From: Atomos Space
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Atomos Space announces an investment from Cantos Ventures, bringing the total capital raised in 2021 to $5M. Cantos, an experienced deep tech investor, joined this round with another undisclosed aerospace investor to realize the future of space mobility and logistics. Atomos Space, based in Denver, Colorado, is building orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) to help satellite operators get to their place in space. Founded by Vanessa Clark and William Kowalski in late 2017, Atomos has won and executed over $2M in contracts with NASA, the US Air Force, and US Space Force, and currently has over $200M of customer interest for in-space mobility.
While the barrier to entry for satellites to get to space has decreased significantly, many applications require orbits unavailable to satellites ridesharing with a larger payload. Enter Atomos' OTVs. By capturing client satellites and transporting them to their target operational orbit, Atomos solves the last-mile problem in space at a fraction of the cost of dedicated launch. "Some customers need to procure multiple dedicated launches to deploy their constellation," said Atomos co-founder and COO, William Kowalski. "Our services halve their launch costs."
Atomos' advantage is their technical approach. Unlike similar systems under development, their OTVs reside in space and rendezvous with client satellites on-orbit, allowing more launch mass and volume for the payload and amortizing costs over many missions during the OTV's lifetime. Atomos is focused on highly scalable, high-power electric and nuclear propulsion. "Current propulsion technologies are evolutionary dead ends and can't scale into the future space economy. Our propulsion moves us in a new direction," said Vanessa Clark, CEO and co-founder of Atomos.
"We see a massive need for companies like Atomos. We think of them as orbital Uber," said Cantos Ventures Founder & Managing Partner, Ian Rountree. Their money is on Atomos because "we believe in the Atomos team and see their service and underlying technologies - like nuclear propulsion - as vital to our future."
Since the 2021 investment, Atomos has doubled the size of their team and successfully completed ground testing of their autonomous rendezvous and docking technology and integrated propulsion system. Atomos expects to launch their first two spacecraft, Quark and Gluon, in 2023, and is excited to continue to expand the reach of humanity.
About Atomos Space
Since its founding in late 2017 by Vanessa Clark and William Kowalski, Atomos Space has worked to revolutionize space logistics by developing and operating orbital transfer vehicle (OTVs) to perform orbit raising, precision insertion, phasing, and plane change services for satellites. Their goal is to enable more commercial companies to operate in space dynamically and sustainably. Whether it is placing new satellites in their final orbit or moving old satellites into new missions, Atomos Space makes space more mobile.
About Cantos Ventures
Cantos Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco with a focus on near frontier startups in clean energy, aerospace, computational biology, and next-generation computing with the potential to mitigate climate change, disease, armed conflict, and existential risk. The firm was founded in 2016 and manages $55M across multiple funds.
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