The potential for space-made materials is infinite. The global semiconductor industry alone will grow to $1 trillion in revenue by 2030, and Space Forge is here to lead the charge in harnessing the space environment for the betterment of our planet.

What we’ve achieved this year not only proves our potential, but our dedication to making it happen… We’ve been backed by enterprising government initiatives, forged international partnerships, received major funding and patented highly innovative technology.

So, let’s take a moment to reflect and celebrate everything we’ve done this year – all in the name of making space work for humanity.

We’ve gone global, officially.

Our focus on developing the world’s only dedicated re-launchable super materials manufacturing satellite, the ForgeStar™, is set to revolutionise the in-space manufacturing industry. Since the launch of Space Forge in 2018, we’ve experienced rapid growth and this year was no different.

Just five years later, we were delighted to announce our international expansion; commencing operations in the US and embarking on an exciting collaboration with Southern Launch, a leading Australian space launch provider. We’re excited to explore the Koonibba Test Range as a possible re-entry point for the ForgeStar satellite; as one of the world’s largest commercial rocket testing  facilities (over 10,000 in size!) in line with sun-synchronous orbits, its geographical location and size are ideal. And across the pond in the US, we’re busy setting up a manufacturing HQ for Space Forge vehicles and payloads.

Big moves for our pioneering in-space super materials factory!

A new patent for a new era.

In-space manufacturing has the potential to dramatically reduce energy usage and limit CO2 emissions in a way that is unmatched by terrestrial counterparts. We’re on the cusp of a manufacturing revolution, and our returnable, reusable satellites are spearheading the movement.

Thus far, the safe return of a manufacturing satellite and its materials has relied on ablative heat shields which must be replaced after every single flight. But times are changing thanks to Pridwen, our innovative heat shield. The patented tech uses a high temperature alloy to radiate the heat of re-entry away from the super materials, without burning the shield – making it fully reusable. 

We’re taking the common ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ verbiage to outer space, enabling satellites to return manufacturers intact. This can limit ecological impact by eliminating space debris and help companies to save money by refurbishing or recycling the materials.

National security is shared security.

This year, we were thrilled to announce a £499,000 grant from the MOD's Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) as part of a collaborative project with Northrop Grumman.

Aside from economic gains, in-space manufacturing has the potential to radically improve defence supply chains. Since semiconductors are critical components of defence communications across the Armed Forces, the production of hyper-efficient chips will support efforts to develop cutting edge solutions for complex defence problems. With DTEP’s significant investment and Northrop Grumman’s invaluable support, we can also explore numerous multi-sector applications of extraterrestrially made super materials.

Expanding Wales’ horizons.

To round out 2023, let’s take a moment to celebrate our most recent success. In late November we were delighted to be awarded almost £8 million from the Space Clusters Infrastructure Fund (SCIF), administered by the UK Space Agency. Thanks to matched contributions, the total project value comes in at £13 million, which will allow us to establish a first-of-its-kind National Microgravity Research Centre.

The centre will be a driving force for advanced material research in the UK, while fostering the growth of Wales’ space sector. With a focus on growing inorganic crystal structures in microgravity for use in electronics, the centre will prioritise two key research areas:

1. The development and optimisation of payload semiconductors growth tools.
The creation of post-processing capabilities to maximise the potential of materials returned from orbital missions. 

But that’s not all (you didn’t think we’d stop there, did you?) Because we’re committed to fostering innovation and collaboration in the space industry, the centre will offer open access and support for other space companies. Our ‘pathway to space’ initiative will give companies access to state of the art equipment, clean rooms, electronic labs, payload bays, and our extensive network of experts and investors who will provide face-to-face support to nurture and accelerate business growth.

When it comes to advancing research and development efforts for the benefit of humanity, we’re all in this together.

It’s fair to say that this year has been pivotal for Space Forge, allowing us to continue forging an innovative, sustainable, and most importantly, useful pathway to space – and back again. 

As for 2024? The potential for growth really is limitless.