UK space firm is Europe’s fastest-growing start-up after record-breaking £7.7m funding

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Cardiff-based Space Forge is trying to harness microgravity to create products impossible to manufacture on Earth. It wants to capitalise on the benefits of the space environment, microgravity, vacuum, and temperature to do this. They claim they will be able to reduce the carbon impact of super-material production by producing these materials in earth’s orbit in returnable satellites.

The huge bulk of the funding came as Space Forge look to launch two missions where it would pilot its in-space manufacturing concept as innovative companies continue to look for new ways to slash carbon emissions.

Space Forge is now aiming to launch their vehicle ForgeStar by the end of 2022.

The probe will be a world-first service incorporating both launch and return of the vehicle that can be deployed from conventional launchers to provide rapid, reliable and reusable in-space infrastructure.

This returnable service will carry out its mission to harness microgravity and has been awarded a $2.4million (£1.89million) contract through the European Space Agency’s Boost! Programme, supported by the UK Space Agency

Space Forge is hoping to advance the expansion of the microgravity market for top-quality research and development by lowering the barriers to the market’s entry.

The company will focus on producing materials and products which offer game-changing levels of performance and efficiency in power-hungry infrastructure and systems.

It should reduce the environmental impact of production on Earth to unlock new value and innovation.

Research has indicated that manufacturing these materials in space could reduce slash emissions by up to 75 percent.

That is said to be the equivalent of removing all petrol cars from the UK.

The first round of seed funding was co-led by US-based SpaceFund and Type One, who champion innovation in space and cutting-edge technology, and Berlin-based World Fund, a new European fund that backs companies pioneering climate tech.

Andrew Bacon, CTO and co-founder of Space Forge, said: “Over the last three years we have taken our return technology from paper designs to real hardware.

“This support from our investors will supercharge our development plans to lead the way in making space work for humanity.”

Joshua Western, CEO and co-founder of Space Forge, added: “Making space work for humanity and our planet has always been our goal and this investment enables us to build our first-generation platforms and undertake several missions in pursuit of that goal.

We’re just getting started.”

The Government was also excited by Space Forge’s impressive progress.

Science Minister George Freeman said: “This major seed investment of $10.2million in Welsh start-up Space Forge is a massive vote of confidence in the fast-growing UK space sector – now worth over £16billion.

“Space is a key priority sector for the Government, as set out in our National Space Strategy.

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“With the first satellite launches from the UK on track for next year and the growth of exciting space tech companies like Space Forge, we are fast becoming a global hub for investment and innovation in the space economy.”

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