SpaceX Falcon 9 was chosen to launch Varda Space's first-ever manufacturing satellite in orbit in early 2023.
SpaceX Falcon 9 Selected to Launch Varda Space's Satellite
Varda Space revealed that it signed a contract with the Elon Musk-led space exploration firm, SpaceX, which will launch its smallsat along with the rideshare mission of the Falcon 9 in the first quarter of 2023, as per SpaceNews. However, the two companies have yet to disclose the details and terms of their agreement.
The co-founder and the president of Varda Space, Delian Asparouhov, told SpaceNews in an interview that the executives of the startup decided to go with SpaceX's Falcon 9 due to its low cost.
The Varda Space exec further noted that SpaceX did not only offered the cheapest option. It also showcased the most reliable way to transport the spacecraft of the firm.
On top of that, the co-founder of Varda Space, Will Bruey, also said that the startup "have some familiarity with SpaceX."
It is worth noting that the exec used to work for the space exploration firm of Musk. On the other hand, Asparouhov is a principal in the venture capital firm that invested in companies like SpaceX and Varda Space, Founders Fund.
Varda Space's First Manufacturing Satellite
The first manufacturing satellite of startup firm, Varda Space, seeks to test the ability of its spacecraft to produce technologies using microgravity exclusively found in space.
The spacecraft, which joins the ridesharing mission of the SpaceX Falcon 9, is slated to fly in orbit for three months to test out its manufacturing tech.
The materials that Varda Space's satellite produced in space will return to Earth via a reentry capsule as the mission concludes.
According to TechStartUps' report, it is not the first time that researchers and scientists tried to produce materials in orbit.
For instance, the International Space Station has been home to numerous manufacturing projects using microgravity, such as the production of 3D printed stem cells, and optic fibers.
This feat hints at a potential to 3D print the entirety of human organs in space, which is expected to help save the lives of people who are battling some fatal diseases.
TechStartUps further noted in its report that space manufacturing has already grown into a project worth to the tune of $158 billion.
That said, Asparouhov admitted that "the ISS has done a wide variety of materials. We're not doing new science."
However, it is to note that the Varde Space exec refused to disclose the materials that the startup firm is planning to produce for its first satellite mission.
The co-founder of Varda Space only said that these would only be announced once a consumer has finally signed a contract with the firm.
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Written by Teejay Boris