Cardiff-based Space Forge Ltd., a pioneer in space-based super material manufacturing, is going global. The company has announced the launch of operations in the US, where it will establish a manufacturing headquarters for vehicles and payloads. Space Forge's expansion plans also include a collaboration with leading Australian space launch provider Southern Launch to explore the possibilities of Satellite Return to the Koonibba Test Range.
By harnessing the power of microgravity, Space Forge aims to make space work for humanity, offering on-demand services for in-space manufacturing. They are developing a world-first service incorporating both launch and return of a new small class of vehicle - the ForgeStar™ - that can provide rapid, reliable, and reusable in-space infrastructure. Space Forge will launch their ForgeStar-1A satellite from the US later this year to prove their re-entry capabilities.
The Koonibba Test Range, with its ideal geographical location and size, is an excellent re-entry point for the ForgeStar satellite. This commercial rocket testing facility, over 10,000 sq. km in size, is one of the largest in the world and in line with sun-synchronous orbits.
Space Forge is focused on expanding and strengthening its manufacturing and launch partnerships, capitalising on the growing global interest in super materials. This interest is driven by space's optimal production environment characterized by zero gravity, extreme temperatures, and vacuum conditions, which yields purer and defect-free materials. Space Forge and Southern Launch will collaborate on the MoU over the coming months, with plans to announce a joint mission before the end of the year.
Joshua Western, CEO and Co-founder, Space Forge: "Expanding our operations into the United States and working with Southern Launch to add a Southern Hemisphere return site to our remit are two great steps forward in our growth. Our mission is to make space work for humanity, and these partnerships are crucial to achieving that goal. We are excited to bring our world-first service to the market, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our manufacturing and launch partnerships."
Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency commented, “This is another signal of the strong relationship between Australia and the UK. It demonstrates that our nation is a great place to do space, and has established companies like Southern Launch that are reliable partners to do business with. Importantly, Space Forge is looking to not just launch from Australia but also to bring economic benefit, payload refurbishment, job opportunities and cutting edge space technologies to our shores.”
Science and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan commented on the partnership: “This agreement between Space Forge and Southern Launch is just another example of the UK’s £17.5bn space sector continuing to thrive, with UK companies forging partnerships and delivering services on the global stage. It also represents a significant milestone in the UK-Australia relationship, with leading companies from both countries joining forces to advance their respective space sectors – driving growth, jobs and improving lives on both ends of the globe.”
Ian Annett, Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: “It’s exciting to see this innovative, fast-growing U.K. company, which is harnessing the benefits of the space environment to create materials far superior to those we can produce on Earth, expanding internationally. Space Forge is a valued part of the U.K.’s thriving space sector, which already supports nearly 49,000 jobs across the country and generates an income of £17.5 billion for our economy.”