Space Impulse Brief:
- Ursa Major closed US $138 million in its Series D and D-1 funding rounds.
- The investments were led by Explorer 1 Fund and Eclipse, and include RTX Ventures, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Exor Ventures, Mack & Co., LLC, XN, and other institutional shareholders.
- With this investment, Ursa Major will continue to develop Lynx, the company’s innovative new solid rocket motor (SRM) program, while scaling production capacity and advancing multiple propulsion programs.
PRESS RELEASE — Denver / November 30, 2023 — Ursa Major, America’s leading privately funded company focused solely on rocket propulsion, today announced that it closed $138 million in its Series D and D-1 funding rounds. The investments were led by Explorer 1 Fund and Eclipse, and include RTX Ventures, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Exor Ventures, Mack & Co., LLC, XN, and other institutional shareholders.
With this investment, Ursa Major will continue to develop Lynx, the company’s innovative new solid rocket motor (SRM) program, while scaling production capacity and advancing multiple propulsion programs. While the initial Series D round was completed earlier in the year, Ursa Major extended fundraising to include a Series D-1 round due to strong interest in accelerating development on several future programs.
“In the year since our last funding round, Ursa Major has secured significant commercial and government customers, delivered dozens of flight-ready engines, introduced new engine concepts, and worked to address critical gaps in our nation’s defense. This includes developing Lynx, a line of solid rocket motors that can deliver urgently needed capabilities,” said Ursa Major CEO and founder Joe Laurienti. “This investment will support scaling our production capacity to meet strong market demand, as well as continued technology innovation for our medium- and heavy-weight propulsion systems.”
Since its last round of funding, Ursa Major has responded to deficiencies in the nation’s defense capabilities by introducing Draper, a revolutionary new storable liquid engine designed to defend against hypersonic weapons, and Lynx, a new solution for designing and manufacturing solid rocket motors for tactical applications.
Ursa Major has also redesigned and hot-fired the 50,000-pound-thrust Ripley engine, scaled production of the 5,000-pound-thrust Hadley engine to a rate of one per week, and qualified Hadley as the world’s first and only rocket engine for space launch, in-space, and hypersonic missions.
“Ursa Major propulsion systems fill a critical gap in the defense industrial base today,” said Greg Reichow, Partner at Eclipse and former Vice President of Production at Tesla. “For the U.S. and its allies, the ability to deter threats will depend on our ability to produce innovative solutions utilizing modern manufacturing methods that are not dependent on fragmented supply chains. Ursa Major’s team possesses the technical prowess to deliver the high production rates, low cost, and advanced technology needed to help maintain national security.”
Ursa Major’s propulsion-only approach disrupts the existing vertically integrated launch industry by providing vehicle-agnostic engines for a variety of launch and hypersonic applications. This approach stands as a safeguard against the kind of consolidation and stagnation in launch technology that kept America dependent on Russian-made rocket engines in the past.
Reliable rocket propulsion is critical to maintaining the space supply chain and growing the space industry. Ursa Major’s flexible rocket engines can be used for various Department of Defense (DOD) and non-DOD missions, from air launch to hypersonic flight and on-orbit missions. The company’s customers get to launch faster and without the development cost of building engines in-house.
Additionally, Ursa Major has applied their lessons learned in liquid rocket engines for space launch to re-imagine solid rocket motor design and manufacturing. With their process, Ursa Major offers a revolutionary solution to America’s SRM shortage with a faster, more affordable process, leveraging 3D printing to manufacture multiple motors that outperform legacy systems. Connect with Ursa Major on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
SOURCE: Ursa Major
Featured image: Draper, Ursa Major’s new storable liquid engine. Credit: Ursa Major