Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.
Sierra Space has two major projects in view for which it expects to channel most of the newly-acquired capital.
Sierra Space recently announced that it raised $1.4 billion in funding that now values the aerospace contractor at $4.5 billion. The company seeks to increase the presence of its space transportation products, and according to CEO Tom Vice:
“We are building the next generation of space transportation systems and in-space infrastructures and destinations that will enable humanity to build and sustain thriving civilizations beyond Earth.”
Participating investors in the funding round included General Atlantic, Coatue, and Moore Strategic Ventures. In addition, private equity firms such as BlackRock and AE Industrial Partners also staked in. Sierra Space says the round is the second-largest private capital round in the aerospace and defense sector history. Furthermore, the capital generated by Sierra Space is its first from outside sources since it was set up as a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation back in April.
Vice also stated that Sierra Space is creating the next platform for businesses, one which extends beyond the norm. As he put it:
“Space provides a unique environment that will enable new breakthroughs in critical areas such as pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, fiber optics and energy that will directly enhance our life on Earth.”
Sierra Space Plans to Allocate the Funding Capital for Two Primary Projects in Development
Sierra Space has two major projects in view for which it expects to channel most of the newly-acquired capital. The first is the Dream Chaser space plane which the company is developing as a cargo delivery space vehicle. Furthermore, Sierra Space stated that the Dream Chaser would eventually begin to also transport people to low Earth orbit.
Physically, the space plane looks like a much smaller NASA Space Shuttle and can also launch from atop a traditional rocket. In addition, the Dream Chaser can touch down on a runway like a conventional airplane. Sierra Space is looking to deploy the spacecraft on its first cargo mission within the next year.
The second project in development is the Orbital Reef station, which Sierra Space is collaborating with Blue Origin on. The latter is also a space-centric private company but owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Orbital Reef aims to provide end-to-end space services for a diverse range of users. The ultimate goal is to make the product a ‘premier commercial destination’ in low orbit.
Other companies also working on the Orbital Reef initiative include Boeing, Redwire Space, and Genesis Engineering. Upon competition, Orbital Reef will be deployed to space later in the decade and will be capable of accommodating up to 10 people.
One of the crowdfunding investors General Atlantic weighed in on the recent development. The company’s chairman and chief executive officer Bill Ford issued a statement lauding Sierra Space’s position in commercial space technology. space Ford further expressed his company’s enthusiasm at “providing active partnership to Sierra Space and its management team.” This he believes would fast-track the space company’s growth and increase its global impact.