return.

According to Huby, the business intends to launch a full-sized Nyx orbital spacecraft in 2026 that will have a four-meter diameter and weigh 8,000 kilos.

She told that the capsule will be made to stay in orbit for a number of months in order to demonstrate its ability to carry out precise operations before its intended docking with the International Space Station in 2027.

For 20,000 euros per kg, a full-sized Nyx could launch 4,000 kilos into orbit for up to six months and return 2,600 kgs.

Later ideas from the startup include trips to the moon and the eventual usage of its vehicles for crewed missions.

Huby served as vice president at Airbus Defence and Space for the European Service Module, which is the primary propulsion system for Orion, the spaceship NASA is developing to launch people to the moon, prior to co-founding The Exploration Company in July 2021.

In addition to facilitating microgravity missions like those Thales Alenia Space Europe is also seeking with its proposed REV1 vehicle, she sees a significant near-term demand for a European capacity for space station transfer.

The only space stations in orbit at the moment are the ISS and China's Tiangong.

Within the following five years, Huby anticipates the launch of three more commercial space stations, and by the end of this decade, there should be five to seven space stations orbiting the Earth.

An major milestone for the business will be reached in 2023 if The Exploration Company can complete its first flight; nevertheless, the Ariane 6 has already experienced numerous delays.

We will choose one by the end of March from the options we have on the table, she continued.

The Exploration Company's latest investment round was led by Swedish early-stage investor EQT Ventures and Red River West of France, according to Huby, bringing the company's total sum raised to date to 47.3 million euros.

Promus Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Vsquared, Omnes Capital, July Fund, Partech, Possible Ventures, Habert Dassault Finance, Schlumberger, and Sista Fund are other investors who participated in its most recent investment round.

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Edited by: Vishnu Sreekala | Source | Brahmastra Services

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