Apex Space Opens New Factory To Ramp Satellite Bus Production


Apex Space, a company backed by a16z, has made a significant move in the space industry by opening a new headquarters and production facility in California. The company’s goal is to address the bottleneck in the space industry by manufacturing satellite buses at scale.

Key Takeaway

Apex Space, with the support of a16z, has opened a new production facility to manufacture satellite buses at scale, aiming to meet the increasing demand for spacecraft with shorter lead times. The company’s disruptive approach and ambitious plans for scaling production mark a significant development in the space industry.

New Headquarters and Production Facility

The newly opened facility, named Factory One, spans 46,000 square feet and is crucial for meeting the increasing customer demand. According to Apex CEO Ian Cinnamon, the facility is essential for delivering spacecraft with shorter lead times, a requirement expressed by their customers.

Disrupting the Space Industry

Apex aims to disrupt the traditional method of building satellite buses, which has been known for high costs and long lead times. The company’s move comes at a time when changes in the industry, such as reduced launch costs, have created opportunities for new customer segments seeking to send payloads into orbit.

Offering Satellite Bus Classes

The company plans to offer three classes of satellite buses initially: Aries, Nova, and Comet. Aries, the smallest class, can support payloads up to 100 kilograms, while Nova can accommodate payloads up to 230 kilograms. The largest class, Comet, is designed to carry payloads of up to 500 kilograms. Apex is set to launch its first Aries on SpaceX’s Transporter-10 ride-share mission in the first quarter of next year.

Scaling Production

Apex has ambitious plans to scale up production at the new factory in the coming years. While the company is scheduled to deliver five Aries platforms to customers in 2024, it aims to increase its output to 20 spacecraft by 2025.

Financial Backing

Having raised at least $23.5 million in funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Shield Capital, Apex is well-positioned to drive its expansion and innovation efforts in the space industry.

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